What’s in a name? .

It is very striking , over the last few weeks, the ongoing difficulties family historians have with surnames. We are very grateful for the digital revolution, but like all advances, it brings with it its share of problems.  How a name appears in, for example , a parish register, may not at all be the name transcribed and which appears in an index. So, your search can be stymied by this error in transcription.  In a recent search, each of the six siblings had their family name mistranscribed! That is six different versions of the same name, for the same family.  This gives some idea of the obstacles that must be overcome if we are to identify our ancestors’ records. 

Very fortunately the priest in this instance had recorded, in all baptismal records, the townland of the family.  This helped enormously in corroborating that this was the same family.   It allowed us then to identify this elusive family in Griffith’s Valuation, albeit in an unexpected version of the name.   And it also successfully led us to the family in the Tithe Applotment Books, which had hitherto eluded those searching for this family.

By Carmel Gilbride