Standard Spelling for Trevillian

+9 votes
Just got a merge request where the individual was clearly the same but the parents were different.  Since it's always best to resolve the parental (and grandparental) issues first and work down, I took a look and did some research on WikiTree.

One problem causing confusion is that hundreds of years ago nobody cared how they spelled the name.  So we have "i" or "e" in the first syllable, an "i" or "e" in the second syllable, one or two "l"s, in the third, and an "a" or "y" in the last.  Trivilian, Trivelian, Trivillian, Trevilion, Trevelian, and Trevelyan.  

These can be merged into one LNAB, but which?  And although I hate clutter in the data field, it feels like to avoid more duplicates in the future, we'll probably need to list the alternatives under "Other Last Names"

John R. Carpenter, an expert on the Carpenter family which descended from it,  posted a G2G note about the family in 2013 -- and spelled it two ways in his note (Trevelyan and Trevelian).  I sort of like Trevelyan with a "y", but the decision probably should be based on what's used most often, or some other logic other than whim!
WikiTree profile: John Trevelyan
in Genealogy Help by Jack Day G2G6 Pilot (415k points)

2 Answers

+1 vote

This is why we have the policy to use the LNAB as it was on the birth record or other early family record from the person's lifetime.

(I just went to find the help text on this recently discussed, and I thought resolved, issue, but could not find it.)
by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (837k points)
+1 vote
There is no right or wrong answer for this family which stretches back into medieval history.

The preferred spelling for this family is Trevelyan.  This matches the name of the place in Cornwall from which the family derives, and is the preferred spelling Baronettes which descended from this family.  All histories of the family are written under the name Trevelyan.

Try googling

Trivilian – 394 hits

Trivillian – 197 hits

Trevelyan  - 740,000 hits
by Joe Cochoit G2G6 Pilot (241k points)
Hi, Joe -- I've been doing exactly that today and came across some of your own detailed and well sourced material on some of the earlier generations of the Trevelyan family.  Thanks for weighing in!
Joe, you've done a lot of research on this family in the past and I see you adopted a number of family profiles as well, today, so it looks like you're looking forward to adding some substance to these profiles!  I would certainly defer to you with respect to names -- I've gotten involved because they're ancestors of my son's through his mother, but I don't have a lot to add other than to keep merges helpful rather than making them worse!  

I also adopted a couple of profiles.  I could see us making them all Trevelyan, as you've suggested -- or following the suggestion of a note at this site:  which suggests that the name was more often spelled Trevilian up to a certain point in the 17th century, and then about a generation after Nettlecombe Court passed into the family, it was changed to Trevelyan.  

Jillaine, I would imagine that in this time period the actual records, at birth or otherwise, would be in Latin, which adds an additional wrinkle!

At any rate, I won't touch any LNAB's until it appears there some consensus developing!
The  Wikipedia article cited above is instructive -- if you look at its extensive list of sources, you'll see the  name spelled Trevelyan several times and Trevilian at least once.  But the Trevilian citation takes you back to a Geni article, which itself is unsourced.  

It is clear that the name became Trevelyan, so that now one can refer to "The Trevelyan Family" and include older generations who never used that spelling, just as my great-great-grandmother was from "the Boyer family" although we all know her great-grandfather spelled his name Bayer when he got off the boat from Germany.  This tendency is strengthened by the presence of widely known people of later generations like G. M. Trevelyan, the historian.  But I wish we could develop further the understanding, suggested but not sourced, by Wikipedia, that there was a moment in the 1700s when someone made a conscious decision to use the spelling Trevelyan, and before that the name was something else.

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