Thursday, July 28, 2016

Surnames Come in Many Different Spellings and Pronunciations

I'm currently taking a genealogy course through FutureLearn: Genealogy: Researching Your Family Tree, which is administered by the University of Strathclyde in Scotland. I'm really loving this class. I've tried online classes before and generally been dissatisfied with them, but this class is formatted extremely well and the instructor is excellent. I especially like that, while there are a few short video segments, the class doesn't depend upon extensive or long video lectures, and there's always the option of reading a transcript instead of listening to the videos.

One of this week's exercises was to record a snippet about an issue with surnames in your family, and since this was in the context of the possible differences in surname pronunciation, that was what I chose as my topic.

I've recorded my interpretation of the pronunciation of two different surnames in my family on Vocaroo: McKeown and McEwen. I've always thought they would represent similar sounding names, but on overhearing my first attempt at recording my thoughts, my husband offered a different pronunciation for the first spelling. You can listen to my recording below or go directly to - fair warning, the recording seems loud to me, so be ready to adjust your volume if need be.

Record music and voice >>

I'm told that the sound bites recorded at Vocaroo are removed after a few months. If you can't hear it, and you really want to, leave a comment and I'll get back to you with the recording. Or, maybe I'll try to find a more permanent way to share it.