Thursday, May 6, 2010

Changing of Names

After just cruising through some message boards I came across a post that irritated me somewhat so I would like to review the changing of family names after immigrating to America.
We will use the last name of DeBusk as an example. The DeBusk family is of French orgin, emmigrating to America a little bit before the Revolutionary War. DeBusk is the American version of the name, obviously DeBusk is not actually French. As stated before the variations of the DeBusk name are DuBosc, DuBois, DeBois, and DeBose, which are all obviously French.
The specific post that I read was in response to someone asking where the DeBusk family was from and the response was that De means from and Busk is a town in France. The De part is correct, it does mean from but with a simple Google search you can see that there is no town in France called Busk, and why would there be, that is an Americanization of the original name.
So, remember when you are requesting information, the information you receive always needs to be researched, even if the person giving the information states that they have been researching for years. People are only human and many mistakes are made when you have been sitting in front of the computer or in front of a pile of papers for hours and hours.


Anonymous said...

The author "changing of names" is absolutely correct. I've been researching this family for over 25 years and I have found the same family listed several different way. You have to realize that a lot of people had different accents and and some people tried to spell phonical and some just guessed. Often and even today, some people don't know how to spell their own name.

whiskaers said...

The changing of name spellings, I have found, is mainly due to those recording the names not knowing how to spell it correctly and wrote it as they thought it sounded. I have even seen the name DuBose, DuBosc, DuBois, DuBoise, DeBusk, and maybe a few other variations used in the same document, wills, early land records, census, etc.

I think it was an English conspiracy when the French emmigrated to SC in late 1600's to confuse things by misspelling their names. :<)

Misspellings happened to lots of French names in the early days of America.

Al DuBose