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Lindsay * Orthography

Various Accepted Spellings of the Lindsay Surname

Although it was not always adhered to, Scots (and others) often named their children by following a simple set of rules.  There were often variations, for many good reasons.

  • 1st son named after father's father

  • 2nd son named after mother's father

  • 3rd son named after father

  • 1st daughter named after mother's mother

  • 2nd daughter named after father's mother

  • 3rd daughter named after mother


The following list of 86 spellings of the Lindsay surname was taken from page 275 of the book entitled The Lindsays of America, by Margaret Isabella Lindsay, 1889.   The names have been rearranged alphabetically which was not the case in the source document.   During the alphabetizing exercise, it was found there were six duplications in the source document; Lyndessay, Lyndyssey, Lindessey, Lyndissai, Lyndsay, Lyndsa.   Lindsai was listed three times in the source document.   These duplications were eliminated in the list below.

 It would appear that Margaret Isabella Lindsay basically borrowed her listing from the Appendix, page 413 of Lives of the Lindsays, Vol. 1, by Lord Lindsay, 1858.

  1.  Limesay   30.  Lindisin   59.  Lyndeshey
  2.  Lindeci   31.  Lindissa   60.  Lyndesie
  3.  Lindensay   32.  Lindissay   61.  Lyndesins
  4.  Lindesa   33.  Lindisseia   62.  Lyndessai
  5.  Lindesaia   34.  Lindsa   63.  Lyndessay
  6.  Lindesaie   35.  Lindsai   64.  Lyndessaye
  7.  Lindesans   36.  Lindsay   65.  Lyndessey
  8.  Lindesay   37.  Lindsaye   66.  Lyndessy
  9.  Lindesaye   38.  Lindseie   67.  Lyndesy
 10.  Lindese   39.  Lindsey   68.  Lyndezay
 11.  Lindesee   40.  Lindyssay   69.  Lyndisay
 12.  Lindesei   41.  Lindyssey   70.  Lyndissai
 13.  Lindeseia   42.  Linsai   71.  Lyndissay
 14.  Lindeseie   43.  Linsaie   72.  Lyndisseye
 15.  Lindesey   44.  Linsay   73.  Lyndsa
 16.  Lindesi   45.  Linsey   74.  Lyndsai
 17.  Lindesie   46.  Linzee   75.  Lyndsaie
 18.  Lindesins   47.  Lyncay   76.  Lyndsay
 19.  Lindessay   48.  Lynddessay   77.  Lyndsey
 20.  Lindessaya   49.  Lynddessaye   78.  Lyndseye
 21.  Lindessaye   50.  Lynddesai   79.  Lyndsy
 22.  Lindessey   51.  Lyndesai   80.  Lyndyesaye
 23.  Lindesseye   52.  Lyndesay   81.  Lyndysay
 24.  Lindessi   53.  Lyndeseia   82.  Lyndyssay
 25.  Lindesy   54.  Lyndeseie   83.  Lyndyssey
 26.  Lindesye   55.  Lyndesey   84.  Lynsay
 27.  Lindeszey   56.  Lyndeseya   85.  Lynse
 28.  Lindiesay   57.  Lyndeseye   86.  Lynsey
 29.  Lindisay   58.  Lyndesheie  

  * For the sake of simplicity, we have establish that the use of the Lindsay surname, throughout this web site, implies all the accepted spellings of the surname found on this page of Orthography.  


Orthography Addendum

The various spellings of the Lindsay (how ever spelled) surname found in the Orthography above was taken from the Appendix, page 413 of Lives of the Lindsays, Vol. 1, authored by Lord Lindsay in 1858.  Since that time we all have witnessed additional modifications of our surname.  A noted historian and Lindsay researcher, Philip M. Lindsey of Independence, Missouri, has assembled an Addendum to the original Lindsay Orthography sited above.  Phil has spent many years combing through volumes of records and recording his findings.  This following Foreword and Addendum contributed by Phil Lindsey was posted at the Lindsay International web site August 22, 2002, for the purpose of providing additional insight for Lindsay researchers in need of this knowledge.  Our thanks to Phil Lindsey for his efforts and willingness to share the fruits of his genealogical research into the Lindsay surname.



