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The Search For Evidence

Early Theory


One of the major problems that I have encountered was when the commercial websites such as and Find My Past had mis-transcribed the original entry in the Census or Parish Records. It may have been that the original recorder did not understand the dialect being spoken, the persons concerned were illiterate, the cursive script handwriting was difficult to decipher or any other number of reasons.

Although I have been concentrating on the surname
VAYRO, the further back in time I reached, I discovered a wide variety of spellings such as VARO, and VARAH. Whilst I could find my Great Grandfather James on the 1861 census aged 7 with his parents the transcriber on has the surname as VAYOO. On the 1871 census aged 17 James VAYRO was a servant at Aiskew. On the 1891 census he was with his wife and 7 children and the family were transcribed as VAYSO at Low Coalsgarth farm Aske.

In the Coverham Parish Registers I have found baptisms for
William Vayro 1736, Thomas Pharo 1739, Anne Pharoah 1739, Margaret Varo 1743, and John Vara 1745, and more importantly these were all children of two families living in Melmerby and Carlton.
Another prime example of this was the baptism records for Masham for what were obviously the same family, a certain Thomas
VARO and his wife Catherine nee Spence. Their son John was baptised as PHAROAH in April 1830 whilst son William was baptised as VAYRO in September 1832, and a further son George baptised as PHAROAH in May 1834.
In that same year Thomas himself was buried at Masham, and his namesake and final son Thomas was born and died in 1835 having been baptised as VARO and is buried in the same grave. It is interesting to note that in the register for two of these children his wife is not shown as Catherine, but is inscribed as Ann or Elizabeth. On his gravestone the inscription reads Thomas VARO died age 38 but the official register puts him down as aged 34. How can one be certain of tracing an ancestor with so many inaccuracies? Was the family illiterate? Probably! Or was it the Clergyman or Churchwarden who mis-heard and made incorrect entries in the register? In the end I decided that it didn't really matter a great deal, but whilst searching for hard factual evidence, it was often necessary to compromise or make assumptions.

But it doesn't end there!

Several friends and colleagues found many other variations for family records that would have been impossible to locate. Some of the examples are as follows:-

VAUSO, Andrew of Sutton Parish
VAURO, William of Elvington, Dec Probate
VAYIO, Ann of Cloughton, Stansby Parish
VAYNE, Mary baptised Tanfield July, daughter of John and Margaret
VAIO, William of Masham and sons William and Stephen
DAYERO or VAYERO William, Esther, 5 children and brother Stephen
(8 Green St Darlington)
VAGEO, William, wife Esther and 4 children (Yarm Lane Darlington)
VAYRE, Stephen and wife Bell (137 Brunton St Darlington)
VAYDS, William, wife Esther and daughter Esther
(5 Woodcock Square, Stanley cum Wrenthorpe, Wakefield)
VAYNOR, James (14) indoor farm servant
(Lupset, Alverthorpe Cum Thornes)
VAYNO, Rose domestic cook Nottingham

It was difficult enough finding ancestors records without confusing spellings such as these.

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