HUDGINS-L ArchivesArchiver > HUDGINS > 2006-02 > 1138855207
Subject: Re: Hudgins Search
Date: 1 Feb 2006 21:40:07 -0700
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This is an awfully late response to your last post, but I can tell you that as you continue in your research, you will find many, many different spellings of this surname.
The reasons for this are nearly as numerous as the spelling variations, but I think it's safe to say that a good number of the spellings evolved from mispronunciation (read: southern accents), and poor education the further back you go...most people didn't get beyond 8th or even 6th grade education back then, and weren't terribly skilled spellers.
You'll find phonetic spelling in a lot of cases - a good example of which is in the Census records, where brothers are living side-by-side, but can be found listed as "Hudgins" and "Hudgeons"...it just depends on the education of the Census Taker and/or the education/knowledge of the person that answered the door that afternoon, as well as family feuds and the resulting disownments that sometimes accompany them, lending themselves to purposful re-spellings and so on.
I personally have a list of about 3 pages of typed up variations of Hudgins spellings, along with sample cursive styles to aid me as I read the Census sheets...ya gotta love some of that old-style handwriting. /grin
Hope this is helpful. Good luck!