Archiver > TRANSITIONAL-GENEALOGISTS-FORUM > 2012-04 > 1335288849

From: Lisa McKinney <>
Subject: Re: [TGF] Name Variation, a name change or a priest who can't spell
Date: Tue, 24 Apr 2012 10:34:09 -0700 (PDT)
References: <>
In-Reply-To: <>

My main Irish surname I've encountered is variously, Googerty, Gogerty, Guggerty and Gugerty.
I think the key to the key (of variable spelling), is "smooshing" the vowels as you sound out the words.  (Linguists on the list, can I get an "Amen?")
Thank you,
Lisa McKinney, MLA
Genealogy Research

From: "" <>
Sent: Sunday, April 22, 2012 5:47 PM
Subject: Re: [TGF] Name Variation, a name change or a priest who can't spell

I must say I was doing the "happy dance" as the light bulbs were exploding 
in my head!

Kathy wrote:


Thank you for sharing your valuable insight into Irish  records with the
TGF list. Ann Gilcrest especially must be happy to  receive it. I really
enjoyed your interesting  message.


Aunt Lizzie's Trunk wrote:
>  Ann,
> In my experience with Irish research, spelling of  surnames is quite
> variable, and pronunciation is the key, I believe.  The Irish accent
> could not have been uniform across the island in the  19th century, and
> I'm sure it is not today, either. I have come to  believe, as well, that
> priests, though they may have been educated,  and certainly better
> educated than their parishioners on the whole,  might not have been /well
> /educated in the sense we would understand  it today.
> Similar to your family name, I have been researching  a family called
> Langan and found them in a US census as Lanning. I  would also expect to
> find them as Lanigan. My own father heard his  family name pronounced
> "Gallivan" when he visited his ancestral home.  My great-grandfather
> Cornelius Archdeacon was listed as Conorls  Schegan (by a German-surnamed
> enumerator) in Cincinnati in 1880, 5  years after his arrival from County
> Cork. (Try finding that with a  search engine!)
> I have looked at the records at FamilySearch.  For the most part the
> handwriting appears very neat and very  consistent. It appears to me that
> the priest, Fr. Smith, made a neat  copy of his records into this
> register at some point. He then went  back and signed each record with a
> thicker pen, or darker ink, in  larger handwriting. This "copying over"
> introduces the possibility  that he made transcription errors. In fact,
> regarding the entry of  Denis' baptism, the previous record is the
> baptism of James, son of  Wm. Quinn and Catherine Mackey. I would argue
> that the surname  "Quinn" for Hugh was caused by Fr. Smith losing track
> of where he was  in the old record while copying into the book. Also note
> the entry  for the baptism of Margaret McGuire, two records up from
> James'. One  of her godparents was named Anne Kesidy [Cassidy]. I'm sure
> we could  find many similar variations.
> I have not researched in that  region, so I can't suggest any other
> records to look for, but I will  say this. The matching of the church
> records to birth order on  censuses (note I did not say exact age) would
> be a strong indication  that you have the correct family. It is possible
> that finding  additional records for sons Dennis and Hugh might help you
> with the  ambiguity of the surname spelling and you may find variations
> in  reported ages similar to Catherine's.
> If you are doing Irish  research, however, you need to be comfortable
> with ambiguity and  inconsistency. :-)
> Nora Galvin
> Bridgeport,  Connecticut

The Transitional Genealogists List was created to provide a supportive environment for genealogists to learn best practices as they transition to professional level work. Please respect the kind intentions of this list.
To unsubscribe from the list, please send an email to with the word 'unsubscribe' without the quotes in the subject and the body of the message

This thread: