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14 December 2008

How Grandma Said It

It took me forever to find Ulfert Behrens in the 1860 and 1870 census. The problem was partially solved when I learned how he likely pronounced his name. This low-German native probably said his name something like "barns." Here I was thinking it would have been pronounced "Bear unds" (rhyming with roughly with "errands"). Once I started looking for names that sounded like "barns" I found references I had previously overlooked.

Find out how your ancestor likely said his name--you may get variant spellings that you never thought to look for.

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