understandable! As most of us family historians know it's often difficult and
confusing to find our relatives due to cousins, even brothers, with the same name and
similar birth and death dates. Of course that's why professional genealogists use a
'soundex code' that groups together similar-sounding and often misspelled
surnames. For example the one for Bare, Bar, Baer etc is B600.
Then you add the confusion that happens with some 'common word' surnames
like Bare...well, I think fellow researcher Ken Bare of Florida summed it up nicely in his
1987 Bare Family notes which he shared with one of our
there was nothing sacred in the spelling of a name in those times, especially if it was
written by someone other than the person who owned it. As I pursued my search I have
kept a record of the variations in the spelling of our name and, though it seems
inconceivable that a one syllable name could be so manipulated, that tally comes to 81 and
who knows how many more ways there are!" Ken Bare, FL'87
I have chosen to spell the Bare name as it
was spelled by the owner, when known, or the most often used. Although it may seem
crazy, my research has shown that even brothers changed the spelling of their Bare name to
where there might be 3 or 4 ways to spell Bare in one generation! Then there were
trends, as many Bar's and Bare's changed their name to Bear in the 19th century only to
change it back to Bare again later....or not!
And then we have the issue of Hans... I have recently read a
very interesting article on Swiss (or German) naming. Turns out the name Hans is a
fairly generic name often used with Jacob, Heinrich, and other names....ie Hans Jacob
(John Jacob) or Hans Heinrich (John Henry). So in the same family if you did not
know the middle name, you would have several sons named Hans. Not only that, but
because it was so generic it was often dropped since the people were known by their middle
name! Talk about a rat's nest of confusion for us family historians!
In our family, I have variously seen Hans Jacob Jagely Bar
and Jacob Jagely Bar... are they the same person? That is very possible and I think
likely based on my research so far... but please let me know if you can add any
information to confirm or deny!
Please don't let the various spellings
distract you from the rich history that is portrayed in the stories behind the names... and
we hope you enjoy the site!