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Dear Ms. McCarter,
Thank you for posting your request on History Hub!
It may be difficult to determine the exact reason as to why your ancestors changed their surname. Knowing the location, time frame, and more about the family could provide clues.
Here are a few articles that highlight different scenarios surrounding name changes that might provide ideas about how to approach the topic:
We hope this is helpful. Best of luck with your family research!
[Information provided by Elizabeth Burnes, Subject Matter Expert]