Friday, January 15, 2010

Name of the Day

Sometimes, transcriptions of 18th-century records have hiccups in them. When I come across a typewritten account of a baby named "Jamas," I take it with a grain of salt — it's more likely "James" + a handwriting issue.

Yet, sometimes there is a name so strange that I am forced to accept its legitimacy, if for no other reason than that I can't imagine what else the writer could have been aiming for. For example,

Tregoweth Tilbort

source: Boston Birth Records, 1700-1800


Anonymous said...

Tregoweth is probably a family name, a Cornish one. Cornish family names often begin with "Tre" or "Pen" such as "Trethewey" or "Penhallow." Giving a child his mother's maiden name as a first or second name has long been common practice.

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

That's a good tip. If it is a Cornish name, that's an interesting clue about the ethnic makeup of 18th-c. Boston. Many of the original immigrants were from East Anglia and Dorset — a group of Cornish immigrants would be unexpected, but intriguing!

Anonymous said...

Look there for Cornish names beginning with Tre- tons of them.

Wonder when Rich Trethewey's family came over?