Changes owing to Illiteracy and other Causes

The differences caused by illiteracy are too numerous and well known to require much comment. To such a cause may be referred “Lannan” and “Linnen” for “Lennon,” “Nail” for “Neill.” “Dulinty” and “Dulanty” have been found written by uneducated persons for “Delahunty.”

Religions and social differences sometimes cause varieties in surnames.

Two local officers have reported that, in the case of the name Wallace or Wallis, it is spelled “Wallis” by the members of one religious communion, and “Wallace” by those of another.

Similar reports have been received regarding the use of the names “Neill” and “O’Neill,” “Coole” and “Coyle,” and of the names “M‘Cusker” and its equivalent “Cosgrove.”

In one district the name “Connellan” is said to be so spelled by persons of good social position, while the peasantry use the form “Conlan.”

Another Registrar, in County Kildare says:—

“A man who would get a little money would change from ‘Doolin’ to ‘Dowling.’”

Variations are also produced by other causes, such as the tendency to assimilate names to those of distinguished persons. One Registrar reports “Nielson” has become “Nelson,” while another states “Parlon” has become “Parnell,” so that all the families in his district of the former name now use the latter.