Another LNAB question

+3 votes

As I understand it, the correct LNAB to use is the earliest reference found, i.e., to a birth record if you have one.

But what would you do for the children listed here? Children of Nezer "Daile" and Lydia his wife (the right-hand page of the linked image).

All of the children except one are recorded as "Daile." The last one, Hannah, is entered as "Dailey," but in a different hand. Nezer Dailey, or Daily, the father, is nowhere else called Nezer "Daile"; in fact, in the death record of his mother at the bottom of the same page he is called Nezer Dailey. None of the children are referred to elsewhere as Daile. The death records of two of the children (Lydia and John) whose birth records show Daile, at the bottom of the same page, use Dailey. (The same issue is found in the children of Nathaniel "Daile," the elder Nezer's brother, on the page following.)

I've entered the LNABs of all the children as "Dailey," but in doing so have I violated Wikitree policy?

WikiTree profile: Nezer Daily
in Policy and Style by Stu Bloom G2G6 Mach 6 (64.6k points)

If I find that the father's name is consistently spelt one way, yet the children have differing spellings, I will go with the father's spelling.  The reasoning behind that is: that's how most people will look for them — AND IT IS IN ONE OF THE OFFICIAL WT HELP FILES that such should be the case.  (I just can't find it in my bookmarks.) 

Nobody in their right mind is going to see a single family in the same house with the father as John Beauchamp, and his children as Susan Beecham, Martin Bowchomp, Henry Beechamp, Margaret Beauchamp, Alexander Beauchamps, and say "I must use the LNAB as given on this document", making a family that looks disconnected and stupid.

Well, there are those who question whether I'm in my right mind laugh, but I agree with you on the logical way to handle it. I was just looking for the official imprimatur.

I tried to find the help file whatsit, but am not having any luck.  (I think my brain is fried from two days straight of scouring the GRO for a particular family.)

If it helps at all, I asked a similar question some time ago and got answers very similar to what I said to you here.  smiley

It's not a policy, it's a guideline. I think of it as an "all else being equal" rule -- and most of the time, all else is not equal, because surname spellings sensibly matching in a family (just for sanity's sake!) overrides the spelling whims of clerks and priests.
Melanie, that is an extreme example (about the Beauchamps), but what if those children went by the various names all their lives?  In my own family, I have examples of people going back and forth between "Kelts" and "Keltz" generation after generation.

@ Julie .. I couldn't think of a better example of how something may look if written as heard, by comparison with the actual spelling.

IF the person went by a totally different last name than their parent and siblings .. more power to them, but I was a Paul born and nobody spelling it Paull or Powell, or Pauell, or Pavel, or any other variation is going to make me anything other than Paul.  cheeky

You, however, are talking of between generations, not within the same generation in the same family group.  (Cousins, schmuzzins .. let them do as they wish.  If my Beauchamp family want to change their spelling next generation down, so be it, but Papa Beauchamp was Beauchamp and some clerk writing it down as he heard it when registering the children does not change that his children are also, for this generation, Beauchamp as well.)

And if Peter Andrew Edward Charles Beauchamp decides before he has kids he will start being known as Beecham, that becomes his CLN, but the LNAB is still GrandPapa Beauchamp's LN and spelling, because his father (Henry, as mentioned above) never changed HIS LN.

I'm a little confused by what you've said.  If a name changes, there is always going to be a point of change within a particular family.  Also, in the times before spelling was standardized and literacy was widespread, we are always going to have to make judgments.

Let's say there are two brothers, John and George.  John has gone by Kelts all his life (or at least in the preponderance of records) and George by Keltz, and we do not have birth records.  Should I give them both the same surname, based on the father's usage?

And by the way, some names seem especially prone to misspellings.  People have misspelled my name all my life, as recently as last week.
Mine too.

/s/ Stu/Stew Bloom/Blume/Blum
Julie, my take is that if there exists a "preponderance of evidence" for a particular spelling for a particular person, then you may as well use that. It's when you have a grand total of two mentions of a person, each with a different spelling, that the spelling used by the rest of the family makes more sense.

(I've been working on a great-great-grandmother. I've basically entered everyone as Gálfy, although the records vary between that and Gálfi, Gálffi, Gállfi, Gállfy, Gálffy, Gálfÿ, Gálffÿ, and Gállfÿ. I believe I have at least one each of those spellings somewhere, including numerous records where it's spelled one way in one column, and a different way in another column.)

3 Answers

+3 votes
Best answer

You're okay, Stu. See: which says:

"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."

by Jillaine Smith G2G6 Pilot (775k points)
selected by Stu Bloom
+5 votes
I claim no special expertise in this arena, but I think I would have done it exactly the way you did it.  The records are from an era when spelling was a crap shoot and those who could write just wrote what they heard.  In fact, I don't understand why Ebenezer's name is spelled "Daily" on his profile, since there don't appear to be any sources or references that would support that spelling.
by Dennis Barton G2G6 Pilot (408k points)
I agree about Daily, but since I'm not the PM or on the TL, I decided not to deal with that, at least not yet.
+6 votes
Personally, I write exactly what is on the birth record.  Then in Other Last Names add the name the majority of the family used.  If the death record shows a different spelling, that goes in Current Last Name.

Why is this important?  Unless you have tracked descendants of all the children, you may run into the name changing later (how you may be able to track branches of the same family).  You may find that other records are under the birth spelling.

From my vantage point, I don't feel I can assign a name just because it looks crazy to a modern, literate population.
by Kathy Rabenstein G2G6 Pilot (260k points)
I am with Kathy on this, as I have branches where the spelling diverged and stuck with some descendants, while others reverted to the previous (grandparents) spelling - so you have a family split with two or more different spellings coming down in time.

I also tend to go with Kathy's method, spelling as you say is a crap shoot, but Melanie's example gives rise to the whole issue of ''dit'' names in this area, Jean Quelquechose (invented) dit Beauchamp, with some of the children getting baptized under Quelquechose and some under Beauchamp.  Current or other last name boxes can show more modern spelling if desired.

Oh those dit names too! terrible they are, the damn things! as if the spelling randomness and the habit of naming all the kids the same as the previous generation and almost all the girls being Marie are not confusing enough!  My French Canadian branches make me crazy trying to keep them straight!
lol, Navarro, try it with only French ancestry.  Was really fun finding my paternal direct line ancestor, the name got changed by the priests for some reason in 19th century.  Across the board.  Was quite the puzzle until I followed the woman involved who was mother of the changed name kids.  Then I found the marriage.  Under Guyard instead of Liard.  Go figure, don't sound that close.

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