Genealogy Activities for Thanksgiving

Family Name History
The family name, or surname, is critical to any genealogical research. But when it comes right down to it, how much do you really know about the origins of family names? You can't assume that the spelling of your surname has stayed the same through the generations. The names of immigrants were often changed to make them "sound more American," and over many years some names were "corrupted" through misspellings. Even an easy name like Smith might have previously been Smyth. Think about it: How many times have you had to correct the spelling of your own name?

You can discover the meaning and origin of your surname, as you now spell it, in FamilyEducation's NameLab. You may be surprised what you find -- and you may also get some additional leads for your research. See whether any of your Thanksgiving guests recall spelling variants of the family name, as well.


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