Thursday, 21 February 2008

Changes in surnames

Surnames can and do change over the generations, meaning that some lateral thinking may be required to succeed in tracing our ancesters to earlier generations. This is well illustrated by Karen Conderan's family. I am grateful to Karen for sharing the following information. Karen's great-great-grandfather was John CONRAN of County Carlow, Ireland. John CONRAN's son Patrick emigrated to Canada. There his name appears under a variety of spellings in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century directory listings. Finally it appears as CONDERAN which it has been consistently since. Having run into a brick wall tracing her family back before Patrick, Karen was fortunate to find baptismal records for Patrick CONDERAN and his brother James showing CONRAN as the original spelling of their surname. So as Karen says, we should really consider all the possible variations in spelling - an extra letter after the D, and especially dropping the letter D - if we run into a dead end. It worked for her!

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