When Ancestors Change Name

Discussion in 'Ask The Experts' started by Jonathan1990, Jun 11, 2020.

  1. Jonathan1990

    Jonathan1990 New Member

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    Records show that a X2 great grandma of mine was born with one name but changed to another name after getting married. That's not her maiden and married name I'm talking about but the first name. My granddad only knew her under her second name. Was this really possible?
     
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  2. Jellylegs

    Jellylegs Well-Known Member

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    It often happened - that's why sometimes they can be difficult to find. You can call yourself anything as long as you are not doing it with intent to commit fraud.

    Perhaps she didn't like the name she was given, so decided to use another. Or she had a middle name and used that. There could be any number of reasons - it happened quite often.
     
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  3. Sue036

    Sue036 Well-Known Member

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    If you know any more about the family you might be able to guess the reason ... or maybe not. My uncle was named George after his father but called Geo to distinguish them at home and then became Joe as an adult because without the family context that was the more obvious spelling. I had an aunt named Hilda May who called herself Mai because she thought it ‘so much nicer’. Another relative named Elizabeth was always known as Lily and Mary was Polly, Christopher was Kit and a Robert was Mim. Then there’s uncle Charlie, who wasn’t an uncle at all but a family friend.

    Be thankful that you don’t have to contend with my parents, who not only adjusted their forenames but changed their surname after marrying and before having me. Why? Well they changed it to his stage name ...
     
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  4. MollyMay

    MollyMay Knows where to find the answers!

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    One of my aunts was always called Lil, it was only when I couldn't find her birth reg I discovered her name was Margaret. Another Aunt - Ada, hated the name all of her friends called her Mary (only the family used Ada). My mum's friend was known as Ciss, her name I found out after she died, was Susan and so it goes it on.
    So not that rare at all, I bet most of us on here know at least one person who used a different name to that which they were born with.
     
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  5. AnnB

    AnnB Editor in Chief who is Hot off the Press!

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    One of my aunts was Alice Mary, hated the name Alice and used Mary - so the family called her Alice and the rest of the world Mary. My Nan was Lilian Annie, but called Mary or Dill by most people and one of my uncles was called Pad despite being baptised Harry - this was due to him throwing tantrums as a child and the name stuck for the rest of his life :rolleyes:
     
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  6. Archie's Mum

    Archie's Mum Always digging up clues

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    My mother’s name was Ailsa. She was called Ailsa by her mother and her mother’s family. To her father and his family she was Toby or Biddie. The name Toby came about when she was a toddler. They had a cat called Toby who was good friends with a pony called Toby. Toby the cat followed Toby the pony everywhere and so Toby the baby toddled after Toby the cat. My Dad never called her anything else but Toby or Tobe or more often than not, The Old Bat.
     
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  7. Nightryder

    Nightryder Well-Known Member

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    My great Grandmother was Sarah Jane but always known as Jeannie.
     
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  8. Bay Horse

    Bay Horse Can be a bit of a dark horse

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    Quite a few name changes in this family. Surname changes are really hard work - I've had a couple of those.

    Forenames change frequently too - people often didn't like their christened names.
     
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  9. Jellylegs

    Jellylegs Well-Known Member

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    My Uncle was Frederick Donald, but only ever called Don. A friend's dad was born Arthur Henry, but always known as Jerry. He also had an Aunt Sis, who was Dorothy Maud Maria - took me a while to find her.

    Mum was Dorothy Frances, but called Dinah - only know of her brother calling her Dorothy - her nephews and nieces called her Aunty Dinah or Aunt Di.
     
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  10. Ma-dotcom

    Ma-dotcom A Bonza Little Digger!

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    I did wonder yesterday- when I was on a roll with family names , BMDs, if a young woman- one Jessica Annie Wood, had done same. Aged 29 in 1911 I was unable to find a birth for her at all. A possible sighting on 1901 census in Sussex -b. 1882 in Peckham, then nothing apart from her marriage in 1903 in Croydon. Her daughter was named Jessica Ivy.
    I continued on around her finding off spring for her offspring until I noticed that none of them had a relationship connection to me.

    A backpedal found I'd been researching the brother of my Gt. Aunts husband. You may remember him, the chap no-one else in the family knows anything about due to the clergy chap using wrong name for his father at Baptism.
    I don't yet have the heart or the internal strength to wipe them from my legacy file which no-one else will view.
     
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  11. Sandiep

    Sandiep Successfully Supports Searches!

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    one side of hubbies family used 3 names as and when they felt like it Bitton, Wakeman or Raphael nothing like each other so has caused some sideways thinking...……..3 of the children were christened with one name and buried with another has made life interesting!
     
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