Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 2011-12 > 1323971973
From: Robert Forrest <>
Subject: Re: [S-I] Surname Spellingssss in Deeds/Wills by Clerks
Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 17:59:33 +0000
Standardisation of surnames occurred really as a result of the introduction ofcivil registration of births in Ireland from 1864.
> Date: Thu, 15 Dec 2011 17:18:51 +0000
> Subject: Re: [S-I] Surname Spellingssss in Deeds/Wills by Clerks
> 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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