Surnames we chase them, we research them, we almost resolve to tears when we find one, sometimes we do. As Ruth says we can do a HAPPY DANCE, when we find one. We cry when we bury one. We can spend years, dollars and still not find them.
Surnames there are so many, to think the world did with out them for a very long time.
So why are they so important to us now.
I think my ancestor put it best when he said he was tired of walking the wrong mail to the right house when within a short mileage he had cousins named the same, an uncle named the same and himself the same (5 including himself). His younger children were still in school.
The older ones were married and gone on to their own homes. They brought home the news that their last name did not exist in the Germanic region of the world at the time of migration and it had been spelled phonetically to the new worlds ears.
He changed his name to the old world spelling, his sons did not change that were married and away already but his son Sanford changed his when he moved to IOWA after the Civil War.
We are blessed we have a copy of the letter, my cousin holds the original that he stated to his son why he changed it. Which I believe is why Sanford changed his after his arrival in IOWA when his sister received the letter explaining the change.
Sanford went west first and his sister and her husband followed because they had one
brother who had been in the west digging for gold during the war and then he went on to be a Doctor taking his training in IOWA and receiving his degree in OHIO.
Sanford's brother in law was in need of medical care from serious war injuries and this was the way to help him get that care. The family in Greene Co, especially the mother was devastated with the loss of her daughter to IOWA. It was learned the mother
had ailments of her own and this daughter helped her often besides caring for her own family.
Ah, names this one tends to be spelled many ways. HOFFMAN (correctly) HUFFMAN, HOUGHMAN, HOOFMAN, HOFFMANN etc. I am sure more can crop up in the mix.