Casefile Clues

30 April 2007

What name do you use?

I've used my complete name ever since I started writing and lecturing about genealogy. However, the funny thing is that many times I get "billed" as John Michael Neill or John Neill.

Ironic when one considers that my name was actually supposed to be in that order. That is another story.

But it goes to show that occasionally even genealogists get names wrong. I'm not bothered by the name change, but it does make a point: even family historians, who are often painfully aware of name variants, can occasionally make a mistake.

The only thing that really irritates me is when my last name is written as O'Neill. Since 1864 we have never had an "O." I figure why start now?

It also gets spelled as Neil or Neal and the ways it gets pronounced never ceases to amaze me. But it could have been worse: My mother's maiden name was Ufkes and my grandmother's maiden name was Trautvetter.