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Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

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Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby Lynden » Thu Oct 06, 2016 1:06 pm

James Hogan married Joanna Power at Rathgormack, Co Waterford on 26 July 1857. They subsequently had 7 children: Ellen (1858), Michael (1860), James (1862), Mary (1865) John (1867), Patrick (1869) and Thomas (1871).

Can anyone come up with a reasonable explanation as to why on all the entries in the Church (RC) baptism register the mother is noted as Johanna Connors (Connor / Conners), and also on all the birth certificates (after 1864) as Connors (Connor / Conners) EXCEPT for Mary’s birth certificate in 1865 where she is named as Joney Power. On three of the baptism entries the god parents are: John Power, Mary Power and Ellen Power. There are no Connors mentioned on any of the baptisms.

I believe Johanna Power was baptised October 1835 in Rathgormack, daughter of Paul Power and Margaret Kirwan. I cannot find a suitable birth for Johanna Connors, I cannot find a marriage between James Hogan and a Johanna Connors (Connor / Conners), and nor can I find a previous marriage between a Johanna Power and a Mr Connors which could explain the discrepancy.

DNA evidence proves I have the right family, but I am at a loss to explain the change of Johanna’s name and I really want to solve this puzzle before going any further. Are there any experienced Irish genealogists out there who have come across something similar? Any ideas please?
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Re: Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby jimbo50 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 2:38 pm

My initial thought would be ; Did two cousins named James Hogan register births at Rathgormack, one of which relates to mother Joanna Power, and the others to Johanna Connors ? (An undiscovered marriage is not proof that there wasn't one)
Does your DNA evidence prove to more than one of the children mentioned ?
With regard to the godparents, the combination - two godmothers and one godfather, normally for a female child. Which three were they on ?
I should try tracing those people through the records to see who they are possibly related to
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Re: Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby shanew147 » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:49 pm

Looks like it's just a mixup in the registration - the matching baptism has the Joanna/Johanna's surname as Connors

Place of birth & residence is given on the civil birth as Carrowleigh which is in Rathgormuck & Mothel RC parish, baptism and birth are on the same day, the 16th July, which is not unusual

p.s. the previous record in the civil birth register is also 'formerly Power so maybe just copied forward by mistake when filling in the quarterly return, or the GRO register
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Re: Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby Lynden » Fri Oct 07, 2016 10:13 am

Thank you Jimbo50 and ShaneW147 for your replies. You are right of course, Jimbo, just because I haven’t found a marriage for Hogan/Connors or Connors/Power doesn’t mean there wasn’t one. However, I am convinced that Johanna Power and Johanna Hogan/Connors are the same woman. I am descended directly from her daughter Mary and DNA has linked me conclusively to the granddaughter of her son Thomas. Re the godparents Mary Power was sponsor for Mary (1865) and Ellen Power was sponsor to James (1862). The James Power I mentioned was actually a witness to the marriage of James Hogan and Johanna Power (1857), not a godfather to one of their children. Apologies for that confusion.

Shane, I was thinking along the same lines - as you say the previous entry in the register is “formerly Power”, as are the 3 following Mary’s entry! Also, both James and Johanna made their mark so wouldn’t necessary notice an error. However, you’ll agree it is a big assumption to make. I think the only course is to follow the other Power names mentioned in the records and see if I can find a crossover.

Any other ideas gratefully received - or contact from anyone researching these same families.
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Re: Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 11:34 am

I'm not certain that you can say that the DNA evidence is conclusive. The DNA may show that you are related but it seldom shows how. You might be related through another generation.

But surely the key to saying that they are the same person is Shane's discovery of a baptism and matching birth on the same day? Particularly if there isn't a corresponding birth registration in that area and era. Or am I missing something?

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Re: Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby Lynden » Fri Oct 07, 2016 3:14 pm

Thanks Adrian, of course you are right - although the DNA has shown a conclusive relationship, it can only estimate the degree of kinship. In our case we believe it has been spot on at 3rd cousins. In addition our families have certain documents and photographs in common, although we were not aware of each other previously, as my family stayed in Eire / UK and my grandmother’s brother emigrated to US.

