Question of The Week: How many different spellings of your surname have you found and have any helped break down a wall?

+40 votes
1.9k views
How many different spellings of your surname have you found and have any helped break down a wall?
asked in The Tree House by Deborah Collier G2G6 Mach 3 (37.5k points)
Original family name of my paternal line ancestor was Guyard, which got written Guiard, Guillard (all sound the same).  Somewhere along the way, the parish priests decided to alter the family name across the board, turned it into Liard.  Which of course still gets mangled, one of my great-uncles moved to the US and I found him in census records as Laird.  Duh!  Nothing Scottish about us at all.  

I don't know if the priests thought they were reverting the name to original form or not, there was in fact a man named Liard who came to the colony in the 1600s, but he is no relation.

He actually led me on false trail.  Finally found the right people by looking at the female line and their children.
I keep having the same issue with the Priest changing  - reverting - inventing the spelling of last names but with so many people illiterate, they had to count on someone to record the events - I actually think if all the names were spelled exactly like they sounded, we would have an easier time finding ancestors i.e.Boudreaux would be easier to find if Boodrow was the spelling.
In French, Boo does not sound like Bou.  ;)  

Part of the problem was the regional accents brought over from France.  Pronunciation was quite different from one place to another (compare Cockney English and Southern US drawl).  Plus the occasional person with a speech defect.  Or under the influence.  :D
LALONDE, LALONE, LaLONE, LALON, LALANDE, LELONE are some of the spellings I have run across, but none have gotten me back further.  It is more interesting the pronunciations of my name, I especially like the one where it sounded Hawaiian - la lan-ee!
Scheurer, Sherer, Shirer, Sherrer, Shirah, Shirey, Scherer. Scheurer is a German name but when they came over to South Carolina in 1734 the name morphed into many different spellings. The Shirer spelling helped me to break through a huge brick wall on my 4th great grandfather. That and DNA testing proved that he was from Switzerland.

On my husband's mother's side there is Ulrich from Germany that somehow transformed into Woolery.
Michael. It seems they would get mad at each other and keep changing the spelling around.

Hoffpauir, I have seen so many variations it's hard to list.
DeRush, Darush, De Rush, Deroche, Deroches, Desrochers,Desroches, Boucher, Stone, DesRochers, DesRoches

My paternal last name is Réaume - pronounced as RAY (as in laser ray) and OME (as in home without the h) - variations include Reame, Rheaume,Reyome, Rehame, Rehm, Ruhm, Ream. Both Grandparents had the same last name (and the same 5th Gr-Grandfather) so that made it a bit easier. However, the Catholic Priests had the last say in how the surname was recorded in the records.  

MY maternal lines are really mucky...Pawloske, Pawlowski, Pawloski, Pavloski, Palowsky etc., and Horeske, Horetki, Horetski, Hotrawsky etc.  The maternal line spelling was at the mercy of the stenographers on both the immigration ships and at Ellis Island.  I can only imagine how difficult their jobs must have been. This coupled with the census enumerators lack of understanding Polish and poor handwriting results in some very tedious and time consuming research.

My maiden name was Newsom. People would always add a e to the end, Newsome. In researching I found it spelled Newsum, Nusom, and Newsham in England. There was even a Newsham Hall. I have found people who have the e and don't,  It seems easier to add the e. Looking at ancestors tombstones, I Discovered that even though they spelled it Newsom, and even signed their name that way, the name on their tombstone is Newsome. Kind of hard to figure where and when the e was added or deleted.
Wisking is a veritable gold mine of variants!   I finally did break down a major brick wall by embracing these.  I found a gentleman I have been hunting for over 5 years, not as John Wisking as most records show, but as John Whiskin!    I found him finally in the Workhouse under various Wisking variants and even under a few transcription errors.   He died at the Levesden Asylum in 1871 and the death was registered as Whiskin.  But then so was his wife when she died 10 years later.
There are lots of different spellings of the Barford name generation by generation even with the same families childrens registrations. But it is easy to follow these up if you are consistent however I dont think it will ever end as even present day people seem to get it wrong, official documents, spelling it out, maybe they dont listen or associate it with an add on TV.

