Which name spelling belongs in the Vital Record
He. his siblings and ancestors were registered at birth with a surname of "Waters". His marriage, descendants and death were registered as "Watters". Should his birth record spelling "Waters" be used for his Vitals? There are multiple records requiring merging, using either names. Which one do I keep as vital and which one is put in Alternate? Thank you.
@Susan Mavor The spelling he used would predominate. If he applied for the marriage license, he chose the spelling, if he was literate. Same for a draft registration - that would be his choice. Birth record may be an anomaly, an error by the recording clerk or priest.
I have families where one sibling consciously chose a different spelling, with the same pronunciation.1
David had 10 siblings. They were all baptised from 1824 to 1840 with the name "Waters" and in the 1851 Census all 11 members were spelled "Waters". His father James and 7 siblings born from 1800 to 1819 were spelled "Waters" . David changed it to "Watters" when he married in 1858 and had his children. As head of the house in 1861 he spelled his name "Watters" He is from the transition generation.
I feel his and his siblings vital should be Waters with their birth record and 1851 Census as a source. Watters should be recorded as an alternate with his marriage and death as source. His 10 children will be "Watters" as they are statutory registered as such from the years 1858 to 1883.
I have multiple merges to make and have to decide the vital name on David and 10 siblings transitional generation. They were all born "Waters" I can find no hard and fast rule. Just a suggestion the predominant name rules which multiple people have interpreted either way. I don't want to spend further days merging without knowing 100% my interpretation is correct and the vital for David and his siblings should be "Waters". Thank you.1
You have supplied much more information in your reply. The when is an important part of the question There really is no "hard and fast" rule. In that time, so many people were not literate and could not tell the priest, minister, or clerk the spelling of their name. Those who were responsible for recording and reporting spelled the name as it sounded to them.
There is a saying in genealogy that spelling doesn't count. That's one reason that most genealogy search engines provide for the use of wildcards.2
Spelling consistency is a tghing of the 20th century
it really dindt exist much before that
check out: https://www.genealogy.com/articles/research/62_donna.html0
Welcome to the "Community.FamilySearch" Forum.
I am just another 'lowly' User/Patron ...
As an aside ...
Here are a few "Knowledge Articles" in 'FamilySearch':
How should I enter names in Family Tree?
And, although, not relevant in your case; but, just in case ...
How do I add nicknames to Family Tree?
That provided ...
On a personal note ...
[ ie. NOT getting into the likes of a 'Legal', Name Change ... ]
IF, it was me; THEN, in the "Vitals" Section, I would use (and, maintain) the original 'Family Name' / 'Surname', in your case, that of "WATERS".
ie. The 'Family Name' / 'Surname' relating, to; and, at, an individual's/person's "Birth".
ALL Other, versions; and, variants, of the Name (ie. 'Family Name' / 'Surname'), CAN; and, SHOULD, appear in the "Other Information" Section; as, an "Alternate Name".
But, remember, this is just my thoughts. other Users/Patrons will have other ideas.
Please be aware, that when another User/Patron, is "Searching" in "Family Tree" of 'FamilySearch' ...
IF, "All" the Other, versions; and, variants, of a "Name", are recorded in the "Other Information" Section; as, "Alternate Names", against an individual/person; THEN, the other User/Patron WILL "Find" THAN individual/person; as, the "Search" uses, BOTH, the "Name" in the "Vitals" Section; AND, "All" the "Alternate Names" in the "Other Information" Section.
I hope this helps.
ps: I know of an addition way, to accommodate, both, 'Family Name(s)' / 'Surname(s)'.
Brett, this family became very complicated to untangle. I am still working on it. Thanks for your input.
You mentioned you know of an additional way to accommodate both "Family Name(s) / Surname(s)". I am interested.
Waters vs Watters is such a minor difference that it probably doesn't really matter. Just keep in mind that the purpose of recording a name is to be able to identify the person. If multiple sources use multiple versions, use as the Vitals name what you think will accomplish that purpose best. I think you should go with what you already think is best as you described it. Waters for his Vitals name since that is on the birth record and Watters as an alternate name and Watters for all his children. Just be sure to post sources and reason statements to explain your reasoning.
Also, keep in mind that the Family Tree search, find, hint, and possible duplicate engines use both the Vitals name and all Alternate names so as long as all significant variations are included as alternate names, the family will be found by those routines.2
Paul W ✭✭✭✭✭
Yes, what an excellent enhancement to be able to search at https://www.familysearch.org/search/ for both the inputted name and alternate name(s) at the same time. This function was previously only available when searching from "Find" in Family Tree. As Gordon suggests, a search on "Watters" would probably bring-up "Waters" results, too (I haven't confirmed), although take care (if you haven't added one as an alternate name) - in the past, I found a search on "Ripon" ignored any "Rippon" instances. I have found this type of problem in other databases, too. When searching the GRO website (England & Wales birth & death registrations), a search using "phonetically similar" or "similar sounding" name options often fails to identify / produce the simplest of variants.0