26 January 2013

Wait...how does the name go again?

In researching my Samoan genealogy. I really have to keep an open mind on researching a name. I have come across many different experiences that my list of keeping track and understanding how the name works in Samoan genealogy keeps me on my toes.

I came across an old post on Ancestry.com Samoa message board about a post of an individual who had questions on a surname she was researching in her family history.
Here were the shallenges and concerns of that post:
1) Family members gone by a nickname, usually a name of a grandparent or other relative that is not actually their given name.
2) others gone by the name of their village
3) people have taken surnames from other family members for variety of reasons
-raised by grandparent
-raised by uncle/auntie
-took name of stepparent (not legally adopted)
-took name of grandparent, uncle/aunt out of respect

I agree with the challenges of the above post. I have come across the same roads as well and will add in a few challenges of my own in researching a name on my family tree. These apply to both first names and last names.
4) A person is only known by one name.
5) They joined a church and started a new life, thus changing their name to represent their new life.
         Sometimes this is documented.
6) A name may have different variations of spellings.
-a letter or letters may be left off.
-the name is shorten, when actually it is part of a longer name.
7) If a person received a Title. That person is now known by Title name.
8) Last name and first names are swopped.
9) Person took the middle name of one of the parents as their last name.

Have you had had challenges similar as listed up above? I'd like to hear them. Please post them on the comments below or on the Samoan Genealogy Group Facebook page. These things can really help others researching their family history.

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