TMG-L ArchivesArchiver > TMG > 2011-01 > 1294844944
From: "John Cardinal" <>
Subject: Re: [TMG] "Conclusions"
Date: Wed, 12 Jan 2011 10:09:04 -0500
> -----Original Message-----
> [mailto:] On Behalf Of Terry Reigel
> Sent: Wednesday, January 12, 2011 9:26 AM
> Subject: Re: [TMG] "Conclusions"
> Pierce Reid wrote:
> > On the other hand, you may know what a name should be,
> > and can see that the wriggly lines could be the census
> > taker's attempt to write the correct name, although
> > Ancestry's transcriber may have guessed that the wriggly
> > lines said something else. (In that case, my citation
> > detail describes how Ancestry has recorded the text.)
> I don't see any reason to perpetuate Ancestry's
> > The census taker may also have used an abbreviation that
> > the family never used. How many families call their son
> > James "Jas", although that may be the abbreviation used
> > by the census taker, to save writing a couple of letters.
> > If so, should that be a name variation that you enter
> > into your database?
> Never, in my view. As I said above, it may appear as written
> in either the Source Defintion or CD, but never as a name
> variation unless I think it's a name actually used by the
> person (and not even then if it's an obvious diminutive of
> the primary name). Others, of course, may differ. <g>
I agree with Terry, but I'll add my two cents.
One somewhat-related exception is that I will add a name variation for
alternate spellings if I think it will help me later to find the person in
my own project. So, if a person's surname was spelled "Cardinaux" in 1650,
but changed over time to "Cardinal", then I'll add a name variation of
"Cardinal" to all the Cardinaux.
I record the name as accurately as I can in the citation detail, and that
may include both whatever the transcriber wrote, and whatever the enumerator
wrote, if they are different. I think Terry records one or both of those in
the CD, too. I admit to not being 100% consistent; I don't record "Jas" for
James, or "Chas" for Charles, "Jno" for John, etc., especially for a source
where I have given a precise description. For example, if one has recorded
the location down to the enumeration district, page, and line number, any
future researcher should be able to find a person in the census even though
I didn't record that the entry was for "Jas", not "James".