Which LNAB to use: as on the Christening record or to match the rest of the family?

+9 votes
I'm working on some 17th century Sussex profiles.  The father's marriage record surname is Claiton, each of the children's christening records are listed as Claiton, except for one, a middle child is listed as Clayton.

The death record is later listed as Claiton.

I do not have a copy of the christening record, just the index.  The family later used the name Clayton and I'm wondering if the index is a typo?

Lets assume for a moment that the entire family is illiterate or has no say in what the priest writes in the christening book - the priest just writes it as it sounds.  If the whole family is Claiton, should I match the LNAB of this child or stick with the Clayton spelling that I find in the index that might be also wrong?
in Policy and Style by SJ Baty G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)

3 Answers

+9 votes
Best answer

From the help page

"Nevertheless, if there are any contemporary written documents, the spelling from those documents should be used. In particular, the spelling that appears in a birth record should be used for the Last Name at Birth unless there are other documents from at or near the time of birth that inform us about a more common or correct spelling."

So in this case you have the option of using Clayton, shown on the baptism record, or of using Claiton, the more common spelling used at the time as shown by the records of the siblings baptism records.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.4m points)
selected by SJ Baty
The problem is that he doesn't have the baptism record, just someone's index of them. I have seen far too many cases of name spelling correction in indexes to not trust them.
Thanks for your comment Anne, I did not know that!
Doug - I'm assuming the index is wrong - almost all of the other children in this family have duplicate index records, some show Clayton and some show Claiton and in each of the source records I can access, they are all Claiton.  Indeed, in the case of the profile (Clayton) that I don't have access to her actual record, her death index (shortly thereafter as she died young) indexes for Claiton.
That would be my assumption as well. I see mistakes in them all the time. It may be correct, but that may be the cleric who wrote the record went by what he thought it should be. I would use Claiton.
+9 votes
Never entirely trust an index. Sometimes it is the only source but it is a derivative and might have introduced an error. Does the original exit somewhere?  If you can track it down that would be a better source

If the family consistently used Claiton, I would use that.
by Doug McCallum G2G6 Pilot (557k points)
thanks Doug for your comment - I am of the same thinking on this topic.  Considering that the profile is already entered as Clayton; I'll put Claiton in the "current last name" field and consider changing the LNAB if I can get a copy of the original.
+6 votes
Best to wait for a copy of the birth certificate or earliest official document as that will be the record that takes precedence.
by George Churchill G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
In this case, the family name is already set at Clayton.  Until I can obtain a copy of the christening record, I'll add Claiton to the "current last name" field and make mention of it in the research notes.  If and when I get a copy of the original I'll address the issue of changing the LNAB.

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