I was aware of the birth/baptism puzzle already that Shane has referred to, as it is in fact the paperwork relating to my own grandmother, Mary. The baptism, in the church where presumably the family were well known, and with a familiar parish priest, states, “Mariam, FL ([filia legitima] Jacobi Hogan et Johanna Connors, sus [sponsors] Daniele Hearne et Maria Power” on 16th July 1865. The civil registration states “Date of birth 16 July 1865, Carrowleigh, [child of] James Hogan, Carrowleigh, [and] Joney Hogan formerly Power”. The informant is “Joney Hogan, her mark, Carrowleigh, Parent, Mother” and was registered on 24th July. As Shane points out a birth and baptism on the same day was not unusual, and I also understand that in Ireland it was also common to adopt the day of baptism as the ‘official’ date of birth.

So the puzzle still exists as to why Johanna married as Johanna Power (1857), baptised and/or registered the birth of 3 of her children as Johanna Connors (1858 - 1862), then the next child as Joney Power (1865), and the remaining 3 children as Johanna Connors (1867 - 1871).
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Re: Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby AdrianB38 » Fri Oct 07, 2016 4:54 pm

Sorry - I'm missing the point now that I re-read from the top. Given what you have found for her marriage and her own probable baptism (both under "Power"), the issue in a real sense is not why Mary's 1865 BC refers to Power, but why all(?) the others refer to Connors.

This means that an error on the 1865 birth registration page for Mary is not plausible as a genuine error would be random and not be likely to suddenly come up with the same name as the mother's marriage and baptism (I'm taking it as read that those are correct). (Do please tell me if I'm still getting it wrong).

But the thing that worries me is - on a page of 10 birth registrations, why do 5 in a row have mother's maiden name of Power??? Is this plausible?

According to https://www.johngrenham.com/surnamescode/surnamehistory.php?surname=power&search_type=full "The first Norman settlers of name were in Co. Waterford, where Sir Robert Power was granted Lismore by Henry ll; ... Bearers of the surname Power or le Poer have been Earl of Tyrone, Marquis of Waterford, Counts de la Poer Beresford. It is with that county that the surname is most strongly associated - it is the single most numerous surname in the county".

I wonder if we are seeing some sort of relic of an alias name? Certainly in England, it was not unknown for families to have 2 alternative surnames and to see references in parish registers to "Smith alias Jones". I once got told to stop over-thinking it by trying to show that Mr Smith was illegitimate and his mother had been Miss Jones at his birth - some families had 2 alternative names and that was it. But this was going back into the 1700s and aliases were more common earlier still.

But taking this speculation further.... What if Joan / Joanna's family (don't get hung up on the Johanna version - that's Latin) was sort of officially Power and there were so many that people got a bit confused? (It's dubious whether there is such a thing as an official name but let's ignore that for the moment). Suppose that for some reason they decided to refer to themselves as Connors? Maybe that was a wife's maiden name at some point. Then sometimes one name might be used and sometimes the other in typical alias fashion. Indeed, officialdom might decide one was more correct than the other and encourage its use. But being an alias, it's unlikely to have been consistent.

Other ways that aliases might arise would be if a family originally named Connors came to work on a Power estate, when officialdom might refer to all the workers as Power. This seems odd but before surnames became fixed, it was what happened. That's supposed to be how most people with my surname of Bruce got the name. We're not related to Robert The Bruce at all. But surely this would have been way back in the past usually?

And it could also be that Joan / Joanna's family was illegitimate at one point and one surname was that of the mother and the other of the alleged father. Both might survive in later generations as aliases.

So I'm not coming up with concrete proof but I would suggest that if you've worked it through (as you seem to be doing though I'm not sure how complete the coverage of Catholic registers is) then maybe an alias surname is as good an explanation as any other.
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Re: Power / Connors - Co. Waterford

Postby Lynden » Sat Oct 08, 2016 3:34 pm

Adrian - yes, you have hit the nail on the head, and with more clarity than I had managed: "the issue in a real sense is not why Mary's 1865 BC refers to Power, but why all(?) the others refer to Connors."

The idea of an alias is a good one and not one that I had thought of in any formal sense. However, if Power was the "the single most numerous surname in the county" then maybe some kind of differentiator was necessary. I will attempt to trace those Powers named on her marriage and children's baptism, and also those that may have been her siblings to check if there is further mention of a Connors crossover.

I'm glad you looked at the registration page for Mary's civil registration. It did strike me as odd that 5 mothers in a row were formerly named Power. However, I have found four of the five entries in the catholic registers for the parish and they do refer to Power mothers. I will go through the church registers for a few years either side and check if there are any further references to a Connors family in the parish or indeed if Johanna or her husband were godparents themselves to other children in the parish, which may provide a further link.

Many thanks for the suggestions.
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