Author Topic: Name changes  (Read 1049 times)

Offline Erato

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Name changes
« on: Sunday 24 December 17 17:30 GMT (UK) »
What do people generally do about recording surname changes in a family tree - stick to the original birth surname or record the person under the new surname?

I have an individual who changed his surname from Rosewarne to Rosewaine.  This happened in about 1925 to 30ish when he was about 25 years old.  I don't know if the change was made in court but he lived out the rest of his life and was buried under the new name.  His daughter was born with the amended name.  As far as I can tell, no other member of his family made such a change; the rest all stuck with Rosewarne.
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr

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Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #1 on: Sunday 24 December 17 20:43 GMT (UK) »
What do people generally do about recording surname changes in a family tree - stick to the original birth surname or record the person under the new surname?

I have an individual who changed his surname from Rosewarne to Rosewaine.  This happened in about 1925 to 30ish when he was about 25 years old.  I don't know if the change was made in court but he lived out the rest of his life and was buried under the new name.  His daughter was born with the amended name.  As far as I can tell, no other member of his family made such a change; the rest all stuck with Rosewarne.

Both!

On the software I use I record the person under his/her birth name or baptism name if no birth name is recorded, I then add any or all alternative names on the record under the names tag.
This allows me to record as many alternative names as I wish under the identifiers of

Also Known As,
Nickname,
Short name (for reports),
Adopted name,
Hebrew Name,
Census Name,
Married Name,
German Name,
Farm Name,
Birth Name,
Indian name,
Formal Name,
Current Name,
Soldier Name,
Formerly Known As,
Religious Name,
Called,
Indigenous Name,
Tombstone Name,
Other Name.

I can also add a Prefix or Suffix to the names here.

Cheers
Guy
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Offline clairec666

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 26 December 17 02:21 GMT (UK) »
I record people using the name they use the most often, and attach notes to any records which use a different spelling.

For example, one relative was born with the surname Moul, and appears in one census with this spelling, but when he married he spelled it Moule, his children were registered with this spelling, and so was his death (and his wife's). So he's recorded in my tree as Moule with a note attached to his birth record stating the alternative spelling.

Sometimes it's not so straightforward deciding which of several spellings to use!
ESSEX - Albrorough, Cant, Dash, Deacon, Fincham, Luckin, Moul, Potter, Richmond, Ruse, Tansley, Turrill, Whiting, Wisby
SUFFOLK - Bell, Godden, Good
SHROPSHIRE - Breakwell, Brick, Edwards
STAFFORDSHIRE - Male, Ryder, Salter, Webb, Yates
WORCS - Frazer, Nind, Pardoe, Woodward
NORTHANTS - Sharp, Brawn, Randall
CAMBS/HUNTS - Benton, Glithro, Hayes, Robinett, Speechley, Watts, Whitehead
KENT - Cullen, Hopkins, Pilcher
SOMERSET - Hodges, Weston
WILTS - Dash
GLOUCS - Clouter, Seager

Offline Yonks Ago

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 26 December 17 06:02 GMT (UK) »
Name changes can be for a number of reason's in one of my families there are 7 different spellings and with 3 different spellings on one marriage record and I have proved that they are all in my tree...another reason could be just missplet when recorded.

Yonks
Kilgallon Langdon Nicol Bolger Smith Carlisle Thomas Delahide Blackman Harley Amphlett Scarbourgh Murrish Oats Tonkin Aveyard Armitage Child Fox Bland Gomersal Mountain Gelder Harrison Armstrong Laws Steel Main Lambert Law Laws Christie Kirk Bell Black Amphlett Barclay Harley Dewar Rodger Fortune McCann Nealis Sutherland Rumgay

Offline Caw1

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 26 December 17 08:53 GMT (UK) »
I have found this a little confusing at times... one branch of my maternal sides surname is 'Harris' but somewhere over time they decided to add an extra 's'!!
As you can inmagine with a fairly common name like this it has made research quite difficult and I've spent some considerable time proving which Harris/s's have been mine.
I have recorded them with which ever version has been on their birth/bap details. Some have chopped and changed between the two versions, although it's possible that whoever was recording the information didn't always get the correct version.
My gt.grandmother apparently always made a point of telling people it was spelt with two 's's.

