Names and Privacy

I had a couple questions on why I did not name someone in my blog and thought others might be wondering as well, so decided to share.

First, there was a question on my great-grandfather, Russell Bailes’, entry regarding why I did not name his oldest daughter.  My great-aunt is living and to protect the privacy of those who are living, I have chosen not to name them.  I did the same with Gus Watkins’ youngest son, my great-uncle.  I will still occasionally put pictures up and indicate who they are for those who know the family but have chosen not to actually name them in the photo.

I also had a question about the spelling of Sibyl Gladys Bemis’ first name.  The usual spelling is Sybil and my mom was surprised to see it spelled differently.  In explaining to her how I choose what spelling to use when multiple spellings exist in records, I realized I had made a mistake.  Generally, I use vital records such as birth, marriage, and death certificates, to make this decision.  However, sometimes those do not even match or do not exist.  Where they do not match, I try to use the oldest record as people’s memories can fade over time.  Census spellings are often different every year as census takers often guessed at the spellings themselves or neighbors may have been providing information.  In looking at Grandma Rodgers name again, I realized only one record out of seven, a 1900 census when she was nine years old, listed her name with the i first.  Other censuses, a marriage and death record, all list her as Sybil.  Thanks for the catch Mom!


3 thoughts on “Names and Privacy

  1. I have the name Sibyl/Sybil used for several generations in one branch of my family. There are many spellings of the name and I don’t think they are used consistently until the last one who lived in the 20th century. You are lucky that most of the records spell it one way.

    • I had never seen it spelled Sibyl. I’m glad Mom decided to start reading the blog and caught that. Interesting to hear you have so many Sibyls. Perhaps the enumerator knew someone with it spelled like that too and just assumed. Guess we’ll never know.

  2. Mom says:

    I switch out the real surnames and many times the first names for my public (blog published) writing. As long as I do that, there is an element of privacy and I can keep my relatives yacking and telling the stories. Otherwise they would all likely clam up.
    I enjoy your stories.
    Kassie aka “Mom”

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