Your Quick Tips, 13 October 2008

Trash to Treasure
I made a storage space from an old entertainment center I found in the trash. By putting a shelf in the TV section I now have a place for all my notebooks, books, and folders.  The glass side holds paper, empty folders, pencils and anything else I may need. The top holds my in and out baskets and maps.
Sally Jaquet 

Historical Maps on Wikimedia Commons
Wikimedia Commons hosts images of maps of many, many places in the world–all over 70 years old, and out of copyright. What a find!

Dee Whiting

Name Pronunciation
In regards to last week’s tip on name variants, it’s also very helpful to have a handle on how our ancestors’ names would have been pronounced by them. Many of our ancestors could not read or write, and therefore they perhaps could not spell their own names, and/or, some census takers simply spelled what they heard. In some German dialects, Nagel is pronounced with an almost imperceptible “g” — something close to ‘nay hil’, which is pretty close to “nail”.

Lynne Collins

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3 thoughts on “Your Quick Tips, 13 October 2008

  1. I went looking for the Old Maps at Wikimedia Commons and got this message today 12 Oct 2008:
    Old maps/
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  2. Because of early illiteracy most names were phoneticised by census takers, and all of them wrote what they heard, and various census takers, and land recorders, court clerks, and others were responsible for such a wide variety of name spellings, which became the “official” recognized spelling of names in different areas, even though some names descended from a common source. Such spellings as MacLeod, and McCloud resulted, even though the original (maybe) spelling had been MacLeod, depending on the part of Ireland or Scotland that the name might have descended from. Names like MacGee became “Magee” and so fourth, mainly because of pronunciation. Literacy seems to freeze the spelling of names, and illiteracy, the opposite effect.
    Names really have no “correct” spelling, and the tendency to add an “s” to names like Evan became Evans, because that tendency was evident in speech patterns. William became Williams, et cetera. Some names never got the “s” treatment because of the inconvenience of joining certain sounds. The more fluid sounds got the treatment. This same pattern can be observed in the development of “an apple” instead of the influid “a apple”.

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