Variations in Spelling at Pleasure

The following cases will illustrate the variation in spelling of names at pleasure:—

Some years ago the marriages of a brother and of a sister in the same family were solemnized in a Registrar’s office. The son gave his surname as “Faulkner,” and his father’s surname as “Faulkner.” The daughter gave her surname as “Falconer,” and her father’s surname as “Falconer.” Both marriages were subsequently re-solemnized in a place of worship, and the same orthographical differences were found to exist in the records kept by the officiating minister.

A young man called at the General Register Office to obtain a certificate of his sister’s birth, giving his surname and hers as “Milligan.” When search for the entry proved unsuccessful, he suggested a search under the name “Mulligan,” when the required entry was found. The entry was signed by the father, who, as occupier of a public institution, had signed a large number of entries, from which it appeared without doubt that the proper name was “Mulligan.”

A record came under examination in which the informant, when registering the death of his brother, gave the name of deceased as “Fawcett,” and signed his own name as “Fossitt.” On inquiry into the case it was ascertained that the parties were in the habit of writing their names respectively as given in the entry.

A birth entry was found in Mountmellick District, where the informant signed his surname as “Headen.” In a previous entry he had signed his name as “Hayden.” In explanation the Registrar reported that the man wrote his name in both ways.

In another case the same informant wrote her name in different entries as “Kinnealy,” “Kinneally,” “Kenneally,” and “Kenelly.”

The Registrar of Drimoleague District, in Skibbereen Union, observes with reference to two death entries:—

“In the same family, the father was known as ‘Cue,’ the son signs himself ‘Hue,’ and the two deceased children used to sign themselves ‘MacCue.’”

The Registrar of Street District (Granard Union) reports:—

“There is one family in this district, one member of which uses the name ‘Murphy,’ whilst another employs the designation ‘Molphy’ they being brother and sister.”