Sunday, August 08, 2004

25 ways to spell a name

Thibodeaux genealogy easy to trace, but spellings harder to decipher. Many Louisiana names differ from the Canadian version by having an "x" on the end--e.g., Boudreaux, Thibodeaux, Brasseaux, Comeaux--but it has nothing to do with marks made by illiterate people, says historian Carl Brasseaux. The "x" form was a variant in the 19th century, and there was an effort to standardize spellings in the 1820 census. But he fears it will be hard to eradicate the myth. "Once these things take a life of their own, like the urban myths on the Internet, you never eradicate these things."