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Surname Variations

ProfilePosted byOptionsPost Date


Julie Report 4 Feb 2014 18:22

I am uncertain about whether I have found relatives of my 3x Great Grandmother. She was born around 1822 & all census entries consistently show the same place of birth, a small village. However, the parish registers have no entries under the surname quoted on her marriage in 1842 ( in a parish several miles away). The marriage details record her father as John, a labourer. The registers covering her birthplace have entries relating to John Somes or Soames, also a labourer, likewise a John Somes & family members appear on the 1841 census in the village. One of the baptism entries in 1823 with afther John Somes is the right first name for my 3x Great Grandmother. Is linking the surnames Somes/Soames to Summer stretching the imagination too far?



Inky1 Report 4 Feb 2014 21:50

Are you looking at actual, or images, of parish records? Or transcriptions?


jax Report 4 Feb 2014 22:25

Not many people could read and write back then so who ever was recording it would spell it as it sounded to them


Julie Report 4 Feb 2014 22:53

jax, the details come from a mixture of images and transcriptions, the parish registers covering the village of birth are transcripts that I have only just come across, but it is case of more than one transcript, where both are the same. It would mean a special trip to a county records office some distance away from where I live to see any fiches, which is why I was wondering if anyone had come across this kind of variation before.


SylviaInCanada Report 5 Feb 2014 05:25

Julie ..............

I think we have all come across variants in the spelling of names.

Remember most people were illiterate. Often, the enumerator was only slightly more illiterate than the others.

if you are illiterate you don't know how to spell your name, and you cannot read what someone else has written down.

Basically, I think we all at some point take a leap of faith ................. if all else fits, such as right place, right names, right dates, then accept that the name was spelled differently.

After all, who is to say which is the correct spelling???

Which one came first???

One of the names in my family is Cadd ..................... an early spelling in the Parish record is Cad

One of my early ancestors married a Joan, also written as Jone in one record.


Reggie Report 5 Feb 2014 10:38

Variations are the 'norm'

People in general were unable to read/write in those days, and the people who compiled the records would often write what they heard...............

My paternal line is Harvey - it has been recorded as it is now, and also as Harvy, and Harvie/ Harvee

Your query about linking Somes/Soames with Summer is confusing..............where does the name Summer appear?


Julie Report 5 Feb 2014 13:17

Summer appears on the marriage entry, which was in a parish some distance away from the birth parish. Somes or Soames appear in transcriptions for the birth parish.