Thursday, October 26, 2006

Wrong Name

Wrong name

From: Marcia
When going thru the LDS [databases] online I have found my great-grandmother listed as a spouse with the wrong maiden name. She was Florence Traer and she is listed as Florence Fraer. I e-mailed the gentleman who had listed the information but I notice that it hasn't changed. I know the correct name but for people in later years who are doing research this is going to send them off on a wild goose chase. How can this be corrected? I inquired of LDS and
they had no solution.

When deciphering cryptic handwriting, it is easy to see how the letter "F" and the letter "T" could easily be misinterpreted. Unfortunately, mistakes in the FIRST LETTER of a name really mess up where names appear in indexes. It is much less upsetting to see a "son" instead of a "sen" at the end of a name such as Peterson/Petersen.

While it is aggravating to have "wrong names" out there, researchers must accustom themselves to the phenomenon. I have an ancestor, Christopher GIST, who purchased property along the Pautuxent River in Maryland in 1679. On one land record, his name is spelled 2 ways and he signed it a 3rd way. Standardized spelling in the US didn't come into play until the
establishment of the Social Security Administration in the 1930s.

YOUR BEST DEFENSE is to submit your own database to LDS with living individuals blanked out, so that it will appear correctly in the future. Remember that the LDS site is going through a major revision, which should be going into BETA-2 testing sometime this century. It has been forestalled a number of months now. This may be why LDS offered no immediate solution.

Fortunately, and allow you to attach virtual "sticky notes" on a database entry with your comments about the correct spelling.

It would also be advisable to join the Traer surname mailing list at RootsWeb, and write a paragraph or two describing the situation. Be sure to reference the exact bibliographic citation of the documents you've obtained that clarify the spelling. If the mailing list does not automatically cross-post to the Traer message board, then make your own posting there as well.

-- Name Variations in United States Indexes and Records

There is also a .pdf version of this research guide.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)

Snail Mail Address:
227 Bellevue Way NE PMB 544
Bellevue, WA 98004

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