Week 10 – #52Ancestors

The dictionary definition of translation is the “act, process or instance of translating: such as. . .rendering from one language into another”.[1] My research, to date, is in the United States. While I do not need to translate into another language, sometimes we need to translate the meaning of records. And sometimes we need to translate the handwriting of the record taker.

I searched for a long time to find my maternal great grandparents, Calvin and Sarah Chappell, in the 1910 census. I searched the index over and over again, using every spelling derivation I could come up with. Finally, I spent an evening scrolling through all twenty-four sections of the 1910 Census for Sullivan County, Tennessee. I finally found them in Civil District 1, at the bottom of the page. The family is indexed as “Chopsel”. No wonder I couldn’t find them!

I can see how that mistake occurred. At first glance the spelling does look like “Chopsel”. However, a closer look reveals C-h-a-p-p-e-l. The second “p” is quite light, and does look like an “s” until you look at it closely.

One of the things I enjoy about genealogy is the variety of records, and having to take time to translate those records into information that is relevant to our family history.

Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: