Given or First Names

In many cases where we have a record of a child's baptism and his or her birth registration, we find that the baptismal name is the formal one, while the registered name is the informal one. For example, many children were baptised as Catherine but registered as Kate. In general, I have used the formal version of the name in this collection.

In the case of names gathered from Baptismal records (generally from before 1864) bear in mind that the baptismal register almost certainly gave the Latin version of the name rather than the English version. This is generally not a concern, as the translation is usually simple, but at least one possible complication is the name Maria. This is the Latin version of Mary, and the vast majority of girls baptised as Maria would have been reared as Mary, but in some few cases Maria would have been the name she grew up under. I have generally assumed that females baptised Maria were known as Mary throughout their lives unless there is some contrary indication in later records, such as marriage or census.