How to consult the dictionaries and my Database.
In my database, I have tried to show, for each individual, the various spellings for his name.
In order to link families within the database, we use the spelling most often found in my dictionary.
The chosen spelling in the Acadian dictionary of Louis is "Gautreau" and for the dictionaries of Jean-Baptiste, Charles, Gilles and Louis, the spelling is "Gaudreau".
For first names, we have generally retained the spelling found at the baptism or at the marriage.
Various methods of spelling of the names
Until today, the spelling in Europe is with a "T" but in North America, I have found more than 170 ways to spell our name.
One should use the name as it is spelled in the document and genealogy programs should allow a standardization of the name for research and the real name for the reports.
How to determine the real name ?
A problem for our family since I have often found spellings which differ in each document for the same individual.
Also, spellings which change for each child of a couple.
There are also spellings which change with each generation, from father to son.
In principle, we should chose the name most often found in a family.
Names vary from one are to the next. Many causes are responsible, principally :
- An error during the transcription of the document.
- The different pronunciations at various times or locations.
In conclusion, one should not put too much weight on the various spellings during the research stage.
Our ancestors, for incontrollable reasons at the time, which may be due to ignorance, thoughtlessness or people simply did not find the signature on a document important.
In the past, people who were often illiterate had to rely on the person doing the transcribing.
It is only in the XXth century that we saw the importance of spelling for administrative reasons and uniformity.
A note on spellings ending in "lt" and "x". It is erroneous to deduce that there is a link between people who signed their names and those who did not. There are no links between illiterate people.
As in all databases, some errors could be due to the similarity of names, typos, errors in dates, etc...
My data can be checked at the National Archives of Quebec for the presumed locations of events.