Orthography is a part of language study that deals with letters and spelling, sayeth the Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. I’ve been thinking a lot about spelling recently, specifically, the spelling of Bohannon. I previously wrote that it’s not my aim to settle which is the correct spelling, whether its Bohannan or Bohannon, and I stand by that. But, I wonder if I haven’t given the topic its due consideration.
My goal with Graham Ancestry is not to be “right” in the sense that anything that doesn’t fit in with my research is wrong, but rather it is to be accurate, or as accurate as is possible, and to support that by citing my sources so that others can check my work. Since Graham Ancestry is an online and public journal, it may itself be cited as a source by others doing their own family research, so I feel that I have a responsibility to give fair play to any discrepancies.
In many of my family history articles I have included a section on name and date variations and where I encountered them. However, as I was reviewing my 2010 article on John Henry Graham for the inclusion of 1940 Census data, I realized that it had no such section on variations. That was the second article I ever wrote for this journal and the first family history, so I had not quite established the format that later articles would follow. Today, I have published a major revision of that article that made the following changes:
- Added a section on spelling variations, specifically addressing Bohannan/Bohannon, as brought to my attention by Donald Bohannan
- Added a paragraph addressing discrepancies in John and Tildy’s date of marriage
- Added section headings by decade to make the article easier to follow
- Added newly-released data from the 1940 Census
- Separated the previous census data by decade. It had been summarized in a single paragraph listing all of John and Tildy’s children
- Added an image from the 1900 census
- Incorporated John’s homestead information from the article Graham and the Wild Lands
- Added information from Tildy’s obituary
- Added information from the John Henry Graham Family Group Sheet
- Added photographs of John and Tildy’s grave markers
- Added the real reason she was omitted from the 1900 census!