Saturday, January 26, 2013

Surname Saturday - How is That Spelled?

As genealogists we all need to think outside the box.  We learn early on to consider alternate name spellings and ages.  Sometimes we need to be more creative than other times.

While researching my husband's maternal line Sempsrott I have needed to be even more creative than usual. Unique first names can really help ferret out those mis-spelled surnames.  I understand that a heavy German accent can cause misunderstandings in census records, but I think this name has had a record number of interpretations.

These are the variations I have found to date for the surname Sempsrott:  Semporste-Semporstt-Sempscote-Semmsrote-Simprod-Semporatt-Semprot-Seniprot-Semparote-Semparoto-Sempsrote-Sempirote-Simpsrott-Senpscott-Sempscott and Sampsroth.  There may be others that I haven't recorded as well as some I haven't found yet.


  1. 16! That must be some kind of record, Donna! I have Terwilliger... which goes through many different spellings with substitutions of D for T, e's and i's changed to other vowels, etc. I love to try and find another weird spelling - cheap entertainment while digging into records!! Good to post about this spelling issue.

    1. Thanks Celia. It was entertaining and frustrating both. I still haven't found this family in the 1860 census so there is undoubtedly at least one more spelling!