Monday, February 24, 2014

52 Ancestors - Tressa Rose Froman

Tressa Rose Froman is my father's paternal grandmother.  She married William Doyle on March 17, 1885, in Stoneboro, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  At right is Tressa on her wedding day.

Tressa is, in some respects, an enigma.  For instance, her name varies several times from early records to later in life.  "Theresa" appears in a transcription of her birth/baptismal record of Good Hope Lutheran and Reformed Church in West Salem Township, Mercer County, Pennsylvania.  The 1870 U.S. Census and her 1872 file for guardianship after her father died both record her name as "Theressa," obviously a spelling variation as is also "Teressa," as she appears in the 1880 U.S. Census.  Her marriage record and the 1900 U.S. Census give her name as "Rose" but in subsequent census records she is "Tressa" or "Tressa R."

Names seem so much a part of personal identity.  I can't help but wonder what brought about the changes.

Tressa's birth year is also a little challenging to discover.  The Good Hope Lutheran and Reformed Church records give the date as May 24, 1868 -- but perhaps that's the baptismal date and not the birth date.  Her father's Orphans Court file gives her birth date as August 20, 1867.  The 1900 U.S. Census records that she was born in March, 1867.  And her death certificate indicates she was born on September 24, 1867.  The only common date is 1867 but only in 3 of the 4 documents.  And for every record, a different person gave (or may have given) the information.

Name variations and different birth dates for one person aren't uncommon when searching for ancestors but common doesn't make it less challenging.  I know it's too much to wish for a family Bible....

. . . . . . . . . . .

This post is in response to Amy Johnson Crow's call to her readers to write about 52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks



  1. I wonder how people said her name. I hear two different pronunciations based on the spelling.

    1. My father and his half-sister (who was named after her) pronounced it Tress-uh with the accent on the first syllable. In the other spellings, though, I can imagine 3 syllables: Ta-reese-uh or Te-ray-za with the accent on the middle syllable in both. Actually Google Translate gives the pronunciation similar to the last "spelling." Google Translate pronounces Tressa with a "z" sound.

      Words and language, spelling and sounds are all very interesting to me.

      But both of her parents were born in Germany so may have given it a different pronunciation.

  2. I am in agreement with Wendy who commented above. In many of the cases of those records, some "agent" is doing the writing--and in the case of census forms, they can be notoriously bad. At any rate, my name is JoAnne. It is pronounced Jo Ann, Joan, Joanie, Jo Anny, etc. Don't get me started on all of the spelling variations, but one of them is Joan. If an accent is involved with your ancestor, there could be even more of a mixup.

    1. Oh, yes, you are so right, JoAnne. With so many illiterate people and no standardized spelling it must have been hard for the writers to have any consistency. It was almost as if it didn't matter, I guess. Close enough was good enough, maybe?


I appreciate your comments and look forward to reading what you have to say. Thanks for stopping by.

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...