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Names on original documents

Names on original documents

Posted: 26 Apr 2012 8:39PM GMT
Classification: Query
A quick question..

Was it normal for people to randomly omit middle names etc on documents such as census returns? Ive come accross this a couple of times but im sure is the right people in question as same dates when I cross check document details.

Its quite annoying really, I certainly wouldnt miss out my middle name on any kind of document. I guess they werent thinking who'd be researching them over a 100 years later!

Re: Names on original documents

Posted: 27 Apr 2012 8:15AM GMT
Classification: Query
Missing out middle names on census forms was not "random" until 1911 - the instructions for householders specifically stated that only the first forename was required until that date. Of course many people did include them, and it is possible that more did so than we are aware of because some pedantic enumerators may not have copied them into their summary books (which are what we are looking at until 1911).

Middle names are, indeed, a very valuable means of being sure you have the right person, but they were by no means the norm for "ordinary" folk until the 20th century.

Re: Names on original documents

Posted: 10 May 2012 10:26PM GMT
Classification: Query
The purpose of the census was really to "count bodies" and to county manpower so actual names did not matter in the least! The goal wasn't to insure everyone's name was recorded properly (as we well know! :) )
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