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Place spellings as well as ages are often incorrect in civil registrations just as they may be incorrect in United States vital records. Those who spell, calculate the dates, or inform the public about an individual often make mistakes. Those who made indexes of the original records may have misspelled the capital letter of the surname as well. Therefore, use several documents to verify information on your ancestors.

While traveling throughout Europe on a study group, your writer never became lost until traveling on a train through England. Local pronunciation of place names caused me to completely miss my stop. If on an 1850 census you find someone who says he is born in Haseboro, Norfolk, you will find no such place exists. A local authority will point out that Haseboro is a local pronunciation of Happisburgh. In Wales the Welsh accents are often misunderstood. Look at a good gazetteer that will provide both the English and the Welsh spellings for place names.

Naming Difficulties
If you are researching in Wales or Scotland, you must study the naming patterns of these countries before you embark very far on your genealogy journey. Without spending much time on this topic, suffice it to say you will run up against parallel patterns of girls named for grandmothers; interchangeable names such as Jean, Janet, or Jane; or you may find patronymics. This is a system where the surname changes with each new generation based on the given name of the father. Of course, spelling variations constantly abound.

Good books are available on the topic such as Tracing Your Scottish Ancestry by Kathleen B. Cory and Your Scottish Ancestry: A Guide for North Americans by Sherry Irvine. In England there is Scott Smith-Bannisterís Names and Naming Patterns in England 1538-1700.

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