However this reminds me of a trick I use to employ when younger working in a department store in a small town where you were expected to remember everyones name and they all had accounts. I use to smile and say " How do you spell your name? It worked like a dream until the day I said this and the woman replied B-R-O-W-N and don't tell me that you dont know how to spell that! I replied ever so nicely "some people have an E on the end of it. but I never forgot her name after that. I would say ah Mrs Brown without the E.
Moseley, Mosely, Mosley, Mosly, Mozely (and variations thereof), Maudsley, Molesley, and several more variations I can think of. I can't say the spelling has helped break down and brick walls, but I always keep it at the back of my mind when I'm looking at records.
I have this theory that some New England Moseleys had their pedigree done, and when the genealogist hit the brick wall, he knocked it down by connecting to the Maudsleys and announcing that the Maudsleys were really Moseleys all along.

Which they weren't.  The names are quite distinct in England.  The Maudsleys have no connection with the Mosleys who were lords of Manchester and baronets, although they were all in Lancashire.

If the Maudsley-Moseley connection in New England is genuine, of course that would mean that the name changed in America, so those Moseleys are Maudsleys really and not connected to any English Moseleys.
My family name is Granville, also spelled Grandville and Grenville.  However, I hit a brick wall not knowing that this name had earlier been Gonneville.  Weirder yet, this family was actually Lemire- Marsolet in the 1600’s in Quebec.  Around 1760 Rene Lemire named his son Rene Lemire Gonneville.  Where did Gonneville come from.?  In 1760 the English were conquering the French and were giving Captain James Cook credit for discovering Australia.  Anne Lemire married a man with the title Sieur de Gonneville.  Anne’s husband knew that in 1505, Frenchman Jean Palmier Sieur deGonneville discovered Australia for France.  Apparently Rene Lemire gave his children the Gonneville name so that we would all know it was a Frenchman who first discovered Australia, not an Englishman.

40 Answers

+25 votes
 
Best answer

My grandmother's surname was Alterator. She and my great grandmother said that the name had been Spanish and that the original bearer, my great grandfather's grandfather, had brought the first mules to Australia. They thought his real name might have been Alteratyz or Delratore or something. I went through documents that spelt the name Alterater, Alterata, Aldreader, and many other variants. TO our surprise, it came down to the fact that our ancestor had come from CHILE in 1840,(that explained the SPANISH) and had been a muleteer brought to the country( with mules) to  service the outlying stations owned by the Australian Agricultural Company in the Peel Valley NSW. So SPANISH and MULES were right, but who was this man called variously Austin Alterator, Houston Alterator and Hosken Alterator on his children's marriage certs, but we had NO marriage or death cert for him. And the Aust Ag Co's records only complicated the situation. They just called the muleteers Big (R)Amelia, Sancho and Raymondo. Which of them was Austin/Houston/Hosken and what was his name?  I tracked the other two muleteers and found that Raymondo was a Bernardo Riba and he wasn't my ancestor. Sancho turned out to be Santo Crina who married Austin's widow...so Big (R)Amelia was the man, and he was killed by bushrangers- no death certificate!!!! Aaagh. By this time, I spoke Italian fluently so could read Spanish. I sat with the name Austin Alterator and thought that Austin could represent Agustin. Then, the internet came into its own and I found in Chile, a prominent conquistador family  called the ALDERETE, complete with a pedigree going back to Tordesillas Spain in the 1500s. ALDERETE had to be what ALTERATOR should have been. I looked for Chilean family history sites and asked, in pigeon Spanish, if anyone had lost a family member c 1840? Imagine my surprise when a descendant of the Alderete, Marcela de Santiago wrote to me and told me that they had indeed lost an AGUSTIN ALDERETE to NSW in 1840. She even sent me his employment indent IN SPANISH with his mark on it. He turned out to be an illegitimate son of one of the men on the Alderete pedigree!

Then my second cousin finally found his marriage in he NSW records: under Agustin Aldrette!!!!!

Over 30 years of searching half way round the world and we had cracked the riddle of the Alterators. I only wish the older generations were here to tell them!

answered by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 6 (66.6k points)
selected by Danielle Liard
What an amazing discovery and journey!
I think that must be one of the most amazing breakthroughs.  How exciting!  A lovely story.
Wow, lots of work in that one I can tell.  Congratulations on finding him.
thanks for your kind words.:-)
Wow!!!
reselected as best answer, selecting your own makes some people twitch.  :D
Good for you for sticking with it and figuring out the truth!

With genealogy, going halfway is easy.  Being accurate, now, that takes way more time, patience, and critical thinking.  LOL!

