Before there was consistent spelling of names, you can't be sure how an ancestor's name might be spelled in official records because whoever is writing down the name is spelling it the way he or she is hearing it. Because of this (and the changing of accents?), a surname can change from generation to generation (and even for the same person during his or her lifetime).
My 4th great-grandmother, Judith Farrar, was born in 1773 as the oldest of ten children of David Farrow (Farrar) and Judith Stodder (Stoddard). Judith was probably born in Massachusetts, though I have not found her birth record (only in secondary sources). These names certainly make you wonder how the family pronounced the names.
|David Farrow Jr. of Hingham + Judith Stodder of Sci[tuate] Jan. 28, 1773|
Ancestry.com: Massachusetts Town and Vital Records, for Hingham
Massachusetts Town and Vital marriage records (in both Hingham and Scituate) show David Farrow of Hingham marrying Judith Stodder of Scituate. However, I always look for Farrar and Farrow to search for Judith, her siblings and her father's line and I look for Stodder and Stoddard to search for Judith's mother's line.
A story found in A History of Buckfield, Oxford County, Maine, from the earliest explorations to the close of the year 1900, published in 1915 by The Journal Printshop of Lewiston, Maine, (found at Google Books), tells of the Farrar family arriving in Buckfield (in about 1789) and Judith meeting her husband, Thomas Lowell (who shot a bear). I blogged about this story at Local History of Buckfield, Maine.
Very soon after this meeting, Judith married Thomas in New Gloucester, Cumberland, Maine, on July 4, 1790. They settled in Buckfield, Oxford, Maine, where they had eight children. Sadly, her husband, Thomas, died in 1810 in Buckfield.
Soon after her husband's death, Judith moved with her children to Litchfield, Maine, about 30 miles east of Buckfield. The 1850 and 1860 U.S. Censuses show Judith Lowell living in Augusta, Maine, with her youngest daughter's family (Judith and William Sibley). She died there on October 31, 1861 and is buried in Wall Cemetery in Augusta, where her gravestone notes that she was the wife of Thomas Lowell. (See her FindAGrave memorial.) However, I have still not found where Thomas is buried.
I descend from the parents of Judith Farrar (Farrow) as follows:
David Farrow (Farrar) = Judith Stodder (Stoddard)
Judith Farrar (Farrow)
Lowell Townsend Copeland