19 June 2009

READERS' FEEDBACK: Chicago records online & spelling

Within an hour of yesterday's posting Chicago: accessing online records, Tami and Jackie provided additional insight to help Ol' Myrt with her Illinois ancestry. Both responses came via my Facebook account, where a copy of all blog entries are automatically cross-posted.

FROM: Jackie Fry
"The only thing I don't like is when I went to look up my parents marriage record, my mother's maiden name GENTZEN was misspelled, BUT when I looked up her BIRTH record it was spelled correctly. Now whenever I look up the former, I go by my dad's surname (and mine) of FRY because at least that is spelled right."

The spelling of names is more than a challenge of interpreting old handwriting. Ol' Myrt here has an ancestor in Maryland who purchased many tracts of land along the Pautuxent River beginning in 1679. On one of the land transaction documents, his name was spelled two different ways, and he signed it a third way. That sort of thing wrecks havoc when attempting to figure out which way to spell his name in a database.
Ol' Myrt here settled for spelling his name the way it appeared on the majority of the proof documents mentioning him. However, the transcriptions of each document faithfully followed the spelling (or misspelling).

FROM: Tami Glatz
Re: Chicago: accessing online records
"The Newberry Libary sponsors www.chicagoancestors.org which links to the Cook County Illinois databases, and includes several other good ones - city directories, maps, and lots more, under the "tools" tab."

FROM: Jackie Fry
TO: DearMYRTLE & Tami
"I love the htwww.chicagoancestors.org site. I have found many of my relatives in the city directories."

THANKS Jackie and Tami for your encouragement. Such interaction among genealogists is how we learn. I can hardly wait to start using the ChicagoAncestors.org website.

Happy family tree climbing!
Myrt :)
Your friend in genealogy.

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