Scholefield Family Tree
When attempting to verify the hypothesis that Michael Moore who married Jane Dunlap and Jacob Moore who married Ann Armour were brothers, I’ve run across one of the hurdles that genealogists have to consider: Where does one take that leap in order to state that a person with different spellings of a name are actually the same person?
For example: Could Hannah and Annatje be the same person?
I previously located information that Michael Moore who married Jane Dunlap was born in 1753.1
A search for him at Familysearch.org turns up a report that he was christened on 14 Mar 1753 and his parents were Michel Moore and Annatje Deaij.2
An internet search using this alternate spelling of Michael and the name Annatje turns up a similar result at Olive Tree Genealogy. It provides a bit more information: Date: 1753 Mar 14; Parents: Michel Moore, Annatje Deay; Child: Michel; Witnesses: Francis Moore, Hester Deay, h.v. [wife of] Van Joseph Forbes.3
So, I have a Michael who is the son of Michel and Annatje and a Jacob who is the son of Micheal and Hannah. The two were born six years apart, so I know I am not dealing with a son. Could there be two Micheals of the same generation? Sure, there could be. They could be cousins. But why would children of Michael (Jr) and Jacob be named together in a lawsuit that does not yet appear to go back an additional generation if they weren’t siblings?
I know that I can combine Annatje and Hannah (and again, if I were doing offline research, I’d need to check other resources just in case). I can do this because the Dutch name Annatje was Americanized to Hannah. If you want to check this out for yourself, do a web search for the two names and you will find all sorts of references that show the name Hannah in parentheses or quotation marks next to the Dutch name. If you ever see two names and wonder if they could be nicknames, pet names, or alternate names, try both in a search to see what you find. If they never appear next to each other, then they likely aren’t used in the way that you hoped. Sometimes your search will even turn up a website that lists associated names and you can consider it a slam dunk.
1. See post dated 31 Jul 2010.
2. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints [LDS], “International Genealogical Index,” database, FamilySearch (http://www.familysearch.org : accessed 8 Aug 2010), North America Region, entry for Michael Moore, christened 14 Mar 1753, New York, New York, New York; citing FHL microfilm 0,822,730 (Patron ordinance submission sheets, 1969-1991), batch no. 7309337.
3. Lorine McGinnis Schulze, The Olive Tree Genealogy (http://www.olivetreegenealogy.com : accessed 8 Aug 2010), New Amsterdam (New York City) New York Reformed Dutch Church Baptisms, entry for Michel Moore, baptized 14 Mar 1753; citing original transcriptions by Ted Brassard.