One thing I learned, very early in my genealogy research, is to be very flexible in the spelling of your surname. I have been doing research for over 30 years and have found that a S at the end of a name appears and disappears on census returns, court records, and vital records with a frequency that makes your head spin.A, E, I, O, and U are interchangeable in both first and last names. And sometimes extras were just thrown into the names spelling as an embellishment. C and K sound the same, and were used for either. In the 1700 and early 1800 many, many names had a Mc or Mac that have long since been dropped from current families names. In indexed records capital M and W are often mixed up. Lower case r and n, also.A double L ,tl, and lt interchange. Without having been very flexible, and using the loosest search I can, I would have missed many listings for my ancestors.