Transcription Errors

Since even the pronunciation of a surname like Reffell can vary, it is not surprising that it is often written incorrectly and/or transcribed in ways other than it should be. In searching idexes etc., it is worthwhile to also use ‘wildcards’ in any searches, e.g. ‘Reff*’ or ‘R?ff?ll’.

When deciphering difficult-to-read handwritten documents, a good tip is to try and identify how the vowels were written first. The capital letters can be looked at next, always try to find the same letter in other words that are not so difficult to read. Here are a number of examples taken from census returns.

The last letter is quite a bit lower than the one next to it and hence the transcriber though that the name was ‘Reffele’.