Author Topic: Name change in mid-life - WHY?  (Read 1108 times)

Offline kath davis

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #18 on: Monday 16 November 20 14:51 GMT (UK) »
There may be a simple reason for this - or maybe not!  In 1911 the householder filled in the form - this would probably have been the father.  Previously the enumerator called and filled in the form - when possibly only the mother was at home.  Mother would remember the child's Baptismal name - even if it wasn't used regularly, but father probably just did the job without too much thought. 

On the subject of Baptismal names and form filling - the entry in the Parish register was, in many cases "slightly" abridged, I suspect that at the Baptism the priest used the full name given to him at the time by the Godparents - form filling was not a priority, it just had to be done, so  "Thos of Thos Smith" was the entry.... and sometimes he would even get the first Thos wrong - it was probably John!

I have enjoyed reading these comments, and given some food for thuoght, brought back memories and even educated.  Thankyou all
Davis - Worcestershire
Dobson - Bucks/Essex
Longfield - Yorkshire/Newcastle
Franklin - Lincs/Yorks border
Exelby - Yorkshire
Chapman - Cambridgeshire
Aitken - Fife/Lincolnshire
Harrison - Yorkshire
Palfreman - Yorkshire

Offline DianaCanada

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #19 on: Monday 16 November 20 20:18 GMT (UK) »
Google says the old feast of St. Thomas was celebrated on Dec 21, perhaps your William/Thomas became more religious in later life, and if that was his actual birthday, decided to take the name.

Someone I know - her familyís surname was changed when she was young because it would have been awkward in her fatherís profession...and she took her middle name in her teens, so two changes!

Offline Sloe Gin

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #20 on: Tuesday 17 November 20 00:00 GMT (UK) »
There may be a simple reason for this - or maybe not! In 1911 the householder filled in the form - this would probably have been the father.  Previously the enumerator called and filled in the form - when possibly only the mother was at home.  Mother would remember the child's Baptismal name - even if it wasn't used regularly, but father probably just did the job without too much thought. 

No!  This is wrong.

The system was always the same.  The enumerator left a form at each dwelling a week or so before the census.  He then returned to collect the completed forms.  There may have been occasions when the form hadn't been filled in by the time he called back for it, and then he might have had to help with completing it.

Before 1911 the original household forms were destroyed after the information had been extracted from them.  The 1911 census is the first where they were preserved.
UK census content is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk  Transcriptions are my own.


Offline kath davis

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #21 on: Tuesday 17 November 20 08:59 GMT (UK) »
I stand corrected, thank you. But the same result can stand, many people could not read and write - evidence of his/her marks on marriage records. A lot of the information would be taken verbally.
Davis - Worcestershire
Dobson - Bucks/Essex
Longfield - Yorkshire/Newcastle
Franklin - Lincs/Yorks border
Exelby - Yorkshire
Chapman - Cambridgeshire
Aitken - Fife/Lincolnshire
Harrison - Yorkshire
Palfreman - Yorkshire

Offline emeraldcity

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #22 on: Tuesday 17 November 20 17:05 GMT (UK) »
I have established that William and Thomas Franklin - earlier post Lincolnshire section - are most likely the same person.  But why should someone change his name in mid-life?  The change happened between 1813 and 1815.  He was born in Worlaby about 1782 (from 1851 census for Thomas). There is a baptism for William Franklin 26 Dec 1782 parents John and Ann Franklin.  He was married 1803 as William, to Mary Cooper.  The first 9 of his children were baptised at Middle Street Independent, Wrawby, their father was William.  The change came before/when the 10th child, Ann was baptised at Independent Chapel, Brigg, and no 11 at Wrawby Street Independent Brigg (could be the same place); their father was recorded as Thomas.  Thomas was also recorded when the next 2 baptisms returned to Independent Wrawby, the minister was different to the one performing the first 8 baptisms.  At his 2nd marriage he is again Thomas, registered in 1841 1nd 51 censuses and died as Thomas.
As I am satisfied that they are the same man, this is just a discussion issue, unless someone can show differently! Hope this is the best place for it.

I've encountered the exact same mystery. Unfortunately I have no good answer other than the most likely scenario that they were nicknames that eventually usurped their real ones on formal documentation. Really would love to know for sure though! And new names probably explains the certain individuals I just cannot find trace of...

Offline kath davis

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #23 on: Wednesday 18 November 20 09:36 GMT (UK) »
I do believe my one boils down to the minister, he would know his flocks given names and write those in the register.  The change of Minister coincided with the change of name.  But why William became Thomas in the first place remains a mystery.  Good luck with your search, the answer is probably out there somewhere, as mine was, you just have to find it.
Davis - Worcestershire
Dobson - Bucks/Essex
Longfield - Yorkshire/Newcastle
Franklin - Lincs/Yorks border
Exelby - Yorkshire
Chapman - Cambridgeshire
Aitken - Fife/Lincolnshire
Harrison - Yorkshire
Palfreman - Yorkshire

Offline Sloe Gin

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #24 on: Wednesday 18 November 20 12:41 GMT (UK) »
I stand corrected, thank you. But the same result can stand, many people could not read and write - evidence of his/her marks on marriage records. A lot of the information would be taken verbally.

Very likely, but making a mark instead of signing a document doesn't always indicate illiteracy.  There are various other reasons why people might sign with a mark.  This has been discussed in other threads.

But it's true that not everyone filled in their own census forms.  Some would have been completed by the enumerator, but a neighbour or literate child may have done it at dictation, and assistance was sometimes organised by the local clergy or schoolteacher. 
UK census content is Crown Copyright, from www.nationalarchives.gov.uk  Transcriptions are my own.

Offline Misha77

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #25 on: Friday 20 November 20 20:08 GMT (UK) »
Hello there, interesting posting.  I would have thought for religious reasons; that he had changed his church.  He did not have a friend or family member who died so he changed in his name in their memory, did he?   

Offline kath davis

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Re: Name change in mid-life - WHY?
« Reply #26 on: Saturday 21 November 20 16:05 GMT (UK) »
Sloe Gin - I will try and find the thread, it may make interesting reading.  Never too late to learn! 
Misha77 - I do think it is probably something to do with the Church - when there was a change of minister William/Thomas had his next child baptised at the next Independent chapel, but he returned to the first with the new minister, so doesn't look like falling out, more like no minister to do the baptism.   But as you say, interesting thread.
Thanks both for your comments
Davis - Worcestershire
Dobson - Bucks/Essex
Longfield - Yorkshire/Newcastle
Franklin - Lincs/Yorks border
Exelby - Yorkshire
Chapman - Cambridgeshire
Aitken - Fife/Lincolnshire
Harrison - Yorkshire
Palfreman - Yorkshire