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  AncestorStuff.com :: REFERENCE ::  Reference: Loopy Lexicon. Charles and Virginia Hamrick

    SYNOPSIS
 Reference: Loopy Lexicon. Charles and Virginia Hamrick

Hamrick's LOOPY LEXICON
Charles and Virginia Hamrick, 2001. 54,707 Modern American Surnames, each used by 30 or more families in the United States today. Hereditary, or family, names present the most difficult element of language for Researchers to decipher when working with handwritten records or oral histories. This is primarily because human names are constructed of linguistic elements (or parts) which often are quite ancient... whose meanings are no longer familiar to us. Nor do they share contextual affinity with other elements of the text in which they appear. For that reason, a Lexicon of modern American Surnames arranged in a reverse alphabetical order will be a useful, if not essential, reference work for anyone attempting to read and transcribe handwritten public records or correctly interpret recorded Oral Histories. The usefulness of this Lexicon stems from the fact that names contain a limited variety of endings which, by long usage, have become quite familiar to us. These name endings are often the first part we recognize when confronted with a new and difficult name. This is true, although the first part may be quite strange to us. A listing of the possible choices of 'beginnings' with which these 'endings' may be 'connected' will aid greatly in deciphering the true name. But a single sample will exemplify this better than all the words in a dictionary. Take for example a document in which you can clearly see that a strange name ends in -----RICK; a look at page 111 shows that RICK is the first name in column 4 and the last name ending in RICK is WYRICK at the beginning of column 3 on page 112. That's more than 100 different choices. However after closer examination you determine the next letter is an "M" making you puzzle ---MRICK. Your choices have now narrowed to three choices HAMRICK,EMRICK and HENRICK. You may now concentrate on determining whether the first letter is an "H" or an "E" (here the length of the word should dictate the choice "H") and you are left with discriminating between "AM" an "EN." So, have at it and expect near perfect results.


"An independent researcher whose specialized area is 18th century American business records he is expert in reading and transcribing 18th century handwriting. His diligence and precision in working with such rare items result in providing a new level of accessibility for researchers in all appropriate fields. I only wish our collection included more material of this kind."
--Joyce A. McMullin, Branch Manager Lloyd House Library of Virginia History and Genealogy

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