BTW, my ancestors John Paine/Pain/Peain/Pain and Lydia Tisdale/Lauren Thisdell moved from Connecticut to Nova Scotia to Quebec.  Spelling variations were confusing at best.
My great grandmother and her siblings seemed to use variant spellings surname Ware or Were interchangeably.Census and one ancestor great aunt x6 her first name was written Nignala but in Census records Nigonala. Honestly, I think it may be a corruption of Irish Gaelic name Nigella. Then again another aunt was named Nizaula.
This reminds me of a situation encountered in my family.  My great-grandmother badly wanted to join the DAR (she came from a predominantly German family, which had been a source of difficulty during WWI-in light of this, joining the DAR was very important to her).  However, all she had was family lore, which wasn't acceptable DAR documentation.  When she passed away in 1957, she had never gotten her wish to join the DAR.  A few years ago, I was working with a cousin trying to solve the riddle to see if she really did have an ancestor who fought in the American Revolution.  My cousin actually got some of the notes my great-grandmother had typed in her many inquiries sent to family and to Schoharie County, New York, and ended up solving the riddle: the ancestor who was John Martin Coss was actually called Martin Cort in the pension files, but reading through the file, it was undoubtedly the same man.  It was a bittersweet discovery-a riddle was solved, but my great-grandmother never got her DAR membership.  Ironically enough, her ancestor who served in the Revolution was actually born at sea while his parents were immigrating to the colonies from...somewhere in Germany.
Tenacity, luck and coincidence pay a big part in finding family especially where you least expect them. However my grandmother had a saying that your ancestors will find you when they are ready and I always imagine them looking over my shoulder with approval or disaproval most of the time anyway.
+19 votes

Vicare, Vickrey, Vickere, Vicaire, Attvickers, atte Vicars, Viccars, Atvicars, Vicary, Vickery, Vickarman, Viccars, Vickers, McVicar, Vikery, La Vacher, Livaccari, La Vache, Vassiere, Verrick, Verrechia, Verick, Vickere, Vicar, Verick, Verecker, Vick, Vitterey, Vittory, Vittori, Vockery, Victory :)

answered by Anonymous Vickery G2G6 Pilot (237k points)
Holy Toledo John - How were you able to find and connect them all?
One name studies; there are many that have already been done... i just gathered the names... Also there are many more that i have left off the above list.

 People were given a single name for their occupation = Smith is one of the most common USA = Smith as in a person who Smiths / Forge Smith / or Smithy / maker of metals. Cooper = maker of barrels. Potter = maker of clay / clay pots. Carpenter = a person who makes things made of wood. Miller = a person who mills or owns a grist mill. Shoemaker = maker of shoes. Tailor / Taylor = maker of clothes. Hunter = hunts. Etc...

 P.s. The oldest ref to my sir name is La Vicherie / La Vache = having to do with cows, cow fields, cow pastures, cow barns ( Cow = Vaca in Spanish).   :)
It is extremely interesting how surnames were attached to a person's profession - the definition of Collier is one who produces coal and my husband's family were all coal miners!
Actually, vache is totally French in that exact form.  And does mean cow.
+17 votes

My surname is Smith -- not a name that is a particularly strong clue for making genealogical connections, and anyway my great-grandfather had thoroughly researched my paternal Smith line. But I have plenty of other family names that have had myriad different spellings.

Possibly the most interesting case of multiple spellings that I've worked with directly was Wouter van den Uythof. He's not a direct ancestor (as far as I know), but he was married to a direct ancestor, and I've grown fond of him due to research. Genealogies based on New Netherland records had a Wouter van den Uythoff marrying the widow Elisabeth Hendrickse, and they had one of Elisabeth's sons marrying Elsje van Wythorst, the daughter of a man named Wouter van Wythorst. There was plenty of independent documentation of Wouter van den Uythof, but Wouter van Wythorst was a bit of a mystery. In the G2G discussion http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/157587/wouter-van-wythorst-and-woutrer-van-den-uythoff-one-person-two I asked whether it was possible that these were the same person, and Bea Wijma provided some insights regarding Dutch orthography that supported the conclusion that "van Wythorst" is a plausible misinterpretation of the handwritten name "van den Uythof." (Collaboration between people on two sides of the ocean is a wonderful thing!) So now Wouter's multiple personalities have been united into one profile, but he has a lot of last names: his LNAB is Albertsz (the patronymic name he would have had at birth), his current last name is van den Uythof, there are alternate spellings of both of these names in the Other Last Names field, van Wythorst is another "Other Last Name" because it appears in some documents, and Backer is on the list because it was an occupational name (he was a baker) that appears in some records.

answered by Ellen Smith G2G6 Pilot (913k points)

Excellent detective work!! I agree that working with someone who is familiar with your ancestor's orthography is certainly helpful!

