Saturday, December 17, 2011

What's in a Name?

            For anyone who has searched for ancestral surnames in both book indexes and online indexes, I think you'll agree that it's easier to find variant spellings when dragging your finger down the columns in a book index. The variations seem to jump off the page. However, when using an online index, one has to know the exact spelling (barring soundex or creative wildcard searches) in order to get results. It is very easy to miss potential positive hits.
            Add to that the quirks of the French language. The sound of long o can be spelled a myriad of ways. When searching in an online index without soundex capabilities, each and every variation would have to be tried. Some variations might even change the soundex code, making any search even trickier.
            With that in mind, I have tried to compile every way that I have found for spelling the surname Renaud, one of the earliest ways of spelling what became, here in America, the name Reno. If anyone has discovered other variants, please add them to the list:
Renaud            Renault            Renaut             Raineau           Reneau
Reno               Rano                Reyno              Rainaud           Renno
Ranolds           Reneault