1 Name. 61 Variants

Anyone who’s been researching been researching for longer than a week will know that name variants play a big HUGE part in research. Both with first names, and surnames. Figuring out how names were potentially spelt (or ‘spelled’ for my North American readers) can be the difference between finding them or not. I’m not going to go into the in’s and out’s of name variants, but rather I wanted to highlight two particular surnames, and all the variants that I’ve found for them so far. There’s 61 of them for one, and 31 for the other. And truth is, I really wouldn’t be surprised if more show up. So let’s start with ELLIOT. This is one of Mr Lonetester’s branches, while ELLIOTT (with two “Ts”) is one of mine, with no connection that I know of between them at this stage. We all know that there are numerous variants of Elliott: one “L”, two “Ls”, one “T”, two “Ts”, but what I didn’t realise is just how many more there really are. One thing I like to do when beginning searching a new surname is to note down all the variants. That way when I’m searching, be it a website, a book or records, I can look for them all, and see what I come up with. Mr Lonetester’s ELLIOT family possibly came from Sussex (that’s still to be verified), but I headed (online) to the Sussex Family History Society to browse around and see what they had. Now they have the coolest thing on their website, and that’s the Sussex People Index.  In their words … The Sussex People Index consists of any names that anyone can submit from anywhere – the only condition is that the event reported must...

Genealogy Close Calls

I was inspired to write this post as a result of reading Heather Rojo’s blog, Nutfield Genealogy, when wrote about her “Top Ten Genealogy Close Calls“. The title alone intrigued me, as I wasn’t quite sure what she meant by ‘genealogy close call’. But she explains it well: “What’s a “Genealogy Close Call”? It happens when I research an ancestor and realize that if fate didn’t intervene I wouldn’t be here today. Some of our ancestors narrowly escaped disasters, only to live on and produce a descendant that led to YOU. “ So that got me thinking. Did I have any “genealogy close calls”. My initial thoughts were no, but as the day progressed I remembered the following incidents: MY GENEALOGY CLOSE CALLS WILLIAM KENNARD ELPHICK (c1815-1869)  – Survived the voyage and wife SUSANNA ELPHICK (nee ELLIOT) (c1812-1899) William and his wife Susanna married in London in November 1838, and then immediately boarded the ‘Plantar’ ship to start a new life in Australia. The journey which on average takes about four months, took almost six months partly due to the captain’s incompetence – missing a port where they were meant to collect supplies, and having to stop elsewhere as a result, together with other misadventures such which included much of the crew being lost, as were some passengers and most of the livestock. Eventually a new crew was acquired and the journey continued. For more on their story click here. The Elphick family settled in Adelaide, and had numerous children. The Elphick’s are Mr Lonetester’s 3x great grandparents. While not everyone survived this journey, they did, and if they hadn’t he wouldn’t have be here. OTTO RAFAEL WINTER (1880-1961) – WW1 injuries Otto Winter was born in Finland and spent 7...

Genealogy Serendipity … It Happens!...

The dictionary defines serendipity as “the faculty of making fortunate discoveries by accident”, therefore I would think that genealogy serendipity could be defined as “finding genealogical information by accident” … right? I have read of this happening to others, and through their words could even feel their excitement. Even the happy dancing bit! But seriously this is one of those “it’ll-never-ever-ever-happen-to-me-in-a-million-years” things, which I was cool with, and life goes on. But apparently today was out to prove me wrong. So let me take you through my serendipity moment. One of the many tasks my job entails is typing up all the new titles on to our work  website (www.gould.com.au). This is cool, because it means I get to see every new product that gets added on which helps we with advising customer who have queries etc. Today I was working my way though a pile of new titles that one of my supplier had sent me. They actually send me titles they think would be something we’d like. Some make it online. Some don’t. Anyway one that I came across was a book titled  “A Voyage to Australia: Private Journal of James Bell”. Shipboard diaries aren’t the world best sellers, so I hummed and haared about whether to add this one or not. But it looked interesting so I added it on. The book is the diary written by James Bell and records life onboard the ‘Plantar’ ship which left London in November 1838 and arrived in South Australia in May 1839. The reason for the almost six-month journey partly due to the captain’s incompetence, together with other misadventures such which included much of the crew being lost, as were some passengers and most of the livestock. A...