Like most Linds*ys, I early found that there was more than one way to spell my surname. I first heard the question "are you an ey or an ay Linds*y?" from my Kindergarten teacher. Only when I took up genealogy did I realize it was more complex issue than I had supposed.

In 1999, I gained access to a database of the indexed names of all Missouri heads of household in the Federal Censuses of 1830 through 1870. Using the Soundex, I looked for all Linds*ys in Missouri during that period. After culling out all but true Linds*ys, obvious variants, and (possible) misspellings, I was left with a total of 590 names for the five federal censuses. Not 590 different people but 590 names, due to repetitions each ten years.

One of my own line was listed on four of the five censuses, and his name was spelled differently each time. It was then that it dawned on me that some of the "Brick Wall" ancestors I was looking for (and couldn't locate) might well be exactly where I thought they were, but I couldn't find them due to spelling variations. So I then decided to look at those spellings for any person that I knew (or suspected) to be a Linds*y and see how big a problem the "different" spellings could be. The 590 names yielded the following spellings:

    Lindsey     =     243
    Lindsay     =     149
    Linsey       =       79
    Linsay       =       10

The total was 481 between these most common spellings which represented only 81.5% of the 590 Linds*y names.

A real problem, it seemed, since 18.5% of the Missouri Linds*ys would escape the detection of researchers relying solely on spelling.  And worse, assuming a beginning genealogist looked only for the Lindsey spelling, the likelihood of finding their ancestor, correctly spelled, dropped to 41%.

With that realization, I decided to start a list of all known (or suspected) spellings of Linds*y appearing in Missouri.  Since then I have deleted some of the suspects when appropriate, as well as adding other Linds*y variants, both in Missouri and other states.

Of the original 590 from Missouri, I found 32 spellings which seemed to be Linds*ys. When the four most common were subtracted, that left 28 spellings shared by the 109 Linds*ys who didn't fit in with the "Big Four".  Of these remaining 28 variants, at least 20 were most definitely variants of the name Linds*y.

Was it of any worth? My own line would prove the point. My GGGGrandmother, is buried in Boone County, Missouri. I had found her living with children on the 1850 and 1860 Federal Census records. But I could never find her on the 1840 Missouri Federal census lists. Until I took the 1840 census film itself and moved each direction on the film from her newly married son (1837). When I did that, there she was! Just where I should have expected her. Less than 15 residences away from her son, with her name recorded as "Elizabeth Linesy".

Since then, I have felt that we ignore spelling at our own peril when we look for ancestors. So I submit the following 40 variants as Linds*ys that I have found during my research. I have removed all those that are still in doubt from the Addendum list below or whose source is not available. But, if I am sure of any thing in the world, it is that the list below will always be incomplete. If, and when, other names (Lisnay, Lidsey, Lindezy, etc.) prove out, I will add them to my list.

I hope this Addendum will be of some help to the Lindsay readers.

Phil Lindsey



Addendum to the Historical Lindsay Orthography

Based On Official Records Found in Colonial to 20th Century United States of America

