Although it was not always adhered to, Scots (and others) often named their children by following a simple
set of rules. There were often variations, for many good reasons.
•1st son named after father’s father
•2nd son named after mother’s father
•3rd son named after father
•1st daughter named after mother’s mother
•2nd daughter named after father’s mother
•3rd daughter named after mother
The following list of 86 spellings of the Lindsay surname was taken from page 275 of The Lindsays of America,
by Margaret Isabella Lindsay, 1889. The names have been rearranged alphabetically. During the alphabetizing
exercise, it was found there were six duplications in the source document; Lyndessay, LyndysseyLindessey,
Lyndissai, Lyndsay, Lyndsa. Lindsai was listed three times! These duplications have been eliminated.
Margaret Isabella Lindsay borrowed her listing from the Appendix, page 413 of Lives of the Lindsays, Vol. 1.
This following notes contributed by Phil Lindsey was posted for the purpose of providing additional insight for Lindsay researchers in need of this knowledge.
“Like most Linds*ys, I early found that there was more than one way to spell my surname. I first heard the question “are you an ey or an ay Linds*y?” from my Kindergarten teacher. Only when I took up genealogy did I realize it was more complex issue than I had supposed.
In 1999, I gained access to a database of the indexed names of all Missouri heads of household in the Federal Censuses of 1830 through 1870. Using the Soundex, I looked for all Linds*ys in Missouri during that period. After culling out all but true Linds*ys, obvious variants, and (possible) misspellings, I was left with a total of 590 names for the five federal censuses. Not 590 different people but 590 names, due to repetitions each ten years.
One of my own line was listed on four of the five censuses, and his name was spelled differently each time. It was then that it dawned on me that some of the “Brick Wall” ancestors I was looking for (and couldn’t locate) might well be exactly where I thought they were, but I couldn’t find them due to spelling variations. So I then decided to look at those spellings for any person that I knew (or suspected) to be a Linds*y and see how big a problem the “different” spellings could be. The 590 names yielded the following spellings: Lindsey = 243 Lindsay = 14 Linsey = 79 Linsay = 10 The total was 481 between these most common spellings which represented only 81.5% of the 590 Linds*y names. A real problem, it seemed, since 18.5% of the Missouri Linds*ys would escape the detection of researchers relying solely on spelling. And worse, assuming a beginning genealogist looked only for the Lindsey spelling, the likelihood of finding their ancestor, correctly spelled, dropped to 41%.
With that realization, I decided to start a list of all known (or suspected) spellings of Linds*y appearing in Missouri. Since then I have deleted some of the suspects when appropriate, as well as adding other Linds*y variants, both in Missouri and other states. Of the original 590 from Missouri, I found 32 spellings which seemed to be Linds*ys. When the four most common were subtracted, that left 28 spellings shared by the 109 Linds*ys who didn’t fit in with the “Big Four”. Of these remaining 28 variants, at least 20 were most definitely variants of the name Linds*y.”
Return to Miscellany page
Return to main Clan Lindsay page
Return to Home page