Author Topic: Why swap forenames around?  (Read 2486 times)

Offline Phisherman

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 16
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Why swap forenames around?
« on: Wednesday 06 January 10 20:01 GMT (UK) »
Hi all,

I read somewhere that many Welsh origin families have this thing where they swap their birth registered forenames about, & I have found this many times in a family with the surname Wales.

Does anyone know the reason or origin of this?

Many thanks.

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Rockford

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 291
  • The Ancestral Home!
    • View Profile
Re: Why swap forenames around?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 06 January 10 22:36 GMT (UK) »
Hi,

I suppose it could be where families used the traditional naming patterns, so for example, if the oldest son was always called John, you could end up with three John Smiths - grandfather, father and son. Switching the names is better than Old John, Young John and Wee John!

Or it's maybe something completely different......

Best wishes

Rockford
Burnside [Londonderry, Lothians and Pennsylvania]
Thorburn [Lanarkshire], Vair [Melrose]
Sweeney [Donegal/Lanarkshire]
Gilchrist [Lanarkshire, Peebles, Lothians], Smith [Dunbartonshire, Lanarkshire, Lothians]
Gregory [Bucks, Wales], Bennett [Somerset, Wales]
Letherby/Howlett/Phipps [Somerset]
Hunter [New Monkland, Fife], Gwynne [New Monkland, Stirling, Midlothian]
Logie/Dunlop/Thomson/Young [West Lothian]

RootsChat is the busiest, largest free family history forum site in the country. It is completely free to use. Register now.
Also register instantly with Facebook or Twitter (and other social networks). Start your genealogy search now.


Offline Old Mother Reilly

  • RootsChat Senior
  • ****
  • Posts: 419
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.natio
    • View Profile
Re: Why swap forenames around?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 06 January 10 22:43 GMT (UK) »
I have a couple who were given the first names of their mothers/fathers and thereafter used their middle names as their own (except occasionally for formal purposes).  If I can't find someone who shares a first name with a close relative I try searching on just their middle name or with forenames reversed - just in case!  Thank goodness some of them were given middle names ...
Stevens (Devizes, Calne, Wootton Bassett): Hunt (Milford, Lymington, Calne): Moore (Ipswich): Whitlock (Pitton & Farley, Salisbury): Hayter (Whiteparish)

O'Reilly (Sheffield, Flint, L'pool, Co. Longford): Foxton (Sheffield, Northallerton, Thirsk): Spragg (St. Teath, Delabole, Pengelly): Stabb (Berry Pomeroy)

Gore (Newbury, Wigan): Hawkins (Gt Bedwyn, Hungerford): Massey/Wallis (Shalbourne): Mildenhall (Ogbourne): Smith/Lilley (Nhants): Wernham (Chieveley): Woosnam (mid-Wales, Salop): Yaldwyn

Offline Phisherman

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 16
  • Census information Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
    • View Profile
Re: Why swap forenames around?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 06 January 10 23:12 GMT (UK) »
Hi again,

Thank you for the replies!

This is a bit of an odd thing, & a fairly regular occurance, & can get very very confusing!

As an example with say Mary Ann Wales, she would then be known as Ann Mary Wales, which is not to bad.

However, when you find two brothers with the same two forenames, & again as an example, William Robert Wales & Robert William Wales, & who have both swapped their middle names around, it is really awkward! The only give away is their ages, on say census records?

Thanks again.


Offline GPJ

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 47
  • pwy yw'r dyn yn y llun? Who is in the photo?
    • View Profile
Re: Why swap forenames around?
« Reply #4 on: Friday 21 May 10 22:56 BST (UK) »
Hi.
In Wales some families did not use surnames at all.  Traditionally the fathers name would be used for the second name of the son or daughter, so for example Llewelyn David may call his first son David Llewelyn.
Some may use the word "ap" (son of) e.g. David ap Llewelyn.
Hope this is of help.
GPJ
Jones Abercraf/Epynt/Ystradfellte
Davies Llanegwad
Williams Rhiw fawr
Cottinghams

Offline wilcoxon

  • -
  • RootsChat Marquessate
  • ****
  • Posts: 6,028
  • Barry Sheene 1950-2003
    • View Profile
Re: Why swap forenames around?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 21 May 10 23:09 BST (UK) »
Census information is Crown Copyright (see: www.nationalarchives.gov.uk)

Offline WELSHNEV

  • RootsChat Extra
  • **
  • Posts: 32
  • Mam as child during WW2
    • View Profile
Re: Why swap forenames around?
« Reply #6 on: Monday 21 June 10 22:27 BST (UK) »
Hi,
Not sure if you are still wondering but maybe this explains it.
In 1292, 48 per cent of Welsh names were patronymics, and in some parishes over 70 per cent. Other names were derived from nicknames, (rarely) occupational names, and a few non-hereditary personal names.[2] Patronymic names changed from generation to generation, with a person's baptismal name being linked by ap, ab (son of) or ferch (daughter of) to the father's baptismal name to perhaps the seventh generation.[1] For example, Evan son of Thomas would be known as Evan (ap) Thomas; Evan's son, John would be John (ap) Evan; John's son Rees would be Rees (ap) John; and David's son, James, would be James (ap) David.
Patronymics were essentially a genealogical history of the family (or its male line), and names such as Llewelyn ap Dafydd ab Ieuan ap Griffith ap Meredith were not uncommon. The Encyclopedia of Wales surmises that the system arose from Welsh law, which made it essential for people to know how people were descended from an ancestor.[1] These laws were decaying by the later Middle Ages, and the patronymic system was gradually replaced by fixed surnames, although the use of patronymic names continued up until the early 1800s in some rural areas. In the reign of Henry VIII surnames became hereditary amongst the Welsh gentry, and the custom spread slowly amongst commoners.[2] Areas where English influence was strong abandoned patronymics earlier, as did town families and the wealthy.
Smith Breconshire ( travellers ).
Moses Aberdare Tredegar Blackwood
Hurcombe Glous.
Wallace. Bristol.
West .LONDON
Butler Portsea. Portsmouth
Sawyer Huntingdonshire and Monmouthshire