+16 votes
That's a tough question for me as I don't know who is or isn't someone with a version of my surname.  This is because I haven't located my immigrant 2ggrandparents in Switzerland yet.  The different spellings I've seen for that line in the US include Dardinger Darendinger, Daradinger, Dearinger, Darandinger, Derendinger and one or two more I can't remember off the top of my head.  Another group moved from the Solothurn area and ended up on Alsace.  One family moved to the colonies in 1754 (see Eighteenth Century Emigrants from the Northern Alsace to America by Annette Kinselman Bergert Picton Press p 114) And the variations on this one page for one family include (umlauts replaced by double letters) Daarendinger, Daarenger, Doorredinger, Dooredinger, Daerendinger, Derendinger, Darretinger and Derretinger.  If you look at the variations on Ancestry.com (igi?sp) you can find many more.  But since the name is probably from a suburb of Solothurn named Darendingen, there may be many unrelated lines.  Even my immigrant Stephen has different spellings in his ships record,(1858) his naturalization paper and in the censuses.  I'd bring up the 1860 cenus but I've recently decided it actually is spelled Dardinger there.
answered by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (371k points)
edited by Dave Dardinger
My Papa used to tell me that a Réaume by any other spelling is still a Réaume...I'm thinking this certainly applies to Dardinger :)
+17 votes

Surname in my family, not my own...

I have an ancestor that, in the US Social Security Death Index, is Michael Gattus. In the Census he appears as Michele Gattus. He came to the US as Antonino Gattuso. In Italy, he was born as Antonino Gottuso.

answered by G. Borrero G2G6 Mach 8 (84.7k points)
Love the Panda!!
Looks like me when someone jacks with my research!

 

But as far a Jester goes, I have found it spelled numerous ways, Jus, Jas, Jes, Jis, .... *ters, ture, tice  and change the J to G ... but I go absolutely Panda when I find it as Lester due to census takers handwriting and indexers. Or someone thinks that Chester is close enough in sound to clutter up a search.

I wasn't aware that panda's had bad days. /:-)

I want a panda suit!  :D
+16 votes
Tolidef, Tulidef, Tullideff, Dilidaph, Dilidaph, Dillidaff, Dulledaphe, Twlydeff, Tillidaff, Tillidaiff, Tilliduff, Tuledefe, Tuledelph, Tulidaff, Tulidefe, Tullidaff, Tullidef, Tullidelph, Tullideph, Tuledeiff, Tulledaff, Tullidafe, Tulideffe, Tilledeph, Tulideff, Tulliedaff, Tulliedeph, Tullydaff, Tullyduff, Tulydef, Tylledaph, Tyllidaff - I think that makes 31, and I have only 202 people in my study, going back to 1317.

And yes it has helped me to break down a brick wall.  My 5xgreat grandfather was born as Tullidelph and married as Tilledeph in Scotland, and when his son was born in Westminster, London he was called Tullideph.  The son when he was next seen was married and having children in the City of London as Tillyduff. Forty years ago a researcher got my father's line back to Robert Tillyduff but no further.  (My father's grandmother was Eliza Tilliduff.)  It took a One-Name-Study to see all the different spellings that the name generated and enable me to morph Robert Tullideph etc. into Robert Tillyduff.
answered by Christine Searle G2G6 Mach 2 (21.8k points)
Knocking down that brick wall must have given you such elation!  Excellent reason for creating a One Name Study!!
+13 votes
My family name is Hubbell.
I have encountered many spellings.  In the early 1800s my own family members frequently spelled their names differently in their own hand writing.  
Hubbell, Hubble, Hubbal, and  Hubbel  are a few.
I've also been told, but haven't been able to verify, that following the Revolutionary war American Patriots adopted the spelling Hubbell while British Loyalists adopted the spelling Hubble.
answered by Burr Hubbell G2G1 (1.3k points)
I have seen the same instances with Réaume and Rheaume regarding the Revolutionary War :)
+14 votes
My actual maiden name of "Marland" I have never seen any variations. My married name of Harlow, I have seen Harlowe, but can't say I've ever had the variations help.

