Interpreting and Evaluating Name Lists

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Board for Certification of Genealogists Sponsored Lecture given by David E. Rencher, CGO, AGCM (Ireland), CGSM, FUGA, FIGRS at the National Genealogical Society Conference, April 2010, Salt Lake City, Utah.

GraphicFile001.png Introduction[edit | edit source]

Name lists are frequently used in place of the lack of census records or as an acceptable census substitute. These lists serve the purpose of identifying individuals within the cohort. The cohort is defined by the purpose for which the record was created. Census substitutes are generally grouped by tax rolls, land records, court records, road records, voters' records, militia records, church records, school lists, legislative records, ships' records, and miscellaneous records. Knowing the purpose generating the creation of the record is paramount to understanding the limitations of the source. Thus, true name lists will usually fall short of defining an entire population within a given area.

GraphicFile001.png Interpreting the Name Lists[edit | edit source]

You should ask the following questions about each name list you evaluate:  What does or doesn't the record tell you?

  • age (exact or estimated)
  • allegiance
  • apprenticeship
  • associates
  • deceased
  • economic status
  • education
  • eligibility to vote
  • heirship
  • legitimacy
  • marital status
  • migration
  • military service
  • municipal duties
  • name
  • nationality
  • nobility/title
  • occupation
  • political allegiance
  • prisoner
  • relationship
  • religion
  • residence

Where does the trail lead?

  • Are there other records created before or after that are directly related?
  • Has the entire set of records been searched?
  • If using a transcript or abstract, has the original been searched?

GraphicFile001.png Evaluating the Name Lists[edit | edit source]

This is the point at which your analytical and research skills are tested. Multiple name lists are obviously preferred to evaluate the changes in the records. Thus, changes in ownership, death, marriage or emigration can be analyzed.

Background of the name list:

  • Can you define the cohort?
  • Why was the record created?
  • What are its limitations?
  • What are its strengths?
  • Can discrepancies be adequately explained?
  • Has the transcript of the record been kept in its original context?
  • Does the context of the record reveal the total value of real estate, or only a portion of the taxes paid in individual counties?
  • How are they taxed?
  • Do these individuals have the right to vote?

Even if you do have multiple name lists, the dates of the lists may not be close enough to assure linkages in successive generations. However, you may still be able to derive significant information from the data. Examine the following name list for the 1665 Hearth Money Roll for Leck parish, County Donegal and ask yourself the questions listed above.

GraphicFile001.png Exercise - Hearth Money Roll - Leck Parish, Co. Donegal[edit | edit source]

Hearth Money Roll for Leck Parish, in 1665
Source: Tenison Groves, Tenison Groves Collection of Manuscripts. (Belfast: Public Record
Office of Northern Ireland, unpublished) n.p. FHL microfilm 258,517

Gabriel King, John King, John Noble, Allex M’Connell, Andrew Smeally, James King, Robert Fulson, John Fulson, John Peebles, William Hood, James King, elder, Dualtagh O’Tinny, Hugh O’Brillaghan, Pattrick O’Granaghan, Roory O’Patten, William Smeally, John Hutcheson, Thomas Wilson, William Redd, Michael O’Boyle, Andrew Arnock, John Bilslan, William Hamilton, Donell M’Roory, Walter Colhoune, Edward Hamilton, James Macky, Andrew Dunn, Robert M’Ilwy, John Miller, Robert Lapsley, John Lapsley, John Naysmith, Malcome Galbraith, James Richmond, James O’Feydn, John Parmiter, John Forbes, John Maxwell, William M’Award, Robert Killan, Richard Foord, Donell Taylor, Dunckan M’Kenrick, James Wilson, Donnell M’Carter, Cormick M’David, Manus O’Dougherty, Pattrick M’Kenrick, William M’Laughlyn, Bryan M’Granaghan, Walter Colhoune, James Lecky, William Moore, James Smith, John Chambers, John Stewart, Art M’David, John Allison, Thomas Dunlap, William Ramsay, John Hutcheson, Mathew Clark, Hector M’Curry, John M’Ilhenny, Donnell M’Iihanny, John Black, William Coningham, John Coningham, Pattrick Campble, Connor M’Cowell, Phelomy O’Brillaghan, William O’Kelly, Robert Peobles, Neece O’Divany, Bryan O’Devany,

Teg M’Gillbreed, William M’Makein, Owen O’Harley, Pattrick Campble, Andrew Hannay, Fergill O’Freele, Cahal Bane M’Davet, Connor M’Davet, Edmund Oige O’Mulluog, Cormick O’Mulloug, Donnell O’Mulloug, Andrew Wilson, Roory M’Award, Robert Allen, John Hood, Pattrick Moore, Connor O’Meghan, Cormick O’Gallagher, John M’Cane, Henry Ester, Torlogh M’Kenny, Phelomy M’Laughlin, Art O’Dougherty, Remund O’Dougherty, John Homes, Robert Whyte, Hugh Harper, Thomas Stephens, John Frizell.

