Hi Amy. I think it's very possible that they're nicknames, but I'm also constantly amazed by the creative spellings that census enumerators can come up with. I think Family Search lets you search using an asterisk as a wild card for parts of names -- e.g., De*, D*y, J*e, etc. -- so you might try that. There's also a chance that whoever posted the data in a forum is still active, and if you could track him/her down you could ask where the data was found. Good luck.