Monday, October 10, 2016

A rose by any other name in Irish baptism records

For years I was looking for my 2nd great grandmother Julia Tallant. I know her name is Julia, is has always been Julia. But 25 years ago when I went to the Irish research center in Tullamore, the only person they found was Judith Tallant. Well, her name wasn't Judith it was Julia. 

I did take the information that they gave me, her parents Michael Tallant and Mary Moran and see how they fitted into my genealogy. At least three Morans are godparents for Julia's children with William O'Connell. These parents make sense for Julia but her name is not Judith. The date of the baptism also matches very well with all the occasions where she gives her age. 

Fast forward 25 years. We now have access to all the Irish baptism records through the National Library of Ireland. I began looking at the registers myself. I found the marriage of Michael and Mary Moran, I found the baptism of Judith and another daughter Agnes. I continued to look for other children which I never found but I did notice one thing as I looked through the register, in the church, there were no Julias to be found, none , nada, zero. There were, however, lots of Judiths.  

This has led me to the conclusion that Julia must not be considered a saint's name and the priest entered a saints name in the book, Judith. It would have been better had he made it Mary Julia but since he didn't there is no other explanation for the total lack of Julias, it is a very common name. 

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