Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Names of the Day

Jabez Rice of Marlborough, Massachusetts and his wife, Miriam, bore names appropriate for members of the new Israel. When Miriam gave birth to twins on June 27, 1775, she named them John Hancock and Dorothy Quincy Rice, names for the new republic.

source: Boston Gazette, 10 July 1775 


Robert J. said...

Speaking of names, I need an educated nomenclatural opinion.

Are Molley, Polley, and Mary all synonyms ca. 1770? I have three records: the two later ones naming Polley and Mary certainly to refer to the same person, and I'm trying to match them with an earlier birth record. The choices are Ruth, Molley, Bettey, Lucy, and Hepsibath. (I ruled out Aaron, John, David, and Daniel as possible matches for Polley-Mary.)

(This question is indeed driven by a gravestone, one that has only nine legible letters left on it. It actually would make a fun identification challenge.)

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

Yes, I would say that Molley, Polley, and Mary would be synonyms. Molley is certainly your best bet for a match for Polley-Mary.

What are the circumstances for the different names? It makes sense to have Molley on a birth record (like Nabby instead of Abigail). Maybe Polley on a marriage record (what she was really called) and Mary on a gravestone (trying to be formal)?

Caitlin GD Hopkins said...

I mean that Molley makes sense because a birth record is created for a baby, so babies are sometimes listed by their nicknames. I had a hard time finding my grandfather (Pasquale) in the 1930 census until I realized he would probably be listed as "Patsy" (he was).