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Scotland (Counties as in 1851-1901) => Scotland => Topic started by: oldfashionedgirl on Friday 21 January 11 13:28 GMT (UK)

Title: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: oldfashionedgirl on Friday 21 January 11 13:28 GMT (UK)
I have discovered several interchangeable names during my search.
Sometimes they are direct translations from Gaelic i.e James/Hamish,
but the ones that foxed me were Jane/Jean and Janet/Jessie.
Has anybody else come across this ans if so what were they so I can save some time in the future

Thanks
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: aghadowey on Friday 21 January 11 13:35 GMT (UK)
It's a common thing in Scotland (and Northern Ireland) and has been mentioned before. Agnes/Ann/Hannah/Nancy are also interchangeable. Also Helen/Ellen (Helen seems to be used more in Scotland while Ellen is more common in Ireland).
http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?561
http://www.whatsinaname.net/
http://www.clanmacvicar.org/history/surnames.shtml

See also- http://www.rootschat.com/forum/index.php?PHPSESSID=ehq36ea921drm5cgsfrb0tl8f6&topic=211676.0
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: sonofthom on Friday 21 January 11 14:01 GMT (UK)
I struggled for a long time to track down my great grandfather Peter Thomson's birth until I discovered that his birth was recorded as Patrick Thomson! Peter and Patrick were interchangeable. I had a similar problem with my great great grandfather Daniel Brown as I was unaware that Donald and Daniel were interchangeable. Don't forget also John and Iain.

As for surnames I couldn't trace the birth of my ancestor Agnes Fraser until discovering that her birth and that of some of her siblings were recorded under the name Frizzel, which I think is a sort of phonetic rendering of the Gaelic version of Fraser.

If it was easy to trace your ancestors it wouldn't be so much fun!

Alex.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Forfarian on Friday 21 January 11 14:07 GMT (UK)
See www.whatsinaname.net

Hamish is an anglicisation of the vocative case of Seumas, pronounced roughyl 'shay-mass', which is the Gaelic version of James. In the vocative case in Gaelic the initial letter of the name is 'aspirated' which results in a change in the sound of the first letter of the name. In writing, this change is indicated by adding 'h' after the aspirated letter. The effect is to make 'shay-mass' into 'hay-mass', hence Hamish, which although grammatically incorrect has now become a name it its own right.

Jane and Jean are both feminine variants of John. They are both simply 'j-n' so it isn't hard to see why they are used interchangeably. Only the middle vowel changes in speech, and the change from 'a' to 'ea' is very minor in phonetic terms.

Janet and Jessie are more problematic. Jessie hardly occurs at all until the 19th century, but from then on it is regularly used as a synonym for Janet. No-one seems to have come up with a really convincing explanation of this.

Other interchangeable names include Donald/Daniel, Peter/Patrick, Elizabeth/Elspeth, Beatrice/Betsy and so on, but the web site above goes into the whole matter very thoroughly so there is no point in repeating it all here.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: kathb on Friday 21 January 11 14:13 GMT (UK)
Thanks for this, it has finally explained to me why my Daniel, couldn't be found, he is recorded as Donald.
Regards
Kathb
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Skoosh on Friday 21 January 11 14:47 GMT (UK)
Peter/Patrick's another!      Skoosh.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: apanderson on Friday 21 January 11 17:20 GMT (UK)
 ;D

If I don't laugh - I would be crying ........!

I've got Janes, Janets, Jeans, Jessies (plus Elizas, Elizabeths, Elspeths, Betsys and Bettys) all the the same families, so it's fun and games trying to figure out not only which one is which, but who was the one who actually married so-and-so!

Mind you, when the puzzle (sometimes) eventually gets solved it's wonderful!!

Anne
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: ev on Friday 21 January 11 17:29 GMT (UK)
.... and Helen/Ellen can sometimes be Nelly  ;D

ev
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: MonicaL on Friday 21 January 11 17:36 GMT (UK)
The website that aghadowey recommended www.whatsinaname.net is a fantastic resource for name variants, with a strong Scottish bias.

