Tag Archives: names

Tracing Your Roots is back for a new series

17 Sep

The BBC Radio 4 family history programme Tracing Your Roots is back for a sixth series. Unfortunately it is only a short series of four episodes, but the good news is that it is available as a podcast from the BBC website.

Even better news is that there are currently a total of twelve episodes available to listen to on the BBC iPlayer: the first episode from the new series, all of series four and five and the one-off census episode from earlier this year.

The first episode of the new series was broadcast on Tuesday 13th September 2011 at 4pm and was entitled “What’s in a name?” and looks at the problems surrounding name changes in family history. This is something most family historian will come across at some stage, myself included, and I am looking forward to hearing what they have to say on the subject.

The next episode (entitled Life in Confinement) is scheduled for Tuesday 20th September at 4pm on BBC Radio 4.

Thomas KINGHORN or the other one…? how do I tell them apart?

3 Apr

Now that I have two active research projects featuring a Thomas KINGHORN, I need to decide how I am going to identify which one I am talking about, especially in this blog. Actually there are three, the Thomas KINGHORN who lived in London, had a son called Thomas as well, but he is not the subject of my research, so I probably won’t be referring to him a lot!

So far there is no evidence to suggest that either of them had a middle name, which although sometimes a little clumsy could help distinguish the two. Likewise they don’t appear to have used the used the suffix “junior” or “senior” or “younger” or “elder”, so I am not going to start now, especially as they may mean I need a “middle” as well.

I could give them a number, but then what happens if I find another earlier Thomas, do I have to re-number? or do I end up with a zero Thomas KINGHORN as well as the first and second. No, that wouldn’t work either, so I need to find some other way of distinguishing them.

There are a few attributes that I could use, but none of them really ideal. I could use where or when they were born (or died), but I don’t know either of them for the first Thomas yet. I could use the name of their spouses, the second one had three, so which one should I choose?

I could use the name of the place where they lived, I am pretty certain one spent most of his life in London, but not so sure about the other. Likewise I could use occupations, but that assumes they kept the same job throughout their life, and doesn’t help when I get to the Thomas who was the grandson of the oldest one (see how complicated that was?) who appears to have been a tailor like his father.

Perhaps the most obvious choice would be to use their relationship to me, but 4x great grandfather and 3x great grandfather are a little cumbersome. I could reduce this to 3ggf, 3xggf, 3xgGf or gggGf but that looks just plain ugly. Using that system would make the Thomas I mentioned in the previous paragraph, my ½3xgu or ½gggu (my half-3x great uncle), and that just doesn’t bear thinking about!

My family history software gives them unique ID numbers (23 and 221), but they are not particularly helpful for telling the two apart or rather telling which one is which.

I think I will use the full relationship for the time being, so Thomas KINGHORN (4x great grandfather) and his son Thomas KINGHORN (3x great grandfather) and hope I don’t have to refer to the other one too often! Hopefully, I can find some other bit of unique information for both that will help or tie down a date of birth for the first one.

If anyone has any suggestions then leave me a comment, I would love to hear…

Henry, William Henry or Henry William, now I am confused

23 Mar

Now I know I shouldn’t get too hung up over a name, but it really is making life tricky with my MITCHELL family research. Although I have been referring to my 2x great grandfather as William Henry MITCHELL, I am not really convinced that his name was William Henry.

I have evidence of him also being referred to as Henry William and just plain Henry, but curiously not just William by itself. So what should I call him?

Perhaps I should go for the most commonly occurring, which would make him Henry (11 out of 21 occurrences), but then his marriage certificate, and his GRO death index entry (still need to order the certificate) have him recorded as William Henry.

It looks like he was baptised with the name Henry (before civil registration started so no birth certificate), and there appears to be no common theme between the choice of names such as a change later in life. It looks like he had a brother named William (not sure what happened to him yet), so perhaps there is a story there why he borrowed his first name for his own use, or perhaps it was in honour of his father, also a William.

I do suspect that it may have changed depending on who actually gave the information. Perhaps it was down to Harriet, who did like to refer to him as Henry, because her father’s name was also Henry. Who knows?

If that wasn’t enough, one of their daughters appears to have been baptised with Harriet’s surname of WRIGHT, perhaps a misunderstanding or confusion rather than any other reason.

Anyway, I think I will carry on calling him William Henry MITCHELL for the time being whilst I gather more information, it will help distinguish him from either of his sons, father or brother!

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