Author Topic: Interchangeable names ?  (Read 9250 times)

Offline oldfashionedgirl

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Interchangeable names ?
« 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

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Offline aghadowey

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #1 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
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Offline sonofthom

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #2 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.
Sinclair: Lanarkshire & Antrim; McDougall: Bute; Ramsay: Invernesshire; Thomson & Robertson: Perthshire; Brown: Argyll; Scott: Ayrshire: Duff: Fife.

Offline Forfarian

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #3 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.
Researching

AITKENHEAD, Lanarkshire; BINNY, Forfar; BLACK, New Monkland; BRYSON, Cumbernauld; BURGESS, North-East Scotland; CRUICKSHANK, Rothes; DALLAS, Botriphnie; DAVIDSON, Oyne; GUTHRIE, Angus; HOGG, Larbert; LESLIE, Rothes/Mortlach; MENDUM, England; MOLLISON, Lethnot; PATERSON, Larbert; RHIND, Forfar; SANG, Scotland; SCOTT, East Kilbride; STOR(R)I/E/Y, Shotts; THORNTON, Shotts; WADDELL, New Monkland; WILKIE, New Monkland; WILKIE, Tannadice; WYLLIE, Angus; YOUNG, Keith

Offline kathb

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #4 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
Census information is Crown Copyright from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk
Baker/Cheshire,Crewe/Somerset
Davies/Calvert/Cheshire, Birkenhead/Yorkshire, Bowes
Fitzsimmons/Cheshire, Birkenhead/Lancashire, Liverpool/Ireland
Lewis/Cheshire,Spurstow, Bunbury, Little Budworth, Helsby/Birkenhead
Mackay/Mckay Caithness
Anderson/, Caithness
Dunnet, Caithness
Mowat/ Caithness
Gunn/ Caithness
Smith/Caithness, Dunnet, Thurso, Castletown
Rosie/Caithness, Thurso
Sadlier Forster/Liverpool/Ireland, Cork

Offline Skoosh

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #5 on: Friday 21 January 11 14:47 GMT (UK) »
Peter/Patrick's another!      Skoosh.

Offline apanderson

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #6 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

Offline ev

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #7 on: Friday 21 January 11 17:29 GMT (UK) »
.... and Helen/Ellen can sometimes be Nelly  ;D

ev
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Offline MonicaL

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Re: Interchangeable names ?
« Reply #8 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  :)
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