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Why change name from Leary to O'Leary?

Replies: 0

Why change name from Leary to O'Leary?

Posted: 19 Oct 2013 2:45PM GMT
Classification: Query
Surnames: Leary O''Leary
My ancestors changed their surname from Leary to O'Leary, one year baptising son as Leary and the next O'Leary. Also, on the first few censuses no O', then the 1881 census it appears.

Does anyone know why? Is it just illiteracy, or - as I think the O' means "son of" - was it to indicate the grandfather had died or something??

Just curious.

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