"Retroactive Samification" and Revisiting Initial Research #general

Meron Lavie

A few days ago I coined here the expression "Retroactive Samification" to
describe the phenomenon of immigrants to the US Americanizing their
father's name as "Samuel", even though that was not his name and the father
never stepped one foot outside his shtetl in his life.

Just now I remembered that when I was starting out in genealogy years ago,
I decided to rule out a certain person being a relative because in some
form he listed his father's name as "Samuel" (instead of the expected "Salomon") -
despite the fact that said person lived at the expected address, his wife's
and kids' names matched, his place of birth matched, and profession matched.
How "innocent" I was then. I remember ruling out a woman because the name
on the form was "Rachel" instead of "Rachael".

In any case, my point is that it is well worth revisiting research we did
when we were just starting out in genealogy. I have just done a review of
my earliest work and have found that I indeed erroneously omitted a few
relatives and missed a few obvious hints and sources.

And remember - the "*" (asterisk wildcard) is your friend...


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