Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Baby Tanes? Tones?

Robert Torres’ parents José and Josie hadn’t decided what to name him at birth. Years later, when Bob looked for proof of his birth in Fresno, he eventually found the record. It was filed under “Baby Tanes.” Apparently the ‘o’ was mistaken for an ‘a.’ And the two ‘rr’s looked like an ‘n.’

You think Torres is a common name? It is unless you mix bad handwriting and clueless indexers who come up with some strange misspellings.

The 1850 U.S. Census (see “Crespin Torres’ Beginnings”) shows that the household of J. Montollo (that should be Montoya) included Pelonia (that should be Apolonio) and Crespin Tones! In one case, the indexer at has a Torres individual listed as Jones. Another strange one is the 1930 Los Angeles census where Crespin’s son Apolonio Torres’ name is transcribed by as Tovrea.

Word to the wise: Keep searching those records. But expect lots of mistakes.

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