Monday, September 3, 2012


Working on a photo project of my mother's family reminded me that a couple members of this family were more often called by their nicknames than their legal names. I had a dilemma.  Should I use their legal name or nickname when tagging the photos?  My purpose for doing this project was to share the family's photos with my grandparent's progenitors via DVD.       

Roy Rust and Harry Chapman
Grandpa was given the name Leroy "W" Rust at birth, but was also known as L. W. and R. W.  Most commonly though, he was simply called Roy.  Two descendants named for him have the name Roy somewhere in their name while only one has the full name Leroy. 
Henry Thomas Chapman, son-in-law to Roy, had the nickname of Harry.  Harry died before I was born, but as family stories were told by those who knew him, I never, ever remember them referring to him as Henry.  He was always Harry.  Even his wife's and mother's obituaries give his name as Harry, not Henry. 

I came to conclusion that if the progenitors were to get a feel for the way the family really was, they needed to know both the legal name and the nickname.  The file containing Grandpa's pictures is titled Leroy "W" Rust and the file for Harry is titled Henry Thomas Chapman.  Some of Grandpa's pictures are tagged with his full name while others just have Roy Rust.  The tag kinda depends on the individual photo.  Because there are not very many photos of Harry, I have tagged all of his photos as Henry Thomas (Harry) Chapman. 

If my mother's family had often used nicknames, what about my other ancestors?  I get so set in referring to them and searching for them with the exact names on my pedigree chart or their family group records that I forget that maybe I should be searching for them with variant names, maybe even a nickname.  

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