Naming Practices

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So the reason I’m blue in the face is not apnoea or an impending heart attack, it’s from telling people over and over and over that it makes no difference whether your Quin family have been insanely fussy about spelling their surname with one N for the past three centuries. Ninety-nine times out of a hundred, the person writing the name down was not a Quin, and couldn’t give a hoot.

– John Grenham, The Os and the Macs

What was her ‘real’ name? (Lillian Doyle)

Nowadays we tend to think of someone as having a ‘real’ name, with nicknames and diminutives as informal variations on that one official and authentic version of the name. A person’s ‘real’ name is what appears on the birth certificate,…

Emmet/Emmett as First or Middle Name

One of the things I love about TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding) is its powerful search capacity. Once you’ve entered some data into your TNG-based genealogy database, you can quickly and easily perform all kinds of searches based…

Hanorah Ryan’s Death Records

RC Burial Record and Ontario Civil Registration If you’re looking for Catholic ancestors, the parish register, if available, will be a very important, and in many cases the most important, source of genealogical information. Because the RC records typically supply…

Firstborn Son or Eldest Known Surviving Son?

It was virtually universal in every class and creed in Ireland for the firstborn son to be given the Christian name of his paternal grandfather. One can presume this with a degree of genealogical surety — provided one knows the…

Middle Name ‘Loretto’/'Loreto’

In my family tree, I’ve noticed the name Loreto/Loretto as a girl’s middle name from about 1860. It seems to peak around 1900 or so (though there are a couple of examples which occur a generation or two later). So,…