Sunday, June 16, 2013

To “e” or not to “e,” that is the question

Ted asks:
”My last name is Blackstone and all of my living relatives are Blackstones.  However, some of my ancestors were Blackstons and some are Blackstones.  I am not sure what to do.  It isn’t a misspelling because those that are Blackstons kept that spelling their whole lives.  It is almost like some in the family preferred that spelling. I don’t know how to record this.”

Those that were known as Blackstone you record as Blackstone.  Those that were known as Blackston you record as Blackston.  If you want to show that a certain person was known both ways you could put Blackston(e).  My husband is related to this Blackston(e) line so I know what you are talking about.  I haven’t done enough research on this line to give you any solid theories about it.  If you find a document where the person actually signed his name himself you will have a better idea and if you have enough of these types of documents you might even pick up some sort of a pattern.  For example, you might have a family of all Blackstones and then one of the sons decides he likes Blackston better.  When you follow his children they also use the Blackston spelling.  If the family was illiterate then they might have just spelled their name the way that others around them spelled it.  At this point there is no way to know,

Take a look at the Blackstone Website put together by Jim Blackstone. He has collected many records for Blackston(e) whether he could tie them into his family or not.  If that isn’t enough for you, take a look at the Blackstone/Blakeston DNA Study.  Here you will see a lot more variations. The more Blackston(e) (and all other variations) submit DNA, the clearer the name variations dilemma will become.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis

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