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Home: Surnames: Sherer Family Genealogy Forum

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Re: John Sherer, Mt. Joy Twp, Lancaster Co
Posted by: Richard Sherer (ID *****8127) Date: July 24, 2007 at 12:59:35
In Reply to: Re: John Sherer, Mt. Joy Twp, Lancaster Co by Jackie of 156

Hi, Jackie,
Please don't get too hung up on spelling. It didn't matter that much in the 18th and 19th centuries.
My immigrant ancestor's name was listed as Hans Schärer on the ship's manifest in 1732. It was a German name, but in the New World, most of the public officials were British, and they wrote down the Scottish spelling, Shearer. Over the generations, the name was spelled at least a dozen different ways, depending on the person who transcribed someone else's spoken speech.
When my great great grandfather, Christian Shearer, died in 1853, the court records showed three different spellings for his name, sometimes on the same page. It was spelled Shearer, Sherer and Sheerer. Three years earlier, in the census, it was spelled Sharer. People who get hung up on spelling of names before 1878 risk missing a whole segment of their family connections.
Old Abraham died in 1794: his will said Sharrer. His son John died in 1802: His probate file said Sherer. Same family, different spellings.
Good luck,
Richard Aurand Sherer (BTW, the "official" spelling of my last name was changed by my great grandfather, Joseph, in the early 1900s.)

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