Thursday, March 3, 2016

Fearless Females March 3: H or No H?

We know that spelling variations for surnames are not unusual. I am named after my grandmother who seemed to vary the spelling of her first name with the wind. She was Sarah on her baptismal certificate. The Social Security Death Index lists her as Sara.  "Sarah" is carved on her gravestone, but the obituary calls her "Sara." The marriage register in Springfield, NY lists her as a Sarah. Nearly all of the censuses spell her name "Sarah," but who knows if the census taker would have asked if that was correct? In her will, her name was typed "Sarah M. Coleman," but was signed "Sara" in 1961. The inconsistency is noted on a probate document from the Otsego County Surrogate Court, which is written "Coleman, Sara (Sarah) M."

I can only assume that when I was born it was "Sara" because that is the name that I was given. I even remember having a discussion over the spelling with a girl named Sarah Heavenower in kindergarten, trying to convince her that the H belonged to her last name.

Then there is the question of her middle name, which she thought was Veronica, but that doesn't show up in any records. I'm guessing that was the name she took for Confirmation. In my world, she was "Gram" and that's all that really matters.

Grave photo from St. Mary's cemetery, Index, New York.

1 comment:

  1. Maybe I'll do today's post on the "e" in Coleman.