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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2013

    genealogy questions

    Wasn't sure where to put this post, but I figured some of you might be into genealogy (sort of goes hand-in-hand with name interest sometimes, doesn't it?) and know something about this.

    Okay, so I asked a name question last night that got me looking into my genealogy a little bit. I was just Google-ing and stumbled across obituaries for a couple of my relatives, my grandma Lucille's maternal grandparents. But the odd thing is, their names were wrong...or at least different than I was told when I had to make my family tree for a school project years ago. I know with 100% certainty that these records are talking about my relatives, because of the city and the unusual Slavic last names and the names of their children are listed as well, including my great-grandmother's married name (also unusual and Slavic). So, without a doubt these are my people. BUT...I was always told their names were Alexandor nn "Shandor" and Suzanna...the obits say "Alex" and "Susan". Why would this be? They both passed away in the early 1950's, if that is helpful in any way.
    Mommy to...Maura Lucille and Patrick Donley

  2. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2012
    Liverpool, England
    Obituaries aren't always formal. It depends who wrote them and how well they knew them I suppose.

    ★ August Eli Benedict ★ Bram ★ Casimir Mordecai ★ Edmond John Meirion ★ Gillon ★
    ★ Jory Leander ★ Julian Charles ★ Macsen ★ Magnus ★ Vasiliy ★


    ★ Aira Rose ★ Arietta ★ Clover ★ Delphina ★ Eleni ★ Fiorella ★ Hester Isobel ★
    ★ Iris ★ Lilah ★ Merit ★ Sylvia ★

    Sorry to anyone who read TSI. First draft was terrible. Second drafting now.

  3. #5
    Join Date
    May 2013
    So, you think Susan was like a nickname for Suzanna? I guess I could see that, especially if "Suzanna" with a Z was somehow perceived as "foreign"...they were touchy about that, from what I'm told. But I swear Alexandor was called "Shandor", not Alex...
    Mommy to...Maura Lucille and Patrick Donley

  4. #7
    Join Date
    May 2012
    Yes, I agree with renrose.

    My grandmother has given me names and stories of people in her family that she knew personally.
    And when I look them up in the census documents their names are spelled incorrectly.

    I think a lot of it is just human error. The census taker is in a hurry and they cared more about how many people were in the family, how many were adults, m/f, etc. for tax purposes. They didn't care so much if they spelled their name with an e or an a or if they went by their middle name.

    Historical documents are a great reference point, but I'd go with family knowledge first unless it's the story of a story of a story (aka 3rd hand account).
    Top Names: Benedict Calvin & Noelle Geneva
    Olivia/Livy : Darah/Bethel : Eve/Verity
    Eli/Solomon : Luke/Zane: Levi/Phineas
    Due in January!

  5. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Hey there @4hatkathryn

    I just wanted to pop in and say that I have been researching my family history for over 10 years now, and I can tell you that variations in names are very common, with both given and surnames. I have traced back to 5 generations+ back on all of my families' branches, and regardless of origin, there is some differences when it comes to naming. If I had to guess, it could be due to a number of reasons, but in most of my families' cases, it was due to the strong desire to assimilate into American culture during this country's high nationalist times. In all of these instances, they would be know by one name by family and close friends (often times, they lived in cultural neighbors where they still would speak their native languages, etc), and use another name professionally / with work friends / the public. Alexandor/Shandor using "Alex" and Suzanna using "Susan" seem pretty straightforward.

    A couple of examples to illustrate my point:

    I only found out that my own grandfather was christened Salvatore from digging into ancestry information. He was always "Samuel / Sam". My father and his siblings (my grandfather's children) were equally clueless until I showed them what I had found.

    Marianne used "Mary", Maria used "Mary," Jan used "John," Nunziata used "Nancy", Giuseppina used "Josephine", Teofil used "Eddy", Liboria used "Lillian", Calogero used "James", Flaminio used "Flemming / Fleming", Giralamo used "James"...

    And then there's my great-grandfather who was born Michele Allegra (that's mee-KEL-ay) who changed his entire name because he was told that his name was much too feminine sounding for the American ear. He simply used Mike ___Current Version of Our Family's Name___ on all of his documentation shortly after arriving and used the variation all of his children's birth certificates too.

    Changes, especially little ones like in your family where the names are in the same name family, are extremely common. (And don't get me started on how many variations that you'll come across for SURNAMES!)
    Last edited by teacherma; February 7th, 2014 at 10:10 PM.
    "Don't try to be modern, it's the most old-fashioned thing there is," - Attilio, The Tiger and the Snow

    Domenico, Gianfranco, Giacomo, Antonio, Raphael, Calogero, Leopold, Angelo, Giorgio, Alban, Malachi, Dante, Mirek, Dario, Lionel, Asa, Valerio
    Katarina, Irena, Silvia, Aniela, Delfina, Raffaella, Apollonia, Cecilia, Pasqualina, Rosina, Josephine, Allegra, Romana, Alba, Bronya, Adrasteia, Vincenza, Althea, Eurydice, Regina, Mirellina, Arianell, Sonia, Talia, Cordelia, Leona/Leonie

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