Name Switches

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What If I Can't Find My Ancestor's Name in a Search?

Name Switches

Name problems are not uncommon when researching your genealogy. You may encounter problems with spelling, phonics, and transcription errors from people who recorded the names previously. You may also find that people who have recorded your family history may have also switched first and last name.

Many census takers in history would visit several places of residence, such as boarding houses, that had several people of a different culture residing there. At times, due to the language barrier or people being absent and the census taker writing data from second hand information, the census take often combined the first name of one person with the last name of another, or even switched the first and last name of an individual.

If you are having trouble finding your ancestor in a search, try switching their first and last names and see what comes up.



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