Great, great grandmother: Anna Burns 1841 - 1878, born in Ireland
Great grandmother: Mary C. Murphy 1864 - 1943 born in Brooklyn, NY
Great grand uncle: John Burns: 1866 - 1907 born in Brooklyn, NY
keep in mind any record can have errors.
Do you have anything to determine how SHE spelled her name herslf? - and records where she has signed her own signature? or did she have any sibling where is it clear how they spelled their name.
but also keep in mind - spelling consistency didnt really come to what it is today - until the mid 1900's . Before that spelling variations were quite common and people often Americanized their name when coming to America.
You ask "How to Resolve hte problem"
I think you need to step back and realized this may not be a preoblem at all - it is merley a manifestation of the human world that different records maight have different spellings - and maybe the person themselves didnt have a consistent spelling.
You can record different name spellings under the Altnernat Names option in FamilySearch. its not always a matter of right and wrong
many time its just a matter of these documents have this spellings and those documents have that spelling.
Thank you for responding. Unfortunately I have nothing else nor could I find anything on either spelling. I do have to say that I find it difficult to understand how McCullough and McGough could have been interchanged. It’s just another one of those frustrating roadblocks on the convoluted genealogy highway.
The information on the death certificate comes from someone who may or may not know or remember correctly the name. If it is a spouse or child of her daughter, how well did they know grandma to know her maiden name. Marriage records can be helpful for maiden names, either her own or sometimes her children. Generally the person is still living at the time their child is married so likely more accurate. Keep searching and use wild cards such as * or ? to find all the options.
it would have been very easy for this name transition
Keep in mind In Scottish the two are probably pronounced very close to each other
and here in America they probably would have wanted it simplified any ways
I have seen name changes much more drastic than that.
check out this link
Sadly, it might well be that - as in my case - you will never be able to establish the "original" spelling of the family name. I have a HARROD great grandfather, but earlier generations called themselves (or were recorded as) both HEROD and HARWOOD. So, who knows how the name was "originally" recorded?
As suggested, dialect and mishearing the name can be factors when it comes to how a name has been recorded. You will just have to pick what you think is the "more likely" spelling to use in your main record and add the other name as an alternate one.
The pain with Irish surnames is that their spelling can be Anglicized back in Ireland resulting in all sorts of variations that, once you layer English & American pronunciations on top of the Anglicized spellings... Well... Chaos.
Having said that, John Grenham's Irish Names facility on https://www.johngrenham.com/surnames/ doesn't suggest any link between McCullough and McGough, so maybe this is a case of misremembering - they knew the rear part was "ough" and that was about it...
one example of an Irish name that has numerous spelling variations among them - the most common probably being KAVANAUGH
apparently the name was originally Caomhánach
some of the variation is simply how the name was pronounced
but again - surname spelling consistency - is a thing of the 20th century
to assume that there was only a RIGHT and WRONG way to spell the family name across multiple generation - is just an idea that for a large degree - didnt exist in many places and prior centuries.
forgot to include link