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Thursday, March 09, 2006

There Was No Beating Gough

A town committee in Leixlip, Ireland, ran into a problem recently that's stymied many a genealogist: follow tradition or follow the written records?

Leixlip wanted to remember Matt Goff, a famous footballer from the 1920s, by naming a bridge after him. The only debate was how to spell his name.

The committee plans to unveil the plaque on Saturday, March 19 to mark the 50th anniversary of his death. It has been decided to use the surname, Goff, by which he was known to the footballing public, on the plaque, despite the fact that the player’s headstone and family records spell his surname as Gough. [Link]
For other examples of surname spellings changed to conform to pronunciation, see Gary R. Toms and James Pylant's "Talliaferro is Tolliver: Surnames Sound a Challenge for Researchers."

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