Monday, 4 September 2017

Names or what were they thinking? Part 2

I remember my maternal grandmother well. She moved to the city my family lived in to be close to her only child, my mother. My grandmother was always well dressed and proper and her house had to be just so. We spent many dinners behaving ourselves over the Sunday roast when she was present. I almost laughed out loud when I found her birth certificate on the microfilm for Grey County, Ontario. She had been named Katie May. No really, a singularly inappropriate name for such a proper lady. But it was even better than that, the entry had been changed. In 1962 someone had gone back and officially altered the record so that the recorded name was now May Catherine. How too too typical of my Gran. 




Most people don’t go to the extreme of changing the record. But it is always wise to bear in mind the possible derivatives of names when hunting ancestors. These can and do change with fashion. Also, people are sometimes known by their first name and sometimes their second names. As you can see, my gran reversed the order of her names when the official change was enacted.

By 1962, my grandmother had her names down pat but that was not always the case. For a time, she was the self-styled Minnie G of this postcard.

It all goes to show that names are not rigid labels. They can change with time and fashion and personal preference. It is wise to bear that in mind when perusing the records in search of our forebears. 

 The ladies on the front of the postcard

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