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Even with legal vital documents in front of you there is no guarantee the names you are reading are accurate.

The accent of your ancestor and the hearing of the officer recording answers to many question questions may distort how a Family name or place name is written down due to bad spelling or hearing for example. instances of this




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 Variations in a name
    Variations in a name
    How do you spell Bernstein?

    After the realisation that the name I was looking for had a meaning, I went totally in the wrong direction until I discovered why soundex is so useful.

    Take the family name Bernstein these are some of the variations we have come up with so far Bernstien, Bretsztajn, Borensztajn, Bretsztejn, Bretstein, Bretsztajn, Borensztajn, Bretstein, Bornstein, Bornsztajn, Borenstein, Borensztajm and of course variants Burns, Brewer, Amber, Dzintar yes amber sometimes a names literal meaning was translated so we get Bernstein = Amber = Dzintar.

    Knowing this helps when you are researching names if you know where your ancestor came from, but to get real vital evidence without their town of origin is much harder. Added to this is the confusion of migration, names may have changed several times (even in the same family) my paternal Grandfather was a Vanovitch he came from Poland to England but his brother was a Waniewicz he ended up in New York. Even the place name can be distorted with each different accent.

    So with genealogy places and names are equally important and once you know both a name and a place you have a start!!


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Last updated 04/01/2005