Surnames are curious things, despite us all having one. A variant is deviation from the surname you are interested in. A number of members of the Guild of One-Name Studies have relatively few variants, others have a phenomenal amount.
For my studies, I have relatively few variants:
- Orlando – variants are Orlanda and Orlande
- Butcher – variant is Butchers
For those that heard me speak last week at #FamilyTreeLive will perhaps recall my mentioning the surname of Urlando. I have certainly mentioned it here previously and I have not made a further decisions on whether this a likely variant or not. I expect to though in the coming year.
Variants likely occur because of accents, the inability to know whether a name was spelt incorrectly or not.
I go into detail more during the Pharos introduction to One-Name Studies course and I also discuss the concept of a deviant surname.