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Monday, September 26, 2005

One Name, 99 Spellings

From the Yorkshire (U.K.) Post of Sept. 26, 2005:

Members of worldwide family meet up in Dales

Brian Dooks

ONE of Yorkshire's biggest families, whose thousands of members have spread world-wide, met in the Dales yesterday to share family histories and meet previously unknown relatives.

The Metcalfe Society, founded 25 years ago, claims to be the biggest one-name organisation in the world in terms of the data it holds on descendants and with 1,500 past and present members. Arguably it keeps the ultimate family tree.

But we are not just thinking Metcalfe, Metcalf, Medcalf, Medcalfe, Mitcalf or Mitcalfe. The society, which had more than 150 members at its reunion at West Burton, near Leyburn, has at least 99 variations.

Former secretary and now assistant archivist Nina Benson, of Spofforth, near Harrogate, explains. "You can find records of 12 children of the same couple and because the parish clerks changed, the surnames got altered. Two or three will have a letter 'e' on the end of their names and the others will not."

[snip]

[Read the whole story]

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