Wednesday, March 04, 2009

Unique Names Day - Celebrate Your Name Week

Today, March 3 is Unique Names Day - the third day of Celebrate Your Name Week

Historically, my family chose pretty common names, to go with their all too common last names, I imagine. But there are a couple of people who didn't fit that pattern and the fact that their given names were a bit 'different' did help me find them in various records and allowed me to verify that I had the right families.

Lancelot ROGERS, for instance, born in Backwell, Somerset,England in 1811; married Mary Ann ADAMS, 1835 at St James, Bristol. Probably known as 'Lance' as that's the name his son William gave for his father when he married Mary Ann WHITE in Canada in 1873. (See why I said "pretty common names"?)

When I first started to search for Lance, I had only 'England' and 'Mary' as the wife's name for clues. It turned out there were only 3 Lancelot Rogers possibilities in the indexes available then, but I was able to narrow those down to one quickly. (And then Mary Ann WHITE left me another clue about William, her husband, so I was could be sure. When I found his death registration (a long process - there are a good number of 'William Rogers' in Toronto area, Canada in the 1880s) she had said 'Bristol' instead of the ubiquitous 'England' as his place of birth and the registrar had entered that. Close enough!

This Lancelot's father was also called Lancelot (or Lancelott). Perhaps Lance didn't really like his name - his own boys were named: William, Thomas, Richard, George, Francis and John.

On my mother's side there are several women named, I was told, for favourite brothers and uncles - Alexina and Hughina, for instance.

These names stand out on my family group sheets, but both are Scottish names, I believe, and I see, looking again at the British Columbia. Canada vital events indexes, that neither name is really that uncommon. (Alexina, I know, went by 'Maggie' though!)

Tomorrow is March 4 - Learn What Your Name Means Day.

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