The Spelling of Names

When I became interested in my family’s genealogy, I learned quickly to be open minded with the spelling of the surnames I was searching. Some surnames were easy to identify even in their many variations. Others were less so, but I have had a lot fun keeping count of the different spellings. I’ve shared these spellings with cousins individually in the past, but thought other cousins who read my blog would find the name variations interesting as well. (Notice I am assuming someone does read my blog!)

I started initially researching the surname Talbott. Other spellings included:

Talbot
Talbert
Tolbert
All in all, I was able to keep track of the family back through the years.

Howard proved a trickier name to track back through the records. After “losing” the family only 3 generations back, I found the name was Harward. At this point, the family remembered that indeed the family name was Harward, but no one knew the reason for the change to Howard. Lesson learned: Ask for family name variations when interviewing older family members. Through the records other variations were found:

Harward
Harwood
Haward
Hawood
Harrard
Herrod
Harard
Harrod

The Haley family out of Halifax County, Virginia also has a number of variations including:

Hailey
Haly
Heley
Healey
I am early in the process of tracing this family, but keeping an eye out for other variations.
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