Casefile Clues

03 March 2007

Spelled 4 Ways on One Census Page

Barnes, Barams, Barse, Barrus, all one one page of the 1860 census. All refer to several different members of the Behrens family of Golden, Adams, Illinois. Multiple spellings and odd variants are a way of life for genealogists, particularly those whose ancestors do not speak the local language. Because of oddities like these, it is necessary to always look for different family members when searching the census and to consider how your ancestor might have pronounced his name and how a census taker might have heard what came out of your ancestor's mouth.
Four ways is quite a few, but I'm certain somewhere there are five spellings of the same name on the same page.
What makes some kind of statement is that I'm related to half the entries on this one page of the 1860 census!
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