Saturday, November 27, 2010

Spelling Issues Make It Difficult

Whether it was the Braunharts on my father’s side or the Kreymborgs on my mother’s side – I was beset with spelling issues when searching databases. Thanks to indexing issues as well as recording problems by people who wrote down these last names, or even my own relatives who provided a wide variety of spelling to those who recorded the info – this was a huge stumbling block.

For example, in newspapers, death certificates, census records, immigration records, etc. – Braunhart was spelled Braunhart, Braundardt, Braunhardt, Bramhart, Brownhart and even more varieties. Kreymborg was spelled, Kreyenborg, Kreymborg, Krymborg, Kreimberg, just to name a few.

So trying to find the right person was and still is a huge challenge.


You MUST not give up when searching for names that have a variety of spellings. Try all combinations that you can think of. Use wildcard (*) searches with just the first few letters. Try weird combinations of letters even though it doesn’t make sense. Use Soundex searches as an alternative if the database allows it. With persistence you will be rewarded – I guarantee it. It may take months or even years to find the right combination of letters in order to find the family name. For census searches try searching with just the first names of both spouses , especially if you know the location. This will enable you at least to not have hundreds and thousands of hits (results) to search through. DO NOT GIVE UP.

This was the only way that I could find all the Braunhart records that I did. And was the only way that I found my great grandmother Carolena Kreymborg and her sister Bertha’s immigration records. Those records had different spellings that were far different than their “real names”. And trust me – their “real names” were not always the same.

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