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Archive for July 18th, 2018

During a recent call at the Genealogy Center, a patron was attempting to locate an ancestor. She was unable to locate this person in several different documents.  A review of the documents found the ancestor’s name with various spellings.

Do not be overly concerned with spelling, especially prior to 1900 in the United States. I found one cousin and his wife in the mid-1800s through various books and records. Both names had various spellings

Breathitt County, Kentucky is a location of several branches of my Fugate line.

Here at the Genealogy Center we have several volumes from Breathitt County, Kentucky. One of the marriage volumes by Frances Ingmire[i], shows the marriage of HOUDLEY Fugate to PALLY Napier. I pulled out my Fugate family history[ii] and found HENLEY Fugate was married to MARY Napier.

As I compared the dates and locations of the marriage, both volumes noted 25 Mar 1852 in Breathitt County, Kentucky.

I located a second volume of Breathitt County marriages[iii] by Margaret Millar Hayes. Her volume shows the marriage as HENLY Fugate & POLLY Napier.

Knowing that Mary and Polly could refer to the same individual I sought other documents to prove the correct (or most used) names.

The 1860 Federal Census shows HENDLEY and POLLY Fugate with three children[iv].

The 1870 Federal Census shows HENLY and POLLY Fugate with four children, the oldest having married and moved out[v].

In five resources I found four spellings for Henley (Houdley, Henley, Hendley, Henly) and 3 for Polly (Pally, Mary, Polly).

Spelling or transcription of 1800’s American penmanship can result in a variety names for the same people.

Erase the thought “My name is only spelled this way..”, when dealing with genealogy research documents.  Only in very specific instances will spelling matter. You may find valuable family information (and connections) in documents where the spelling of your relative’s name was not what you expected.

Good Hunting!

 

[i] Breathitt County, Kentucky Marriages, Frances T. Ingmire, Mountain Press, Signal Mountain, TN, page 2.

[ii] The Fugate Family of Russell County Virginia, David Faris, Gateway Press, Inc., Baltimore, MD. 1986, pp 74-75

[iii] Reconstructed Marriage Records of Breathitt County Kentucky 1839-1873 Including Marriages from Breathitt County Marriage Book 1 – 1874-1877, Margaret Millar Hayes, Heritage Books, Inc., Bowie, MD. 1994, pg 55.

[iv] 1860 Federal Census, Kentucky, Perry County, page 27, family #174.

[v] 1870 Federal Census, Kentucky, Perry County, Lost Creek District, page 2, family #9.

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