Wednesday, June 6, 2012
Transcription Errors, Accents, Spelling
Well, yesterday and today I worked on typing out, in a hopefully less confusing, Smedley Family Tree. The ones that are apparently the traditional ways of putting them, quite honestly, are VERY confusing to me, hard to follow and don't flow well. So I wracked my brain and to the Excel spreadsheet I went. I don't even know how many hours later, we have a working tree that can EASILY be changed and switched and shared with you all!! YAY. I am uploading it to Google Documents for others to view. I am also in the throws of getting the picture page on here more suited for our needs.
Ok, so yesterday I said I wanted to talk about accents, spelling (sp.?), and transcription errors on pages like Ancestry. First lets talk about accents, since we are the Oklahoma Smedleys, this term was handed to me lovingly from my cousin Arlena, apparently the rest of the family uses this as a term for our group here and I LOVE IT! If you aren't familiar with farm, Southern Farm, Southern Oklahoma Farmers, well you are in for a treat. Let me give you an example, a name like Clarissa (pronounced CLUH-RIS-UH), to the adorable Southern Oklahoma farmer, especially back in the 1800s and early 1900s census taking times, was pronounced (CLUH-REE-SEE). The unsuspecting census taker (either highly educated or not we will discuss this in a bit), now writes down Clerecee. So you go looking for your great-great grandma Clarissa and you can't find her! Another example the name Ada (pronounced A-duh), would lovingly be pronounced Aaaa-der. The lovely census taker now has you with a great-aunt Ader, instead of Ada! Welcome to the world of accents and census takers!
Lets talk census takers, I want to study up on them one day because I do have an opinion, not proven just a notion or two about them. There are ones you can tell were well educated, based on their penmanship and their correct spelling. Then there are the ones like I mentioned above who I do believe that were asked if they could read and write and ride a horse and sent off of the year long task of Census taking. Far be it from me to be judgmental, far from it, I can imagine it was a VERY thankless job, especially in this part of the country back then, when the Indian population was dominant, the lands were uncharted. In the cities it might not have been such a bad gig!
Now, the dreaded transcription errors, I find this EXTREMELY annoying, let me say my background is a Registered Nurse so I read AWFUL handwriting as part of my job. I can clearly see it says Flynt and someone has made the family name Tylnit. UGH, and my Smedley's have been Smeeley's, Smudly's and about 10 other misinterpretations. It is hard enough to find your way around older documents but when they are not transcribed correctly, SUPER FRUSTRATING! Unless you know the siblings, parents and so on, when a incorrect name is present, you are stuck either immediately tossing it and possibly losing valuable family documentation, or scratching your head trying to sort out, Bradicock when it should be Bordicott. If you come across one I have 'corrected' on Ancestry you will see my reply IN ALL CAPS! heeehee
Just so you know, ALL the examples from above I have personally encountered, the moral of the story is don't be quick to discard due to a name or spelling being off, maybe set it to one side until you can make names and places match more readily!
Happy hunting and I will see you again in the morrow!