This blog is designed to record the findings of our family history, mainly for the benefit of the family, and to document the dead ends, the breakthroughs and the journey.
I’ll post the family stories as I’ve written them to now, and I’ll be grateful to anyone who can add further information or pictures, or point out errors.
Particular thanks to my sister Julia and my cousin Mandy who between them have done much more of the work than I have.

Monday, 27 August 2012

Why did Joseph Hamlet change his name

During the course of his life between 1850 and 1933, Joseph Hamlet changed his name  several times

1845 Samuel’s marriage certificate    Hamblet
1850 Joseph’s birth certificate                 Hamlet
1851 Census                                           Hamlett
1861 Census                                           Amphlett
1862 Samuel’s death certificate              Hamlet
1862 Birmingham Daily Post                  Amblett
1871 Census                                          Hamlet
1873 Joseph’s marriage certificate        Hamlinton
1881 Census                                          Hamilton
1887 Walter’s birth certificate                Hambilton
1891 Census                                         Hamblington
1901 Census                                         Hamlinton
1911 Walter’s marriage certificate         Hamilton
1911 Census                                         Hamilton
1933 Joseph's death certificate             Hamilton
According to my father, my grandfather Walter, Joseph's son, was always very insistent that despite the fact that some people used variations, the family name was Hamilton. This wasn't true, and indeed Walter's own birth certificate Hambilton. Indeed Joseph's own marriage certificate to Sarah Emily Mills has Hamilton crossed out and replaced by Hamlinton. We had assumed that the variations were the result of sloppy enumerators, but there is one further twist. Joseph's  birth certificate gives his name as Joseph; his marriage certificate gives his name as Joseph, Walter's birth certificate gives his name as Joseph, and his death certificate gives his name as Joseph. My father who is named after him always refers to him as "Old Joe". But on Walter's marriage certificate his name is given as Thomas Joseph. Why? Is there some dark secret that made Joseph change his name when he moved from Tipton to West Bromwich?
I think that we who were born Hamiltons are unlikely to want to change back to Hamlet, but I did waste a lot of time in my youth supporting Hamilton Academicals unnecessarily.

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