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19 March 2013

Nancy is Lizzie is Nancie

My uncle married a woman in the 1870s--she used the name Nancy E. on the marriage record. When she obtained a widow's pension in the early 1900s, she insisted (under oath) that she went by Lizzie. In the 1920s, when she wrote her will, she was going by Nancie.

People did change their name of preference.


  1. I've got a problem like that. I have a gg-grandfather whose name is Albert Crawford. He was born abt1830 in either TN or KY. I can find him in 1860 & 1870 census, but I cannot find him in 1850. I suspect the reason is that he is using another name, maybe Albert is a middle name. I've got a couple possibilities but nothing definite. He dies sometime between 1870 - 1880. I've got another ancestor with the same problem. His name is Logan Henson. He shows up in one census and that's it, but he allegedly manages to have 2 children with my 3greats grandmother. I suspect Logan is not the name he goes by his entire life, but I can't find him.

  2. First names, middle names and nick-names can really get confusing! My G-grandmother was named Sarah Wilhelmina, and her children and grandchildren knew her as Will Minor or Minor. Yet in one census she was enumerated as "Sally" and her death certificate shows her as "Sally."

  3. I have a similar issue with James and Naomi Olivia on a marriage record in 1877 and then completely disappear. I found an Alonzo and Olive on the 1880 census but have not been able to completely link them as they disappear again. Olive I can believe as a nickname but James to Alonzo

  4. Obviously this lady was Nancy Elizabeth who apparently went by the nickname of Lizzie,but for formal purposes such as a marriage license or will, she used her complete name. Possibly the clerk who filled out the marriage license or the lawyer who drew up the will didn't bother to ask the correct spelling of her name. And perhaps she was
    illiterate and didn't know how to spell her own name. A researcher has to have a
    vivid imagination.

  5. Try this on for size, I was born 2/9/1948 mysister was born on4/23/49. On my birth cert,mothers name Ceciele Costello. On my sisters birth cert.The last name is Del Prorie.My Last name is Dawson. What???