My wife, Carol, received an email from one
of her many contacts, the other day. This email came as quite a
revelation! We had known for some time that in the past, many people
couldn't write and it was often left to the village scholar or the local
vicar to record events.
We also knew that when writing names, they
were often written as they sounded to the writer. This of course led to
the many variations of surnames that are in use now.
My own name 'Ackroyd' for example has many
variations, and we have actually found different spellings on a single family
So getting back to the email. Carol had
been researching my maternal great grandmothers name 'Holling'. In doing
so she checked the usual variations, such as, Hollin; Hollings; Hilling
and many more. Then she read an email that told her that new variations
including: Hollingworth; Hollingsworth; Hollinsworth and several similar
names should be checked.
Prior to this, Carol had hit a brick wall
with her research on 'Holling'. But adding these new variations to her
research literally had the wall demolished within days! She found many
references to these new variations and lo and behold... she found several
links to our own 'Holling'.
So, don't despair if you hit your own brick
wall, just use the old grey matter to think of a few variations for names
that you are researching.
You should find many books about
'Surnames'. Use our links to 'Amazon.co.uk' or if you are researching
'Yorkshire Surnames', Then you could try the excellent books by Dr. George
Redmonds, you'll find them at the bottom of our 'Yorkshire
Search Service' page.
Addendum: Carol has just found out
that we have another 'John Smith' on a direct line - The mind
boggles!! She's currently sifting through hundreds of them in the
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