Caroline
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Offline mgeneas

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #5 on: Tuesday 26 December 17 20:37 GMT (UK) »
I have 3 different spellings on one marriage record. The bride was Elizabeth CORY and the witnesses were Richard COREY and Richard CORRIE

Offline Erato

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #6 on: Tuesday 26 December 17 21:42 GMT (UK) »
I am undertaking a review of all my instances of name changing to see if I can find some consistent policy.  Of course, I take note of name variations in the notes attached to individuals but oftentimes one doesn't know if the variants are errors made by census enumerators or some other official or whether they represent the spelling used by the person him/herself.  The Wares in my tree are especially problematical in this respect.  It was only in about 1850ish that they all seemed to settle on 'Ware;' previously they had been variously known as Ware, Waire, Wair, Weare, Wire, Wyer, etc.  But, for the most part, I don't know what spelling each of them favored or whether they were consistent throughout their own lives.

The Rosewarne/Rosewaine case is different, though, because he made a conscious decision to change his name and I know when he did it.  I think I even know why he did it.  He had joined the Marines as a youth and it was later discovered that he was underage and he was discharged for that reason.  Since he was apparently set on a military career, he reenlisted when he was older and, at that point, he changed his name, presumably to disassociate himself from his previous aborted time in the Marine Corps.

I have another person who abruptly changed his first and middle names when he was in his thirties.  The new names were entirely different from the old but at least he kept his surname intact.  There was also one who was registered as Sarah Elizabeth but was always called Florence G.
Wiltshire:  Banks, Taylor
Somerset:  Duddridge, Richards, Barnard, Pillinger
Gloucestershire:  Barnard, Marsh, Crossman
Bristol:  Banks, Duddridge, Barnard
Down:  Ennis, McGee
Wicklow:  Chapman, Pepper
Wigtownshire:  Logan, Conning
Wisconsin:  Ennis, Chapman, Logan, Ware
Maine:  Ware, Mitchell, Tarr

Offline Andrew Tarr

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #7 on: Tuesday 26 December 17 23:24 GMT (UK) »
It was only in about 1850ish that they all seemed to settle on 'Ware;' previously they had been variously known as Ware, Waire, Wair, Weare, Wire, Wyer, etc.  But, for the most part, I don't know what spelling each of them favored or whether they were consistent throughout their own lives.

I would say that the mid-1800s was/were the time when literacy was improving so that enough people were becoming able to read and write their names in a standard way.  Most of those who could not would likely only see their surnames written at birth/baptism or marriage, or at a relative's death - so the spelling fell to the recorder, who may have settled on spellings for local families, but made something up for others.  Educated families had probably chosen a spelling by then, and insisted on it.  I guess as children learnt to write at school, their teacher may have shown them how to spell their surname - another source of variations?
Tarr, Tydeman, Liversidge, Bartlett, Young

Offline Ruskie

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Re: Name changes
« Reply #8 on: Wednesday 27 December 17 00:01 GMT (UK) »
Your Rosewarne/Rosewaine theory may well be correct Erato, but if your lad made a conscious decision to change his name to enlist in the marines on his second attempt, why make such a subtle change? If he wanted a new identity he could have changed it to a completely different surname, or called himself Rose or Warne for example if he wanted to keep some of his old identity?

I think that sometimes the written (scribbled) small letter "r" can look like an "i". I wonder if someone in authority (possibly upon enlistment as you have narrowed it down to this time frame) wrote his surname as such - the next person who looked at his file saw an "i" instead of an "r" - your ancestor either was unaware or did not want to bring attention to himself so just went with what was written. The surname "stuck" and was never corrected? Have you sighted his enlistment papers?

I have a name change in my family, though oddly enough the proposed etymology is the same for both. In my case I think the change coincided with my ancestor moving to another part of the country - different accents = different interpretations of how that surname sounded in the new county.