I was really impressed not too long ago by the website owner. A RC member discovered a new variant on a first name and contacted the site owner and within a matter of days, the new variant had been added to the database and appeared on the site.

Monica  :)
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: oldfashionedgirl on Friday 21 January 11 23:03 GMT (UK)
Thanks to everyone who replied, it makes very interesting reading. Looking forward to tomorrow when I can apply the results to my "lost souls" who have eluded me so far.

Cheers to you all, I appreciate your help

OFG
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Seoras on Tuesday 01 February 11 01:20 GMT (UK)
I searched for ages for a Nancy until a kind RC member pointed out it was a pet form of Agnes,was easy after that.Also I eventually found the DC for my GG grandfather James Steen,transcribed as Stevens.Apparently that's the Anglicised version of Steen.Oh and Anne,yes Elizabeth,I have lots of them in a variety of spellings ;D

George.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: aghadowey on Tuesday 01 February 11 09:38 GMT (UK)
Stephens, Stephenson, Stevenson, Stevens, Stinson, Steen are all interchageable.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: angusm on Thursday 10 February 11 21:18 GMT (UK)
Perhaps the most difficult examples are on the fringe of Gaelic. Marion, Mor and Sarah are, for instance, routinely interchanged and there are other examples.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: patval on Tuesday 15 February 11 19:57 GMT (UK)
Hi,

I struggled with Hugh/Ewan...

Patricia..
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: oldfashionedgirl on Wednesday 16 February 11 14:33 GMT (UK)
But what about surnames ?

Does anyone think that Cameron /Campbell are interchangeable ?

I have a lady who I am sure are one and the same person.

From marriage, through 5 children, and on their death certificates (she died before 1855) she appears as Jane/Jean Cameron/Campbell in several combinations. Maybe here husband got it wrong when registering the children , but he remains a shoemaker throughout and they live in the same area.
Also there is no marriage registered to a Jean/Jane Campbell

Strange....
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Skoosh on Wednesday 16 February 11 15:41 GMT (UK)
I was at a Heilan wedding once, where the minister asked, "Do you Donald Archibald take Jessie Annie!" thought I was at the wrong church, Danny & Babs!     Skoosh.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Forfarian on Wednesday 16 February 11 15:58 GMT (UK)
Does anyone think that Cameron /Campbell are interchangeable ?

It looks highly unlikely to me.

Cameron is either from the places of similar names in the Lowlands, or from Gaelic 'cam' meaning 'crooked' or 'bent' plus 'sron' meaning 'nose' - a reference to a hooked nose said to be prevalent among descendants of the Highland clan.

Campbell is from 'cam' as before and 'beul' meaning 'mouth', so means 'crooked mouth', though the jury is out as to whether this is a reference to a physical or a moral characteristic.

Either way, Camerons and Campbells were on opposing sides during the Jacobite Risings, and it's hard to imagine anyone deliberately using them interchangeably, or even getting them mixed up.

But almost anything is possible.

Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Skoosh on Wednesday 16 February 11 16:24 GMT (UK)
A bit of a generalisation about the Jacobite Rebellions, there were Keppoch Campbells who were Jacobites and much of the Clan Campbell followed Breadalbane into the '15 Rebellion, they were defeated by Argyll  (Red John of the Battles) at Sheriffmuir.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Forfarian on Wednesday 16 February 11 16:32 GMT (UK)
A bit of a generalisation about the Jacobite Rebellions

Indeed. It was rather a sweeping generalisation, for which I apologise.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: patval on Wednesday 16 February 11 17:17 GMT (UK)
We have an ancestor who in 1814 baptised John Lauder Hislop.

