Author Topic: Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?  (Read 1865 times)

Offline s1nead

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Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?
« on: Wednesday 24 September 14 02:49 BST (UK) »
I understand that spelling was not really stanardized until the 1900s but ~

Did spelling count in 1870?

I have recently discovered the crypt of my great great grandmother in Ballyea South Cemetery.

In the inscription, our last name was spelled with one "L" ~ Reily.

I presume that my great great grandfather was responsible for writing it and, as a prominent person, I can not understand this misspelling .....

Since this is the first concrete piece of information I have found for them, I thought that maybe I'd find more if I searched for "Reily" rather than "Reilly".

However, that is not the case........ nothing new turned up with this new keyword.

I have found LOTS of information about his son ~ my great grandfather ~ using REILLY ..... so I am very confused wondering WHY his father spelled the name differently when EVERYTHING about his son used the other spelling ...

So, my question remains ~ does the spelling even matter?

Any ideas WHY he used only one "L" when the name is always spelled with two?

Am I making far too much out of this discrepancy?

Thank you!

Offline barryd

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Re: Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?
« Reply #1 on: Wednesday 24 September 14 03:54 BST (UK) »
Many people could not write or read. Some would have minimal documents possibly a baptism and or birth certificate, then a marriage entry/certificate, then finally an en entry in the parish register for burial or death certificate. The officiators whether religious or civil would spell the name as best as they could. Even if the name was spelled wrongly the person would either not care, not know or not want to ask the officiator to change the spelling on a document.

Offline s1nead

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Re: Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?
« Reply #2 on: Wednesday 24 September 14 04:34 BST (UK) »
Thank you for your reply.

I do understand that there were many people in 1870 who might not have known how to read and write.

However, since my GG Grandfather who had this crypt built for his wife was an Esquire and a Justice of the Peace, wouldn't he have been educated in that respect?

And, his son was a Solicitor with offices in both Dublin & Ennistymon so I am sure he could read and write.

Those are the reasons for my question.

Why would an Esquire who was also a JP have allowed his last name to be mispelled? Or, was spelling not that important in 1870?

Offline KGarrad

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Re: Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?
« Reply #3 on: Wednesday 24 September 14 07:55 BST (UK) »
I have recently discovered the crypt of my great great grandmother in Ballyea South Cemetery.

In the inscription, our last name was spelled with one "L" ~ Reily.

I presume that my great great grandfather was responsible for writing it and, as a prominent person, I can not understand this misspelling .....

Do you mean the inscription on the crypt?

That would have been the Monumental Mason who was at fault!
Garrad (Suffolk, Essex, Somerset), Crocker (Somerset), Vanstone (Devon, Jersey), Sims (Wiltshire), Bridger (Kent)


Offline Ruskie

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Re: Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?
« Reply #4 on: Wednesday 24 September 14 08:05 BST (UK) »
Reily/Reilly - one l is insignificant.

You often see old documents (albeit earlier than 1870) with a surname for example spelled in two or three different ways in the one document, which was presumably written by a learned person.

However I think in this instance KGarrad has hit the nail on the head - the stonemason is at fault! (I have seen numerous examples of misspellings on stones)

Offline Guy Etchells

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Re: Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 24 September 14 08:17 BST (UK) »
Yes, very possibly the stonemasons fault and not noticed by your great great grandfather.
He may not even visited the grave after the stone was laid, or if he did he may not have noticed the spelling or the stone mason may have said "Sorry sir I can't do anything about it now".

Another possibility is that is how he (or even your great great grandmother) may have spelt the name. Do you have any papers, documents census forms signed by your great great grandfather?
Cheers
Guy
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Offline s1nead

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Re: Reilly or Reily? Did spelling count in 1870?
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 24 September 14 20:54 BST (UK) »
Thank you All for your replies!

I have no real documents from my GG Grandfather but have found several references to him while he was alive.

Just last night, I found a newspaper ad that he had placed for some property in the Ballyea area dated 1858.

The last name is spelled with 2 Ls.....

Perhaps, you are correct in that he might not have seen the completed inscription before he died, 2 years later.

And ~ he lived in Ennistymon, not Ballyea .....

Is the distance between the two very far?

Maybe this was just the mason's mistake and he never got a chance to see the finished work.

We are also wondering WHY his wife was buried in Ballyea and not Ennistymon.....

Someone told me that the Ballyea South Cemetery was used for unbaptized babies........

And ~ I have not found his burial site, either ...... wondering why he is not with his wife ....

SO MANY QUESTIONS!!!

Thanks so much for your help, everyone!