Mothers maiden name on death record

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Mothers maiden name on death record

Post by Ina » Fri May 08, 2020 9:55 pm

Hi, I have a question that I hope someone can help me with. The death record for my ggg grandfather William Hewitson, born in Troon and died in Greenock, states that his father was William Hewitson and his mother was Agnes McCann. These Hewitsons seemed to move between Troon and Wigtown. There are ten trees on Ancestry, most of whom have copied my records and pictures but they all claim that Agnes name is McEwan and not McCann. I have never been able to locate a marriage for William and Agnes McCann, or William and Agnes McEwan. I also don't have a DNA match with any of these ten trees.

Yesterday I uploaded my Ancestry DNA to Myheritage and today I got my results and would you believe a match to the Hewitsons. My match lives in Australia and has a death record for Agnes the wife of William Hewitson (in Wigtown) and it states that her maiden name is McKeand. Also census records show that she was born in Ireland. Now with a thick Scottish accent whats the chance that the registrant mistook the name McKeand for either MaCann or McEwan? What do you all think? Thanks in advance for your thoughts.


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Re: Mothers maiden name on death record

Post by jgmills » Fri May 08, 2020 10:56 pm

Hi Ina,

I can understand how either McCann or McEwan can be heard in McKeand - especially if there is a possible Irish lilt in the accent.

I watched an online video last week about someone called Eoin from Ireland and through the years there name had been written as John, Iain, Owen and even Yohan, so depending on where they were different people hear different sounds.


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Re: Mothers maiden name on death record

Post by SarahND » Sat May 09, 2020 9:12 am

Hi Ina and John,

I would agree that those names can all be mistaken, one for the other. This raised a distant memory in my mind and I found another case in my notes where a different Agnes McCann (on her death certificate and one of her children's birth certificates) became McQuyon on her daughter's death certificate and McQueen or McQuinn on others. McKeand is only a small step in another direction!


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Re: Mothers maiden name on death record

Post by WilmaM » Sat May 09, 2020 11:37 am

I agree, it's just a matter of accent and spelling [unfortuantely computers's don't register either!]

I've a Belfast great-great who has as many maiden name spellings as she had children [McNiece in chinese whispers became Menenice?]

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Re: Mothers maiden name on death record

Post by kathyc1 » Sat May 09, 2020 6:46 pm

I agree that it's very likely a matter of accent and spelling.

Also, those names are similar enough that you may also be dealing with an incorrect memory of her maiden name on the part of whichever relative provided the information for the death certificate. I've got several examples in my own tree of the informant mis-remembering the woman's maiden name or not knowing it at all.

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Re: Mothers maiden name on death record

Post by carolineasb » Wed May 27, 2020 9:45 am

My Irish Great Grandmother was McKay or McCoy in various certificates and her Brother-in-law was a McNiece so I've seen the different spellings of that surname too :)

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