I don’t know when it started but I do know that I am the product of it. The “S” added to Choate that makes my grandparents last name Choates. My grandfather Odell has the last name Choates, while his brother and sister remain S-less. How is that even possible? I don’t know but it sure will be fun to find out. Was it a typo that stuck? How many times throughout history have people changes their names if for no other more reason then that they thought that it sounded nicer, flowed better or was even easier to spell?

Such is the case of my great great grandfather Benson Samuel Harris… I got his name from my great grandmother and found him documented on the 1940, 1930, and 1920 US Census living with his wife Mary Etta (My great great grandmother) and their family. In 1910 I found it very interesting that he did not live at home with his parents (Samuel B. Harris – his father) he worked in the home of another family as a servant. Fortunately for me, his family lived very close by and was listed as the next name on the census. (Lucky Me!). 1900 However, has been a complete mystery…  I have only found ONE US Census listing a young man at the age of 9 living in PA with his parent (Samuel) in 1900. Just about everything matches up except that instead of being Benson Samuel, he is Samuel Benson… and his father instead of being Samuel B, he is Samuel D. I’m working on finding a way to prove the information from the 1910 Census is correct but I know in my heart that it is him I just can’t for the life of me explain where and why the changes happened. Gotta love those census workers and the grammar of the times.

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