Beatty Family Surname Variations
|Due to a variety of reasons there are many documented variations of the
spelling the surname which is pronounced "BAYTEE/BAYDEE" or
"BEETEE/BEEDEE". Some seem to be more common than others depending upon the
origin of the specific individual. Before surname spelling became more standarized in the
19th/20th centuries, they were often spelled as they "sounded" to the person
writing the surname. Complicating this is the fact that many of our ancestors were
illiterate and thus the only record of the spelling of their surname comes down to us from
court clerks, ministers, census enumerators, attorneys and other officials...some of whom
were not that far from illiteracy also. For example, read Meriweather Lewis' journal of
the Lewis and Clark expedition. He had been Jefferson's Secretary for many years and today
probably couldn't pass a 3rd grade spelling test.
We have many examples of where researchers "missed" significant information because they didn't search for the various spellings. Even our more frequent spellings of BAITY, BATY, BEATTIE, BEATTY, BEATY, BETTY, BETY, etc. provide a wide range in any alphabetical listing.
The following list is by no means exhaustive, but should provide guidelines for the
researcher. Many of the following variations are evidenced in the 1850 U. S. Census
records. Some of these are most probably typically the spelling for a different family.
For example, the Beede family out of 1700s New England has a migration pattern from
England, unlike most of our Beattys at the time. Occasionally, however, one of our Beattys
is spelled as Beede in some of the records. In Lineage three we missed for a long time the
record of one of our ancestors because the marriage documentation listed him as Bettis. We
have learned that to limit one's research to a spelling or two is at best naive and
usually will result in missing some important information.
Any of the above with a "Mc" such as "McBeattie", and