Identifying Photos

Thursday, May 24, 2012

What is in a Name

How many family historians have gone looking for an ancestor and refuses to acknowledge that because the name is incorrect the record is ignored. I know I have often found that a name has been used in reverse of a registration, such as Mary Jane becomes Jane Mary.
My mother named me Carmel Maree, however when I sent for my birth certificate it had Carmel Marie. I use this as it makes life easier. Not only that my daughter's mother in law's name is Marie so when my granddaughter was born she was named with Marie as a middle name to cover both grandmothers, so very convenient for my daughter, not only that my mother and Marie's mother both had the same name so the next granddaughter will be covered as well?
Vera with daughter Monica
However my grandmother really had her name confused. Her grandmother was the daughter of Bridget and named her own daughter after her mother. Young Bridget died as a teen from consumption so when her niece was born her grandmother insisted that the baby needed to be named Bridget. Her father went into town to register the baby. She was to be named Veronica Mary Bridget Murphy.
Nana told me this was her name and that she was registered as being born on the 6th of December instead of the 5th. When my brother was born on 6 December Nana was thrilled, he was born on her legal birthday.
Nana went to vote once and the fellow had trouble finding her and suggested maybe her name was Mary Veronica! Nana was most upset saying "I think I would know my name!"
She sent for her birth certificate once and was quite surprised to find that Bridget was not in her name at all, she would have been in her 70s at this time.
After Nana died aged 86 years her son came across the birth certificate, yes Nana had picked up that the Bridget had been left out of her name but failed to notice that her name was in fact Mary Veronica and not Veronica Mary as we had known her.
When her son died his wife has registered his mother as Mary Veronica however when my mother passed away I put the name known to us, Veronica Mary.
Interestingly I had a copy of the page from the family Bible sent to me. An entry in that says that on 5 December 1899 Veronica Annie was born! Veronica Annie, Veronica Mary Bridget, Mary Veronica?  So what exactly was Nana's name? What do we put on official records?

I have this story in my family tree  for future generations but it does prove that when looking at records we all need to be open to discrepancies and misspellings etc. Remember that what is written on a death certificate is what who ever gives the information, thinks they know. Also many were illiterate many years ago, I found a family who had about 10 children and none had the surname spelled the same.
Literacy was not an issue in Nana's family so it is very confusing that she has so many variations, oh and by the by, she was always referred to as Vera!

1 comment:

  1. Nice story! I'll bookmark your blog and check again here more often. Thanks.

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