Hello Jean... and Ray and Christine, I'm terribly sorry having been offline for a couple of years and subsequently completely losing track of this GenForum message board. Thankyou for your contributions, hope we can get in touch even after so long a delay on my part. Researching for many years from an Arculus One-Name-Study viewpoint (gathering everything Arculus related),it ultimately became possible to work from the past forward towards the present. Richard Arkalus Christened 10oct1756 Church Lench (siblings Christened Arkalus,Arkulus,Arculus, Harculas) later appears elsewhere as Arkluess,Arkelous,Arklews,Arklues,Arklines, eventuallyconclusively Arkless. Buried 17Nov1839 "age 85" St Andrews, Great Hampton (Evesham). When I took photos of the gravestone years ago it was leaning at a severe angle against the lychgate which was holding it up - hope it hasn't been removed by some health and safety jobsworth. Some of his children are at times Arkelous (but ultimately Arkless). His father, Richard (Christened Norton & Lenchwick 26Feb1729 old style - 1730 by our calendar) appears as Arculus,Arkelus,Hurcules,Arkulus,Arkilles. Buried 25Mar1814 Cropthorne "age 84". Amongst the Arculus such misspellings are the norm, but over time in every case (except yours) ultimately have reverted to Arculus. The variations were probably generated by a combination of illiteracy and a strong local accent misinterpreted by the various clerics compiling various registers. In your ancestors case he had some local fame as an inventor and manufacturer of early agricultural machinery and it probably just became easier to go with the flow and adopt the easier of the various names others called him (I often feel like doing this myself - here in Shetland, Arcus is a local surname and I often get called this by people who haven't heard properly). Convinced that your Richard Arkless was born a fully enrolled member of the Arculus family I felt I should follow his descendants through as far as I could follow them and spent a while on this - but it would be great to link it all through to the present day - and maybe there are old photos that might show some similarities with mine?