My husband's maternal line has a lot of confusion... last name is alternately spelled Byrne, Byrnes, Burns often multiple ways for the same person (including being listed in the City directory at the same address with BOTH spellings). It's actually made if VERY hard to trace and created walls :(
answered by Laura Harlow G2G6 (8.8k points)
I can think of so many different spellings of Burns, and when you toss in court records that someone else has transcribed - oh my goodness!
+15 votes
On my paternal line I've been lucky to have the name Hayward stay consistent as far back as I've traced so far. My maternal grandmother's family is a different story. They were from eastern Europe and the spelling of their name seems to have changed on every document for years after they came to Canada. They seem to have settled on Rutkowski but I've also seen Rutkowsy, Rutkowska, Rutkly, and Rulkovoski. To complicate matters some of my grandmother's siblings tried to blend in with Canadian society by going by the name Bennett. They were split up and sent to orphanages at one point so this side of the family is a nightmare to trace. I have no idea how to trace anything prior to their immigration.
answered by Larissa Hayward G2G6 (9.2k points)
It is a nightmare to trace when the surname keeps changing but to add the orphanages into the mix would cause me to pull out some hair!  Best of luck
Yes, I keep trying to tell myself I'm lucky to know who her birth family was at all. But, as we all know, the more you find out the more you want to know.
I have not been as fortunate with my Haywoods (Heywood, Heyward, Hayward etc).  I even found them in the 1861 census enumerated as Howard! (And yes, I knew it was them; how many other families have an Alfred, Walter, Albion and an Ebenezer among the sons? LOL)
I always to a happy dance when there's a family with a unique combination of names. Even if they screw up a spelling it makes it easier to sort out.
+15 votes
The surname Real is commonly found with the following spellings, Reale, Reall, Reals, Reel, Reele, Reil, Reill, Riel, Rheal, Rhaale, Rhiel, Ruhl. I have also found it misspelled as Read, Reed, Beel, and Peal.
answered by James Real G2G Crew (650 points)
Related to the Jean Baptiste Riel who came to New France with Carignan-Salières regiment perhaps?  He had enormous descendant list last time I looked.  (Of Irish origin in fact)
+13 votes
Only two for Powers. Several for Arowood including Arwood and Harwood
answered by Clarence Powers G2G Crew (710 points)
+14 votes

My maiden name is Lowe, which my immediate family pronounces as [loh] or /loʊ/, as in "high and low." It occurs in records in east Tennessee as Lowe, Low, and Law. I used to think the "Law" spelling was just a bad transcription of "Low" from cursive handwriting, but I've come to think it was a decent attempt by a census enumerator to write what he was hearing.

I've learned that most folks around Scott County, Tennessee, currently spell their name "Lowe" like I do, but pronounce it [lou] or /laʊ̯/ to rhyme with "cow" and "how." 

My grandfather used to say that our name Lowe was German for "lion" - probably because that word is "Löwe." It looks good and would be impressive, but that word pronounced [ˈløːvə]. It almost rhymes with "maneuver" - not even close to [loh] or [lau]. Someone pronounces it here:

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/c/c3/De-L%C3%B6we.ogg

We've always known that our ancestor Michael "Grand Mikey" Low, an early white settler of Scott County, Tennessee, was married to Betsy Bordner. Over the years we've concluded that Michael's name was originally LAU in York County, Pennsylvania. Conveniently, the German pronunciation is...  [lou] or /laʊ̯/. Hear for yourself - it's the same way we've been saying it in the Smokies for generations.

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/2/29/De-lau.ogg

answered by Karen Tobo G2G6 Pilot (112k points)
edited by Karen Tobo
+12 votes
I have run across a number of variations for all the surnames in our family, Wathen, Walthem, Wathem, Sosa, Sousa, Paredes, Paredez, Alanis, Alaniz, thats just a few of the names I've run across, but not only names but dates have differences.  Dates I know for a fact i have found in various sources to be incorrect and i have the original documents.  So Yeah this trying to locate family can be quite an experience.
answered by Eva Wathen G2G Crew (560 points)

Eva - Dates can really be a hassle. I remember showing a photo I took of an original 131 year old document to 'a certain family member' and their response was "Oh, that must be a mistake, my date is a verbal confirmation." grrr  

