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A Rose by Any Other Name

Posted by on August 6, 2011

I don’t think ol’ Billy was a genealogist.  It seems the more roses I have, the more they stink.  I may not be researching a name like Smith or Jones, but let me tell you, “Lee” can be tough.  The Lees are on my paternal grandmother’s family.  But then again, the Leighs are too.  All discussions of the family include the spelling of the name, “the Leighs, you know, the L-E-I-G-Hes” or “the Lees, you know, the L-E-Es.”  Sure, I know.  Without getting into a discussion of name spelling variations that “just happened” for whatever reason since we all know how it was spelled just wasn’t that important in the past, let’s look at some examples of the variations.

I saw this website for the first time in a Legacy webinar, Organizing for Success with Karen Clifford webinar that is available indefinitely for free.  And yes, I know I told you before I was all organized, had a system, and I was content but it doesn’t hurt to re-affirm that what you have is best for you.  And generally I’m a sucker for organization tips.  Nothing new to consider on the organization front for me (though if you’re just starting out, check out the webinar for not only specific tips on a system but for general best practices).

So go to and see the “Name Variants” right above the Last Name textbox?  Click it.

In the pop-up, enter the Surname to see what kind of name variations are found based upon the Soundex system.

I get about 400 variations on Lee.  I’ll put in my notice at work on Monday and get on this.  Please send money and food.  But the point is not to do anything with this since we’re just exploring.  We’re just dating…it’s not time for commitment.  So moving on.

Also check out the Standard Finder in the FamilySearch Labs.  Using that search, I get about 205 variations on the last name Lee.

So there you go.  What to do next?  I don’t know, I’m a little overwhelmed.  In my file system, I have a folder at the beginning of a batch of surname files with general surname information (also a subfolder that has my “am I possibly related” leads.  I think I’ll do this and make a little printout that I can pull when I start work on a Family Group Sheet with the last name.

One Response to A Rose by Any Other Name

  1. Theresa Casteel

    205 variations…is that all? :-)
    Good luck!
    Theresa (Tangled Trees)