GENBRIT-L ArchivesArchiver > GENBRIT > 2005-07 > 1120374414
From: Andrew Sellon <>
Subject: Re: Mr/Mrs
Date: Sun, 03 Jul 2005 08:06:54 +0100
References: <200506301522.j5UFMGPD011110@lists2.rootsweb.com> <firstname.lastname@example.org> <jBJxe.11296$Ai.email@example.com>
Malvary J Cole wrote:
>I was looking for some graves last weekend in a nearby cemetary and found
>one little inocuous stone (about 2ft wide and 1 ft high) with the entry
>Mrs. George Thompson
>I remarked it to my friend - "Poor woman, even in death she didn't have her own identity recognized".
These matters are very much open to interpretation as perceptions of the
time. You, in this day and age, may well feel this. On the other hand
Mrs Thompson in her time was probably entirely comfortable with being
known as 'Mrs George ....'. It showed her status in society, which was
then probably very important to one.
I had a dear cousin, now unfortunately dead, who had married in 1923. I
remember her saying how proud she was of her marriage as "there were not
many men left then". During his life time she was most certainly
addressed using her husband's name, anyone one who did otherwise would
have been thought very odd.
There is always a danger of putting today's thinking retrospectively
into times past. It makes life in the past so much more difficult to
understand, and gives it a false perspective.
Yours Aye Andrew Sellon
Mr. Jacob Fievee, with the most surprising talents for doing wrong, has
contrived to condense and agglomerate every species of absurdity that
has hitherto been made known, and even to launch out occasionally into
new regions of nonsense, with a boldness which well entitles him to the
merit of originality in folly, and discovery in impertinence. Rev.
Sydney Smith 1771-1854, Canon of St. Paul's.