The Search for our Ancestry (XLVII)

Apr 13, 2018 825

BY: Angelo Coniglio

Researchers of Sicilian and Italian genealogy are blessed by the wealth of original records of birth, baptism, marriage and death that may be found for many ancestral towns, on microfilm or on line. Often those original records may have misspellings, or valid variations of given names or surnames. 

In many cases, misspellings by English-speaking clerks went unrecognized by illiterate immigrants, and the misspelled name became the ‘official’ name of the person and his descendants. In today’s computer-centric records, errors in spelling are often due to mis-reading and mis-transcription; for example, by enumerators on original censuses. And when using search engines on sites like or, spelling mistakes by indexers can make searches maddeningly difficult.   

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