Wednesday, May 31, 2017

Name spelling variations in family history

Here's another example of the difficulty with name spellings.

Here we have William Henry Burger (with a U) celebrating the 61st anniversary of his wedding to... whom? When she wrote her own name, it was Mary Ann Dufner Burger. Here she's Maryanna Duffner. Numerous family notes spell her maiden name with two Fs, but got the Mary Ann right. Perhaps nobody thought it mattered since she was married now anyway.

Here's another document, a handwritten note that was taped into the Burger family bible, written by Frances Taylor Burger, my grandmother and the daughter-in-law of the two in the anniversary clipping:

My mother Maryanna Burger Root spent her early childhood under the same roof as William Henry and Mary Ann Burger. They split their 4-room farmhouse down the middle when their son Frank married Frances Taylor Allen (who already had a young daughter from a previous marriage), and they all shared the house. Frances was a nurse and took care of the elder Burgers until their deaths.

The Burger vs Borger Controversy

In my mother's family there was a great controversy: Whether her father's family name was Burger or Borger. I was raised believing that all right-thinking people spelled it Burger, because that was obviously what the original German immigrant was named, while those infidels on the other side of the family, with their shaky morals and doubtful intellect, spelled "Burger" with an O, of all things! Well, now that I'm going through all the family notes and photos that Mom left for me to go through (she's not dead, she's in a nursing home suffering from dementia), I have come to the conclusion that... well, my side of the family may have been wrong. My goodness, that was painful to admit.

I am amused by this page out of the Burger family bible (given to my great grandfather William Henry Burger on the occasion of his marriage to Mary Ann Dufner). Okay, it was originally the Borger family bible, however someone went through and corrected the O's into U's! I have to laugh.

It's interesting trying to research these people when I'm looking in for people with the last name of Burger and find out they were buried under the Borger name. I've learned to vary my searches.