QC-ETANGLO-L ArchivesArchiver > QC-ETANGLO > 2002-03 > 1017010424
From: "David J. Ellis" <>
Subject: RE: [QC-ETANGLO] CORRECTION: forests and clearings BATCHELDER/JUDKINS
Date: Sun, 24 Mar 2002 17:53:44 -0500
> The un-settled spelling of early records is alarming to us who are
> accustomed to surnames being spelled only a certain way. Yet
> when dealing
> with early records it is not unusual to find a surname
> spelled in several
> different ways within the same record or document.
> In the early records Batchelder has many variants and it is
> clear from
> Forest and Clearing, Judkins is another surname with variants.
> I, personally, would not consider the material in Forest and
> Clearings to
> be in error.
A few years ago while talking with the historian of our local historical
society in New Hampshire it was explained that one of the reasons for
spelling variation in the early 1800s was that the number of different ways
that a man could spell his name was considered to be a measure of his
education. We have an example in town where a doctor, his wife and children,
all in the same family plot, have different variant spellings of the surname
on the headstones.
There are other reasons such as the person recording the name (town clerk,
census marshal etc.) wrote what they heard and tended to use phonetic