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AfriGeneas World Research Forum

Re: Ducking immigration? False names

I always wonder about concluding "false names" In every ethnicity I have checked census for, the names are inconsistent.

Many times I simply believe that with European immigrants it was a language difficulty, and the English speaking census taker wrote what he THOUGHT he heard (you should see what they did to German or Bohemian names -- Middendorf was spelled Mindort) . Even with English names there is wide variation. In Arkansas Draughan came out Droughn (as used today) but on records was Drone and even Drown. So I am first ready to assume cesus taker error,

Then I am ready to assume people were willfully changing names, especially if later generations used that spelling. I have one document from PA in which Lichtenberg is spelled three ways on the same page. Next generation switched to LIGHTHILL. PULLET from Alabama is also sometimes POOLET. I am certain that some changes were deliberate, but surely quite a few were the census takers interpretations.

18 Dec 2002 :: 14 Nov 2008
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