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Peggy
19-05-2005, 12:29 PM
Hi,

I've just added this name (is it French?) to my family history, and wonder if anyone else has encountered it in NBL. Maria Death was born in Newcastle-on-Tyne circa 1829. May have been the daughter of William & Maria Death baptized 07 Sep 1828, St Andrew, Newcastle Upon Tyne. (IGI extracted record.)

Thanks,

Peggy

uksearch
19-05-2005, 1:44 PM
I am not too sure of its origin,but I have often seen it as DE'ATH.

UK

Peter Goodey
19-05-2005, 3:50 PM
I think De'Ath must have been an affectation.

The 1881 census has nearly 1500 people rejoicing in the name DEATH - largely concentrated in East Anglia.

Just two households described themselves as DE'ATH - one a farmer (an esquire, no less), the other a GP - perhaps the original Dr. Death?

Peggy
19-05-2005, 7:30 PM
If it isn't an English version of some French name, what would be the origin? (Occupational only on Discworld, right?) One can't blame the GP if he did alter it. More financial survival than affectation for him. I wonder how it was pronounced. I recall that Lord Peter Wimsey <g>, one of whose given names was Death, pronounced it "Deeth."

The name seemed to be concentrated in the south in earlier census years as well. That's why I wondered if anyone had spotted it in Northumberland around my 1829 date.

Thanks,

Peggy

busyglen
19-05-2005, 7:45 PM
I've recently come into contact with someone of this name and she calls herself De'ath, pronounced Dee-ath. Not sure where she hails from though.

Glenys

AnnB
19-05-2005, 7:49 PM
Hello Peggy
I used to know someone in London whose name was Death and they pronounced it dee-ath :cool: They were a bit odd, but with a name like that, who could blame them?
Best wishes
Ann

Rod Neep
19-05-2005, 7:50 PM
I think De'Ath must have been an affectation.

The 1881 census has nearly 1500 people rejoicing in the name DEATH - largely concentrated in East Anglia.

Just two households described themselves as DE'ATH - one a farmer (an esquire, no less), the other a GP - perhaps the original Dr. Death?
The further you look back in records, i.e. early parish registers, then there are more references to De'Ath. It is the same name. Norman in origin.

Rod

sandiep
19-05-2005, 8:03 PM
My mothers name was Death pronounced deeth and we never used the affected De,ath but my aunt did!
All our family came originally from Suffolk loads of them there all with the spelling Death, its a pig to google!!! or even to search on sites like this.

my g grandfather moved to london and thats were we stayed

sandie

Peggy
19-05-2005, 8:07 PM
Thank you, Rod!

Once I'd gotten over the surprise of "formerly Death" on the cert, I thought something like that would be the most likely origin. I have some Huguenot ancestors who came to NN/NY, and the Dutch did strange things to their names. Dropping an apostrophe and some capitalization is minor surgery. :)

My thanks to all,

Peggy

Peggy
19-05-2005, 8:20 PM
Hi Sandie,

It is indeed a pig to google, or search for here! But I'm used to that. I have ancestors named Cool, Miller, Pack, Short, etc. Even surnames that aren't ordinary words can be hellacious to search if they are also used as given or place names. Percy drives me nuts.

So far, I'm suspecting that Maria's parents were "incomers" to NBL.

Peggy

Peggy
19-05-2005, 10:43 PM
Been doing some googling, and looking at some books. The name could have originated as a designation for people from Ath, in Hainaut. I don't think they adopted surnames there until late in the game. (Our "native consultant" on my Dutch colonies list told us that all people in his country were forced to adopt surnames by Napoleon - - - and that some chose scatological terms as a protest. <g>)
Wasn't there a fair amount of medieval trade (perhaps dating from the marriage to Philippa?), and weren't there communities of Flemish and Walloons in London? A vague memory is trying to download in my brain about them becoming targets during riots. Competing for work with English artisans or something.

Peggy

ChristineR
20-05-2005, 5:00 AM
Whilst trawling through the 1841 and 1861 Essex census images for Harwich and surrounds, I encountered quite a few households for DEATH.
Christine