As Researched and Cataloged By Researcher of the Lindsey Surname

Mr. Philip Lindsey

of Independence, Missouri


  1. Landsey, First name: George, Where Found: GA, Source: Clay CO, GA, Obits; http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ga/clay/obits/early/slandsey.txt
  2. Landsy, First name: Mary, Where Found: GB, Source: Aisholt Marriages, Somerset, England; http://www.westcountrygenealogy.com/somerset/aisholt_marriages.htm
  3. Lemsey, First name: William, Where Found: MO, Source: Ripley CO, MO m. Louisa Parrigan, 10-9-1851; ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/mo/ripley/vitals/rip-i-l.txt
  4. Lendsay, First name: Elisha & Sally, Where Found: SC, Source: Spartanburg, SC, 1850 Federal Census; ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/sc/spartanburg/census/1850/1850spar.txt
  5. Lendsey, First name: Thomas J., Where Found: IL, Source: White CO, IL; 
  6. Lidsey, First name: Richard & Susan, Where Found: MS, Source: Sunflower Co, MS, 1850 Census; http://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ms/sunflower/census/1850/indx-a-z.txt
  7. Lincy, First name: Charlotte, Where Found: KY, Source: Bath CO, KY; 2-1-1821; W. Wacker m. C. Lincy; http://www.mindspring.com/~kyblue/bath/archives/marriages/marw.htm
  8. Lindesy, First name: John, Where Found: MS, Source: Choctaw CO, MS, 1-5-1882; served as bondsman; http://www.rootsweb.com/~mschocta/marriages.html
  9. Lindezy, First Name: ?, Where found: Missouri, Source: ?
  10. Lindizy, First name: William, Where Found: MO, Source: Cedar CO, MO, Federal Census, Jefferson Township, 768/47
  11. Lindsley, First name: Emily, Where Found: MO, Source: http://freepages.genealogy.rootsweb.com/~mackley/1850MoCoImageLinksPages/Platte50ImagesPage.htm
  12. Lindsly, First name: John, Where Found: MO, Source: St. Genevieve Co, MO, page 313, 1860 federal Census, Saline Township
  13. Lindsy, First name: James, Where Found: MO, Source: Henry Co, Mo, 1860 Federal Census; HH: R628 F628, Grand RiverTwnshp, Henry County, Missouri
  14. Lindzey, First name: Maj. W., Where Found: TN, Source: Carter Co, TN; County Meeting Minutes for 1804-1829 for date 5-13-1820
  15. Lindzy, First name: Elisabeth, Where Found: AL, Source: Early Alabama Marriages, page 133, Elisabeth Lindzy married Nathan McAllister on 6-18-1833
  16. Linesy, First name: Elizabeth, Where Found: MO, Source: Boone CO, MO, 1840 Census
  17. Linnsy, First Name: James; & John, Where Found: Massachusetts, Source: SS Pavonia to Boston, 9-1-1890; http://istg.rootsweb.com/v4/1800v4/pavonia18900901_04.html
  18. Linsa, First name: unavailable, Where Found: GA, Source: Irwin CO, GA, 1850 Federal Census; ftp://ftp.rootsweb.com/pub/usgenweb/ga/irwin/census/1850/1850indx.txt
  19. Linsdy, First name: William, Where Found: TX, Source: Pvt, Co. I, 125 Indiana, 1890 Dallas County, Texas, Federal Census; http://www.flash.net/~wrighttx/TXU-KJ.htm
  20. Linsely, First name: Peter & Susan, Where Found: MO, Source: Morgan CO, MO, 1860, Federal Census; Peter, p.672, Susan, p673, Moreau Township, Morgan CO, MO
  21. Linsley, First name: many, Where Found: MO, Source: common variant
  22. Linsly, First name: Jasper, Where Found: MO, Source: "Linsly Jasper MO Searcy's Bn.S.S. Co.A"; http://www.missouridivision-scv.org/mounits/searcy-ss.htm
  23. Linssy, First name: Hennery, Where Found: VA, Source: Index to the 1810 Census of Virginia, page 199
  24. Linsy, First name: James, Where Found: MO, Source: Monroe Co, MO Federal Census, page 718, Washington Township, Monroe CO, MO.
  25. Linza, First name: Asberry, Where Found: MO, Source: Buchanan CO, MO 1860 Federal Census, page 181, Center Township, Buchanan CO, MO
  26. Linzey, First name: John, Where Found: IN, Source: Fayette CO, IN, 1850 Federal Census, page 212B; http://www.rootsweb.com/~cenfiles/in/fayette/1850/pg0204b.txt
  27. Linzy, First name: William, Where Found: MO, Source: Taney CO, MO, 1870 Federal Census, page 313 Beaver Township, Taney County, Missouri
  28. Lyncy, First name: David, Where Found: KY, Source: Bourbon Co, Ky Tax list, dated 6/?/1791;


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