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Archiver > Scotch-Irish > 2011-12 > 1323969531

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Subject: Re: [S-I] Surname Spellingssss in Deeds/Wills by Clerks
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 17:18:51 -0000
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In-Reply-To: <>

Your problem is that you are looking at the 19th century with 21st century
eyes. In the 19th century, it simply was not important how your name was
spelled. No-one cared. Most people could not read nor write - check out
the 1901 Census. Those that could saw no reason to stick with one spelling.
It was simply not a concept that entered their consciousness. There was in
fact not attempt to standardize English spelling until education became
compulsory in 1880 and it obviously took a generation for that to work its
way through to adult spelling in documents.

All those folk who say, "We are the Grays with an "a" and not that other
crowd who spell their name with an "e"" are talking....well, not as lot of
sense. This correctness of spelling is a 20th century confection. My
McClementses have no less than 13 different spellings from Lamond to
McLummints. You can just hear my great grandfather, when asked what his
name was for the census saying, "Samule MuLummints" in his broad Ulster

Boyd Gray

-----Original Message-----
[mailto:] On Behalf Of D H
Sent: 15 December 2011 15:41
Subject: [S-I] Surname Spellingssss in Deeds/Wills by Clerks

It's not just clerks.... I've a Will signed by a person, a codicil added
signed by the same person and both signatures are spelled differently. This
man could read and write, so why 2 versions?

On the Ulster Covenant I've 5 sisters, 3 spell their name one way and other
2 a different way, they were educated, some were trained teachers. So
which name is correct? Both!

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