During our quest to find the beginnings and endings of John we discovered.... not too easily I add...that he also went under the name of John Hislop Lauder and also John Lauder. On his daughter Margarets death certificate he is recorded as John Hislop Lauder. His daughters are registered with the name Lauder, yet on the census of 1861, 71 and 81 he is found as a Hislop.... oddly enough his second wife Jane and daughter Grace are recorded under the name LAUDER  whilst staying with other family members at the time of the 1861 census... On his death certificate he is John Lauder or Hislop....
His first daughter Ann on marriage and death certification is recorded as Lauder also fathers name John Lauder.

Confusing.....
Do your Campbells/ have second names or relatives with either name?


Patricia
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: sonofthom on Wednesday 16 February 11 17:43 GMT (UK)
I am having real problems with my great great grandmother whose surname name randomly varies between Woods and Woodside. She may have been born in Ulster although the various documents that I have referring to her are Scottish; she died in Bothwell in 1885. One document, perhaps just a mistake, refers to her as Wood. Anyone else got a Woods/Woodside problem?
Alex.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: aghadowey on Saturday 19 February 11 14:38 GMT (UK)
I am having real problems with my great great grandmother whose surname name randomly varies between Woods and Woodside. She may have been born in Ulster although the various documents that I have referring to her are Scottish; she died in Bothwell in 1885. One document, perhaps just a mistake, refers to her as Wood. Anyone else got a Woods/Woodside problem?
Alex.

Afraid we often do that in Ulster - names with O' and Mc/Mac are notorious for that but can also see it would happen with Woodside/Woods/Wood. (Aunt's  mother was a Woodside from Ballyclare area but I haven't traced much of that side of her family yet so will have to keep an eye out for variations as well)
Many Ulster Scots families would refer, even now, to being of Scottish descent even if the family arrived in Ireland several hundred years ago. Also, there was always lots of movement back and forth bewtween Ireland and Scotland which means some children in a family could be born in the one place and some in the other.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Max Hislop on Thursday 17 May 12 16:49 BST (UK)
We have an ancestor who in 1814 baptised John Lauder Hislop.

During our quest to find the beginnings and endings of John we discovered.... not too easily I add...that he also went under the name of John Hislop Lauder and also John Lauder. On his daughter Margarets death certificate he is recorded as John Hislop Lauder. His daughters are registered with the name Lauder, yet on the census of 1861, 71 and 81 he is found as a Hislop.... oddly enough his second wife Jane and daughter Grace are recorded under the name LAUDER  whilst staying with other family members at the time of the 1861 census... On his death certificate he is John Lauder or Hislop....
His first daughter Ann on marriage and death certification is recorded as Lauder also fathers name John Lauder.

Confusing.....
Do your Campbells/ have second names or relatives with either name?


Patricia

Patricia- I can't believe it! I've been trying to track down John Lauder Hislop for ages! He is an ancestor of mine and seemed to have disappeared from the records. Your research seems to have solved the mystery. I'd love to know what you have found out about him and to let you see what I found out. Last record I had of him was he was living in Biggar in Lanarkshire with his second family.
Please contact me.
Thanks Max
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Sutherland74 on Friday 26 January 18 16:40 GMT (UK)
Thanks for this, it has finally explained to me why my Daniel, couldn't be found, he is recorded as Donald.
Regards
Kathb

I also now understand why my ancestor's  :)death certificate shows Daniel but the birth record Donald.
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: Liviani on Saturday 27 January 18 17:09 GMT (UK)
I have a Marion/Marian/Mary Ann/Mariane in my tree.  ::)
Title: Re: Interchangeable names ?
Post by: patval on Saturday 27 January 18 17:23 GMT (UK)
Hi Max... re John Lauder Hislop...

I have only just found your message... so sorry its ages ago...

Are you still interested in finding info re John... If so I will share what I have... Our connection is through Ann Lauder who married David French.... Ann was the daughter of John and his first wife Helen. 

 Regards Patricia