View Full Version : Irish Surname Changes - Barden/Barnes

12-03-2006, 4:10 PM
I have used the following info on another thread but thought that this would be a more suitable place to reach the maximum number of BG members doing Irish research, which can be so notoriously difficult. I hope nobody minds that I have duplicated it here:

My Great Grandfather was born in a tiny hamlet near Newbridge, Co Kildare, Ireland in 1860 as John Barden. After marrying my Great Grandmother they went on to have 4 children: 3 daughters in 1881, 1886 and 1889 and a son John born in 1883. Nothing odd about that you may say except that they retained the Barden surname for the daughters, but the son John (my Grandfather) became John Barnes. I find this very odd as when they registered the birth of the girls my great grandparents recorded their own surname as Barden, but when registering their son they recorded themselves as Barnes. By the 1901 Census in Newbridge they haven't moved from the area of the original birthplace but the entire family including the girls are using the name Barnes. This intrigued me and I finally found some evidence for the name change which satisfied me somewhat on the link below. When searching on Barden, the notes at the foot of the distribution table mention that Barden was sometimes changed to Barnes.

I hope this information will be of some use to those with Irish roots.

Brenda http://smileys.smileycentral.com/cat/8/8_9_12.gif (http://www.smileycentral.com/?partner=ZSzeb001_ZNxdm006AXGB)

13-03-2006, 12:28 AM
Hi Brenda
I symapthise with your name change difficulties. Looking back it is clear to me that in the late 19th / early 20th century the Irish were not that fussy about surnames. My own grandmother born on 22 Dec 1890 in Cloncagh Co Limerick was Anne Quaid on her birth certificate, Anna Quaide on her baptismal certificate and Anne Mac Quaid on her marrriage certificate. Lest you think this may be down to the family not being able to read and write - this was not the case, all had attended primary school and were well educated and enjoyed reading.
Another little challenge for those of us working on our family history.