Right, so basically I know most of the names of my grand-aunts and uncles from my father.
He said he had an uncle Johnny, but i can't find info about this Johnny, even though i can find some birth records for most of his brothers and sisters.
HOWEVER, i found a birth record for a James which fits the family EXACTLY.
I know long ago in Ireland families tended to change names as they grow older, for example Ellen to Nellie, or Julia to Sheila is a common one also, and even John to Jack or Sean or vice versa. Is John to James a possibility also?
But would it be accurate to say my dad's uncle Johhny was once James?
Johnny wasn't the only one i couldn't find info about also btw!
Exact same situation with Kathleen and Margaret...my dad remembers an aunt Kathleen...but would it be possible that she was born Margaret?
None of the example you've given are name changes. Nellie is a diminutive of Ellen, Sheila (English)or Síle (Irish) are related to Julia, Jack is a diminutive of John and Sean is the Irish version.
John and James are different names. What is possible is that a child was known by his middle name rather than first name or just picked up a nickname somewhere.
How far back are you talking here? Is this family on the census?
From what you posted, you have established that the family also had a son called James. It remains to be seen if they also had one called John.
Have you looked for an obituary for the parents? This might list all their children's names.
Manach - might be better in the genealogy forum please.
the children's birth/baptisms i found on geneology.ie were born between 1901 and 1918. I have found the family on the 1911 cencus also with no John.
Sorry Vetch, I worded my post wrong, i did not mean that they changed their names, what i meant was that what they were called changed over time! sorry for that misunderstanding.
Any idea where online i could find an obituary?
Around west cork roughly between 1920and1950?
There can often be a big difference between what is on someone's birth cert and what they have always been known by, for example a friend of mine's mother is Nancy, everyone knows her as Nancy and on the wedding cert on the wall of her kitchen her name is down as Nancy, it was only when I saw someone belonging to my friend that I saw that her name was actually Ann, there isn't any Nancy in any official records for her it was just her mother wanted her to be Nancy and because there wasn't a Saint Nancy she couldn't be Christened that she she was Christened (and registered) Ann. We were talking about it in the pub 1 night and there are a lot of people in the same boat, its not that uncommon at all, especially for families that might have 2 cousins called John's for example, 1 will be John and the other will be called something else
Nancy was a common nickname for Ann, just like Nellie for Ellen or Maggie for Margaret and so on. The variations on common first names are numerous. My gt gt grandmother Elizabeth, for example, called herself Eliza, her sisters called her Liza and her husband called her Bess. All three appear in various records.
I don't want to get off topic on names here.
OP: can you link to the census where you found the family?
Death notices, rather than obituaries: your best shot is to look in regional newspapers for the area on www.irishnewsarchive.com
Ann, Anne, Annie, Nannie, Nanny, Nancy are all the same name.
I think what the op is talking about is where a person is / was known habitually by a middle name. Very often the priest only gave one name in a baptism register.
There are also many errors made in records of all types, but especially church registers. As time goes by and more records and circumstantial evidence are discovered, these errors become more obvious.
Even when not known by a middle name, some people became known by a totally different name, probably as a joke at first, but the name stuck.
Sometimes a person is known by one name in the biological family and home place, but moves away and adopts a new name because their real name is embarassing outside their birth area, or indeed to establish a new identity. This is impossible today with passports, driving licences, bank accounts, certificates of various types, but was quite common a century ago.
You can imagine a man from the west of Ireland coming to Dublin with a name like Ulick Jarlath being slagged and quickly telling people his name is Jack.