When you are searching for names in old newspapers that have been digitized, are you considering all the ways the name might have been misspelled? In many cases a non-existent “s” is added to a surname and just as likely, the “s” that belongs at the end of a name might have been dropped. Look at the example below:
In this article about my great-great grandfather, John Fields[i], he’s shown with the surname spelled both Fields and Field in the same paragraph. Elsewhere on the same page is this second article, “Nearly a Centanarian,” in which he’s only referred to by “Field” and “Mr. Field.”
I was lucky that both spellings were on that newspaper page, but you might not be so lucky. When you are searching for surnames, be sure to check both with and without an "S" at the end.
[i] I believe the spelling Fields is correct, based on the gravestone of his wife, Mary Devlin Fields. You can see a picture of this stone at http://findagrave.com/cgi-bin/fg.cgi?page=gr&GSln=fields&GSbyrel=all&GSdyrel=all&GSst=6&GScnty=185&GScntry=4&GSob=n&GRid=69945163&df=all&
Mary Kircher Roddy is a genealogist, writer and lecturer, always looking for the story. Her blog is a combination of the stories she has found and the tools she used to find them.