Deborah, that reminds me of the automatic sentence Wikitree used to put when someone created a profile without sources '' personal knowledge'' on a person who is centuries dead, righto!
+12 votes
My family originated in France with the name of dePhilo.  They emigrated to England, and "For meritorious service to the King" (England), were granted lands along the river Cam and the name became Cam-dePhilo, Camphilo, Campfield, Camfield and ultimately Canfield.  I have often wondered what "meritorious service" a Frenchman rendered to an English king.
answered by Dennis Canfield G2G Crew (560 points)
I'll just bet they gave the King warm croissants smothered with melted Brie topped with truffles - oh yummy!
Dennis, that depends on what year the emigration took place.  Up until the Hundred Years' War (c. 1337-1450), the old Kings were all descendants of William the Conquerer (of Normandy, now France), spoke French, and had very close connections, lands, and relatives on both sides of the English Channel.  But during that war, France became very unpopular in England, and the whole English ruling class took to speaking English and forgetting French (roughly during the period around 1380).  So in those times, it would have been easy for a French person to cross the channel and serve the King, probably in a military capacity.
Thank you, Dan, that answers a question I have had for many years. The record I have indicates that  dePhilo emigrated about 1359.
+12 votes
Like every one my Pready line has many misheard names. Far to many to list. It took me ages to realise there isn't a way to spell it until the family became literate. All are correct. If we are getting uptight about the spellings the vast majority of my family are named X. But the translations of this are total rubbish hehe
I now find my self rolling my eyes at the proud postings of a name written by a semi literate person/scribe who only knew how to write in Latin :-) and it being considered as the "correct" spelling.
Names are only oral then a spelling guess is added into the mix
answered by Chris Hoult G2G6 Mach 1 (16.1k points)
I think you have 'hit the nail on the head'!
Hehehe, must agree with you, spelling is a modern invention.  :D
+11 votes
Lets see. DuBois, duBois, du Bois, Du bois, Duboise, Duboice, DuBoys, Dubose, to name a few. There are many more. It is two words in French and fully translated it means "of the woods."  Then there is the pronunciation, if you really want to stir the pot. Both spelling and pronunciation have been Anglicized and Americanized. I like to keep with how I believe my ancestors Louis and Catherine would have pronounced it as they stepped off the boat in New Amsterdam, as "Doo-Bwa" and let everyone else say it however they choose.
answered by Rod DuBois G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
I totally understand your feelings - I also love to imagine my ancestors stepping off the boat. It's your name and how to pronounce it is your choice!
Thanks Deborah. I have never reacted harshly, dramatic or even with disappointment when people pronounce my last name differently than I  do. I have though, received those reactions from others many times. No problem, to each their own. I am comfortable in my own skin. Cheers.
+7 votes
Silmon, Silman, Selmon, Salmon
answered by Ruby Tracy Silmon G2G Crew (410 points)
+8 votes

Benefiel, Benefield, Bennefield, Benfield, Benningfield, Beddingfield, Bedingfield--that's seven likely English ones (not counting the more speculative French Benville, Bienville, Bonneville, etc.).  Re: brick walls---For years, the otherwise very helpful book self-published by Evelyn Benefiel Stout The Benefiel Families of Indiana and their Descendants has, in my opinion, hampered research by insisting that Benefiels (without the terminal D) and Benefields (with it) were not related families, which in turn resulted in her Benefiel family lines stopping at the US East coast and not being realtable to each other or traceable across the pond. But my high quality match on Family Tree DNA of Y-chromosomes with an individual with the surname BEDINGFIELD living in England, that proved to be a 14th cousin once removed, provides independent evidence that the Bedingfields, Benefields and Benefiels along that chain of relationship are indeed all genetically related [BTW my legal surname should be, but is not, Benefiel, due to a rather unusual non-paternity event, my biological father (who in fact raised me) was a Benefiel.]

Mike Bissell-Benefiel [Bissell-517]     , 

answered by Michael Bissell --Benefiel G2G5 (5.2k points)
+7 votes
There are quite a few variations on my surname. It stared as Kynaston and has morphed into Keniston, Kenniston, Kenaston, Kennaston, Kinaston, Kinnaston, Kaneston.
answered by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (171k points)
Are you descended from Jane Kynaston (1469-1531), wife of Roger Thornes? She is a descendant of royalty.
I’m not certain. If I am connected to Jane, it would be through her brother Humphrey. There are a number of “uncertains” between Humphrey and the early American colonists named Keniston.
+6 votes
I was looking for a Wellington which was mistranscribed as Millington!!
answered by Julian Little G2G2 (2.3k points)

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