So, earlier this evening I was at our local Family History Center, and found two transcriptions of one of my 3rd great-grandma’s baptism. (She was baptized as an adult). On the first transcription it gives her name as Susannah, and gives her Dad’s name as John Freis. The second transcription has her name as Susanna, and has her Dad’s name as John Kreis. Which names should I use?
Just in passing ...
You are in control ...
IF, you can 'see' the "Image" of a "Record"; THEN, ... DO NOT ... concern yourself, with the "Transcription".
Use the "Name" (or, "Names"), that you 'see' ...
"Transcription Errors" are rife, in "Indexed" Records.
Some of the "Sources" (ie. "Records") in 'FamilySearch', allow for "Editing" (or, "Correcting") the likes of "Transcription Errors".
Whereas, MOST do not.
And, anyway, even ...
IF, you CANNOT 'see' an "Image" of a "Record" (and, ONLY, have the "Index"); THEN, from your own "Research" and judgement, you can make an informed decision; as, to which "Name" (or, "Names"), is either, the most correct; or, the more appropriate, to use.
Again, you are in control ...
And, in any case, ...
IF, you make a mistake (or, just change you mind), no harm done; THEN, just correct (ie. address/fix) it ...
We ALL make MISTAKES ...
NONE of us are PERFECT ...
Just my thoughts.
I am just using various forms of both last names for her parents with the hopes I will get some hints.
If there's any chance of looking at an original document rather than a transcription, use whatever your reading is of the original.
If only the transcriptions are available, you'll need to find other records about Susanna and her dad to see if that first letter is really an F or a K.
(I wouldn't much worry about Susanna versus Susannah. They're the same thing; choose whichever one you like. Your great-great-great-grandmother didn't care, even if she was literate.)2
The PID in question is LCMG-JZC.
Several historical records that are indexed on FamilySearch give her maiden surname. They spell it Crise in 1849 and Kreis in 1851, 1853, 1855, and 1856. Evidently she was German. Crise is not a typical German surname; most instances of it in FamilySearch appear to be American phonetic spellings of Kreis. Kreis is a fairly common German surname.
Fries sounds like "freeze". Kreis sounds like "cris" as in crisis, Christ, etc. Thus, Fries is not a phonetic spelling deviant but rather a written transcription deviant and, as such, most likely a transcription error.
tl;dr: Her surname is Kreis.
Also, it is not helpful to validate deviant spellings by entering them as Alternate Name entries. This is not necessary, because Family Tree has built in matching of spelling variations. Misuse of Alternate Name entries merely causes false matches in Find searches and false Research Hints.0
I should have said these were the original church records.
The first one I found with the spelling “Freis” was quite interesting!0
Paleography (deciphering old handwriting) is a skill and an art. There are many old handwriting styles that look basically nothing like what we use nowadays; the secretary hands encountered for example in English legal records and the German scripts in all sorts of pre-20th-century German-language records all may as well be Mongolian where most people are concerned.
In the record where you read it as Freis, did you find another name known to start with F written with the same letterform? (Given names like Frank or Felicia, or common surnames like Fisher, are better for this than more obscure surnames, especially if another reading is about equally likely, like Tight versus Fight.)1
In that hand, that's almost certainly an F. However, between the type of lined paper and the handwriting style, the entry as a whole gives a strong 20th century vibe to me: are you sure this isn't a hand-copied archive version, rather than an actual original register?1
Based on a preponderance of evidence from indexed historical records attached to the daughter, LCMG-JZC, the surname would appear to be Kreis.
If there is a legacy dispute then the solution is more research. Research both Kreis and Freis (and Fries, and any other spelling).0