21 August 2013

Is my advantage yours?

At school I was a terrible speller. It's a talent that's stayed with me. I finally found this an advantage when I took to family history. You need to think about how a name could be misspelled.
It seems I'm not alone. The other day I was speaking with BIFHSGO member Bill Arthurs who runs a Titus one-name study. He mentioned he recently included a listing of deviant names in US census records and it has been one of the most popular parts of the site.
How would you misspell Titus?
According to Bill's analysis 1,515 people, members of the Titus families, had surnames with deviant spelling. Most common was Fitus; second Titis, then Tytus. The others lagged well behind.
Deviant spelling may be deliberate as I suspect might be the case with Tytus. I had an ancestor who remarried to a Mr Price, but later wrote the name as Pryce.


turner said...

Thank heavens God invented spell check. Cheers.


Nancy Cutway said...

My second-cousin's story was that our shared great-great grandmother decided that McVety was "common" and McVetie was "more elegant" so when they moved from Ontario to Manitoba, she started spelling her husband's surname that way. I'm not unhappy about that: it makes it somewhat easier to find them on census, since the "y" on the end has often been mistakenly indexed by modern-day indexers as a "z".