In What's in a Name? Spelling Issues in Genealogy we are advised to assume "furious and crazy phonetic spelling, pre-1850," something which may or may not put a glitch in your family history research as you discover misspellings and incorrect census records. The author notes one example of such a case with her own great-great-grandfather, Francis William Pettygrove, who is listed on several annals as Frances, Francis W., F.W., Pettigrove, Pettigrew, Pettygrew, and Petigrow.
As troublesome as this might be that a mere letter could cause you to miss a critical record, keen researchers have grown family tree websites or family associations, collecting all possible spellings, hoping not miss vital information.
With MyHeritage.com's collaborative online family tree, family members can easily be invited to add and suggest name spellings, making your family tree more accurate. To create your basic family tree online for free, visit MyHeritage.com.
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