SCANLON-L ArchivesArchiver > SCANLON > 2007-05 > 1179750019
From: Joan Wieser <>
Subject: Re: [SCANLON] Spelling of Scanlon
Date: Mon, 21 May 2007 06:20:19 -0600
Your welcome, John!
Sometimes you just have to think about different scenarios. This is a
country of immigrants and even today we have to tune our ears for those
accents. Locally we have a doctor who emigrated from Hungary in 1960.
When I speak with him, I still have to adjust my "hearing" for his
accent. The reason? He goes home and speaks his native language to his
wife. I think the key to doing successful research is to try to put
ourselves in our ancestors shoes. Sometimes it's very difficult to
imagine a world without our of our modern conveniences but if you can do
that you can approach the brick wall from different angles. I was just
reminded of this a year ago on Thanksgiving weekend. We were in the
middle of that ice storm that snapped power poles about 4 feet off the
ground. We were without electricity for 8 days so I got a taste of how
our ancestors lived without it.
I do believe your Scannells are Scanlons. My husband's line came
through Boston to Maryland to Indiana and I found the name correctly
spelled in the Catholic church records every time. It was the civil
records for the immigrant generation where I ran across the variations.
Once I started digging into their children's records, the civil records
also had the correct spelling.
The vowel trick works extremely well if you are searching on
Ancestry.com as well. Take the vowels out and search via "Soundex" and
you'll get many more hits. A soundex search doesn't care what order the
consonants are in. When I first ran into this problem 20 years ago, I
sat down with my list of surnames and wrote down all the possible
spelling variations. I found a lot more records after doing that.
Funny thing though, now that I think of it. The Irish surnames were the
ones with the most variants. The German, and Austrian surnames were
either only missing a consonant, such as a "c" or an "s" where there was
an "sch" in a surname or had two vowels swapped like Weiser instead of
Good luck with your search.