05 April 2014

Samuel Ooms Confused with Simon Holmes

Wrong names are the very bane of the genealogist's existence. This 1805 document could clear up the issue for a descendant of Simon Ooms.

This statement is from a document made out in 1805 in Philadelphia by Ooms--from the Seaman's Protection Certificates 1791-1861 posted digitally on FamilySearch. It is not often there's evidence of a "wrong" spelling right on the document. Apparently Simon Ooms sounded like Samuel Holmes to the individual filling out the document. It is easy to see how Ooms and Holmes could be confused.

I guess we should be glad there was no whiteout in 1805.

Ooms did sign his name further down on the document. It's possible that he recognized the error himself. Given that could sign his name it is also possible he could read.

We should all be so lucky as to have documents like this one in our past.