APG-L ArchivesArchiver > APG > 2004-10 > 1098545091
From: Ray Beere Johnson II <>
Subject: Re: [APG] O'Neil indexed as Cheal
Date: Sat, 23 Oct 2004 08:25:28 -0700 (PDT)
I understand and agree with your point about
the original posting. My intention, not very
clear I'm afraid, was twofold. First, to provide
a reminder of *all* the possible reasons a record
can be difficult to find. Second, and most
importantly, to point out that, when trying to
guess the errors which may have been added by
indexers unfamiliar with any or all of the names
common in America, it is not enough to speculate
how the indexer may have read the "correct"
version of the name. We must also try to guess
how that same indexer might have read, and
modified, the more obscure variants of that name.
Of course, the ideal would be to persuade
those who hire indexers to stick with employees
who are likely to be more familiar with the names
they encounter, but I'm not about to hold my
breath waiting for that to happen!
By the way, a few of the variants I have
found of Irish names are much worse than the
examples you gave for Donovan... A few of them
from the 1850 and 1855 Censuses are almost
Eastern European in their spellings, and when you
read them, you need to stop and really think to
figure out what name must have been meant.
--- Katherine Flynn <> wrote:
> Dear Ray,
> I completely agree with what you say below.
> the poster made it clear that in the case she
> writing about the original record was correct
> and it
> was the indexer who created the mutation. My
> was a specific comment against that case.
> With warm regards,
> a descendant of Donovan, aka Dunavin, Danavin,
> --- Ray Beere Johnson II <>
> > Kathy;
> > Although I agree offshore indexing staff
> > add to the problems of locating records, this
> > not always the cause of the trouble. Even
> > America, not everyone is familiar with every
> > name. There are many early records in
> > Massachusetts which reveal numerous
> > spellings of common Irish names; these appear
> > the original record itself. Usually, I find
> > while searching for something for a client -
> > like to take the time to develop a database
> > commonly noted misspellings of these Irish
> > as I work with them a lot.
> > Then, a little later, the Irish got
> > revenge. In researching an Armenian family,
> > surname Ogassian came up. Yes, you guessed it
> > the name was spelled O'Gassian in many of the
> > original vital records where it was recorded.
> > Of course, when the indexing process
> adds an
> > entirely new layer of errors, it becomes even
> > more difficult to locate anyone. When I
> > contemplate the potential for errors, it
> > sometimes seems amazing to me that we are
> able to
> > successfully find anyone at all! There are
> > easy cases, who are indexed exactly as we
> > expected to find them, but for the rest it
> > takes a lot of knowledge and creativity to
> > overcome whatever obstacles stand in our way.
> > to mention hard work...
> > Ray
> > =====
> > Ray Beere Johnson II - Genealogist
> > 279 East Central Street, Suite 259
> > P. O. Box 95
> > Franklin, Massachusetts 02038
> > FAX: 508-541-6788
Ray Beere Johnson II - Genealogist
279 East Central Street, Suite 259
P. O. Box 95
Franklin, Massachusetts 02038
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|Re: [APG] O'Neil indexed as Cheal by Ray Beere Johnson II <>|