How do you spell that? is the theme for this week’s #52 Ancestors. I’m sure we all have stories from our family trees of misspelt names. I have one family for instance that somewhere in the middle of the 19th century became Rusbridge from Risbridger. All the early records are Risbridger and then suddenly records start showing Rusbridge. When I work backwards suddenly I could no longer find any Rusbridges but when I found the first Risbridger I was then able to start finding other missing family members and fit them together. I presume somewhere along the line someone writing down what they heard misheard an accent and it simply changed. Two generations have a mixture of the two.
But my best family for misspelt names is that of James Traies, my Great x 5 grandfather who was born in Exeter in Devon in 1785 to Samuel and Jane. At some point James travelled to London where he spent the rest of his life, living around the Kensington area. James was a Tin Plate worker. He married 5 times, although is first marriage to Hannah has not been found, just her death, and Ann who he married next was thought to be the same woman but can’t be, he married her after his first children were born. The search carries on for the first marriage in the early part of the 19th century.
Searching for the records for this family was a slow and laborious task and some records remain hidden to this day. Not only can parts of the family be found under; Trayes, Treays, Treayes, Traces and Trease to name a few but there were other mistranscriptions such as the 1851 census for James which took ages to find. It was eventually found under Fraies. I notice on Ancestry.co.uk that a user submitted a correction to this record in 2020 which is curious because I submitted a correction in about 2007. Ancestry obviously didn’t believe me!
The 1861 census was found under Truies and other records were found under names such as Praies.
Searching for James and his son Samuel and in turn his daughter Emma who married James Turner, all part of my direct line taught me quite early on that it helps to be a little creative when searching for missing records. Sometimes you need to think outside the box and be clever with your searching. One day I might succeed in finding out who Hannah (first wife) was.