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Sunday, September 30, 2012

Another Name in Question: Terrell or Terrel Bryan

After my last post, I reviewed my information for Terrell Bryan, my great-grandfather.  His wife had spelled his name with one "l" and all these years, I had been spelling it with two. So, how should I spell his name in my family tree? 

Here is what I found:

Spelled as Terrel

  • Harriet wrote her husband's name as Terrel when signing the "Partition of Slaves," a portion of Reddick Bryan's estate record. 
  • At age 14, his name is recorded as Terrel on the 1850 census.
  • His name is written as Terrel Bryant on the 1900 census. Note the "t" added to his last name. 
  • On pages 1, 2, 4, 5, 7, 15, and 18, his name was written as Terrel on his Confederate Military Service record. It is written as Terrell on other pages and sometimes just "T. Bryan."
  • On a monument to the Castor Guards (his military unit) in Bienville Parish, his name is written as Terrel. 
  • His name is written as Terrel Bryant in a 1862 land sale in Bienville Parish. His wife's name is written as Harriett. 
  • Terrel Bryan and Terrel Bryant purchased public lands in Louisiana in 1860. 

Spelled as Terrell
  • His name is spelled as Terrell his death certificate, funeral notice, headstone, and obituary.  
  • His name is spelled as Terrell in his family bible.
  • A 1950 transcription of his parent's family bible spells his name as Terrell. 
  • Terrell is the spelling of his name on his marriage record to Harriet Albritton in 1855. 
  • On pages 3, 6, 16, 17, and 19, his name was written as Terrell on his Confederate Military Service record.
  • He wrote letters to the editors of Stephenville, Texas newspapers in 1894 and in 1905.  His name is written as Terrell Bryan. 
  • Found in Erath County Court Records (1883) - Terrell Bryan's contract as the Lessee of the Poor Farm was extended for another year. 
  • Span Regan of Georgia, Terrell's half-brother and another person with name spelling issues, appointed "Terrell Bryan" as his "attorney in fact" to handle his affairs in Louisiana in 1867. 
  • "Terrell Bryan" was written on a certificate from Stephenville Masonic Lodge #267 dated December 18, 1896.

My conclusion is that Harriet misspelled Terrell's name and that his name should be written as Terrell. With the exception of Harriet's misspelling, all other spellings of Terrel were not written by Terrell or anyone who was close to him.  Recordings in the bible records, his letters to the editor, and the letter from his half-brother all occurred during his life-time. He or close family members recorded this information and it should take precedence. 

So, to my brother - you don't need to change the spelling of your middle name!


© 2012

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