How to handle name spelling changes over time?

+8 votes
120 views
The surname for one of my female ancestors is shown on her New Zealand marriage record as Aplin, and her father's surname is the same, and it's also Aplin on his Welsh death record. She was born in Wales and her parents' marriage record shows his surname as Appling. I am not sure I've found the correct birth record, but if I have, it is Apland.

Could someone please confirm that I should give her a birth surname of Apland and he a birth surname of Appling, And then, how should I show their changed surnames for his death and her marriage? I'm concerned that we need to make sure that when someone else is uploading them in future, perhaps with a different version of the name, that the matches are found.

Many thanks
in Policy and Style by Vicki Slade G2G Crew (800 points)
Thank you Steven and Anne for taking the time to respond. Much appreciated!

2 Answers

+8 votes
 
Best answer
You should be using the last name as given on a birth record or other contemporary document.

Last name at birth: In her case Apland, that is on her birth record. Since you don't have a birth record for her father, the marriage record for him will have to do (unless you have a marriage record for his parents.) Which is exactly what you thought you should do.

Current last name His - Aplin on his death certificate. For her whatever name is on her death record.

Other last names: Make liberal use of this field. Put in as many last name spelling variations as you can think. Searches are done using these alternate spellings to prevent duplications.
by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
selected by Vicki Slade
Very helpful !!!! Has helped me out of a big dilemma where the last 3 letters of the name on my fathers side changed from French to Dutch over about 300 years. This makes things so easy when entering the variations.
+3 votes
Hi Vicki,

I would use the current name that is on legal documents. What I would also suggest that you give some narrative in the biography of the change and reference the documents that support that change.
by Steve McCabe G2G6 Pilot (362k points)

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