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First name 'Sapper'

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First name 'Sapper'

Postby phsvm » Sun Nov 06, 2016 2:48 pm

I'm researching a family with 10 children whose births all seem to have been registered in different names from those by which the children were known. For example, William George was known as 'Roger', Eli Christopher was known as 'Tom', and so on.

I've managed to track down all the registrations except one. On the censu return for 1901 he is listed as 'Saffer' and on the 1911 return quite clearly as 'Sapper'. I tend to think that the latter is correct. The writing if very clear and the return was presumably completed by his father (or a member of the household) who knew him rather than the enumerator.

My question is: has anyone else come across the name 'Sapper' in any conection other than militarily and if so do they know what it was used instead of? I have found a birth registration for a Wallace Sidney who I have been unable to trace beyond the birth registration but even with all my will power I can't see a logical link between Wallace Sidney and Sapper (but then I can't see a like between William and Roger or Eli and Tom!)

Any one have any ideas?
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Re: First name 'Sapper'

Postby ianbee » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:21 pm

Can't tell you where they got the name from.
But on the GRO website the birth indexes now give maiden names of mothers pre 1911
Re your Belcher family the maiden name of Mary Jane appears to be Farmer. So, the birth you identified does indeed seem to be Sapper/Saffer, and the age is right
March 1894 Wantage 2c 315
Belcher, Wallace Sidney
mother's maiden surname = Farmer.

Did he marry in Wantage in 1919? Indexed as Wallace S. S. Belcher. Perhaps he used Sapper as a third name on that.
Also born in Wantage district, a Prince Albert Edward Belcher, in 1895. He's not one of yours!
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Re: First name 'Sapper'

Postby phsvm » Sun Nov 06, 2016 3:46 pm

Thanks Ian.

I'd noticed the Prince Albert. There's a Prince Charles as well!

Not a direct connection to the family I'm after but as the name 'Belcher' around here is a bit like 'Jones' in Wales I'm sure they're all connected somewhere along the line.
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Re: First name 'Sapper'

Postby brunes08 » Sun Nov 06, 2016 4:01 pm

I have come across many members of my family who were known by a name other than the one that was the given name on their birth certificates. Obviously middle names were used possibly to differentiate between a parent and child having the same name. But how nicknames came about is anyone's guess. My mother was called by her initials which created a man's name! Not an easy task for you to unravel.
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