£10 10 s[hillings] for 105 hearths

GraphicFile001.png Exercise - Protestant Householders 1766 - Leck Parish[edit | edit source]

Now examine the list of Names of Protestant householders in the Parish of Leck, in the year 1766 below and ask the same questions. Are the identifiers the same? Can you pick out two distinct differences in the lists? Can these two lists be used to identify or link families?

Protestant Householders – Leck Parish 1766
Source: Tenison Groves, Tenison Groves Collection of Manuscripts. (Belfast: Public Record
Office of Northern Ireland, unpublished) n.p. FHL microfilm 258,502

The Rev. Heywood Jenkins. OUGHLIARD, Samuel M’Crea, Widow Cunningham, Widow King, John M’Clain, Nathan Marten, Wm. Wason, James King, Wm. King, Mathew King, Mathew Gray, Joseph Gray, Saml. M’Ilhenny, Robert Lecky. ARDAHEE, Alex. Mercer, Mathew Wilson. ARDAGANNA, Wm. Lucas, John Croan, Thomas Wilky, Widow Allen. BALLYCONNALY, Andrew Atkins, Oliver Clarke, George Hamilton, Wm. Forbes, Joseph Hunter, Wm. Coulter. CURRANAGH GLEBE, John Jamison, John Laird, James Peeples, Wm. Lucas, Joseph Hay, Richard Moore, James Mitchell, Richard Crawford. CURRANAGH-GAY, And. Rankin, Rich. Rankin, Robert Correll, Joseph Miller, Samuel Taylor, Rob. Taylor, John Taylor, Wm. Taylor, Widow Hay, Rob. Wilson, Thomas Wilson, Wm. Hunter, James Rose, John Hood, Wm. Hood, Sam. Wiely, John Miller, Wm. Graham. CULLIN, James M’Geehan, Charles M’Ilhenny, Wm. Colhoun, John Wilson, Oliver Leatch, Robert Cochran. CREEVE SMITH, Joseph Warden, Philip Hanagan, James Ramsay, Wm. Hanagan, Robert Lockhart, James Kenedy, Thomas Warden. CORR, Mr. Daniel Chambers, Joseph Horner, James Smiley, James Chambers. DUBALUGH, James Montgomery, John Vein, James Patterson, David Cather, John Strean, Michael Scot. DRUMERDAGH, Wm. Wilson, Widow Fulsan, John Stephenson, Hugh Montgomery, Robt. Brown, Robt. Peoples, John Peoples, Nathan Steen, Wm. Jenkins, James Graham, Hugh Graham, Hugh Graham, David Park. DRUMORE, Robt. Stephenson, Joseph Denning, John Brown, John Hill, Robert Forsythe, Widow Torenline, Alex. Ballentine. DRUMMANY, Widow M’Ilheny, Thomas Clandinning, James King, Wm. Brown, Thomas Mills, John Russell, James Wilson, Widow Colhoun, John Wilson. FERSALMORE, John M’Nutt, John Diermond, Alex. Diermond, James M’Ilhenny, Robt. Brown. GLENOUGHLY, Hugh M’Kinney, John M’Kinney, George Givin, Wm. M’Ilhenny, Richard Moore, David Black, Thomas Killen. KNOCKBRACK, Wm. Stewart, Sam. Wallace, Widow Wilson, Henry M’Kinny, Wm. M’Kinny, John Wilson, Alex. Fletcher, John Allen, Archibald Reagh. LECK ALLEN, Wm. Wilson, Widow Moore, Widow Allison. LURGYBRACK, Wm. Garvill, Thomas Blair. LISBELLIAN, Alex. Billsland, John King, John Taylor, John Bowlen, Widow Leetch, Thos. Love, Widow Peoples, John Hutchison, Wm. Hutchison. LURGY, Robert Fletcher, Wm. Fletcher, Widow Frame, John Fletcher, Wm. Moore, Samuel Moore, Samuel M’Clintock, Wm. Moore, Samuel M’Clintock. LISMONAGHAN, Thomas Bevard, Thomas M’Clure, James Bevard, Wm. Bevard, Stephen Green, John Allison, Wm. Pearson, John Marten, George Stewart, Robert Jamison, Hugh Holaday, Joseph Stewart, Eden Bourke. MAGHRIBUE, Robert Filson, Widow Smily, Wm. Ferguson, Robert Ferguson, Wm. Stewart, John Stewart, Richard Graham, John Stephenson, John M’Coy, James M’Coy.

OLD TOWN, Henry Pearson, Wm. Miller, John Patterson, James Hunter, Robt. Harrison, Wm. Harrison, Francis Harrison, John White, Mathew Grahams, James Grahams, Henry Pearson. PLUCK, James M’Keag, Wm. M’Keag, Edward Clark, John Craig. RAAN, John Russell, James Russell, Wm. M’Candrick, Robert Green. ROSSBRACKEN, Hugh Stevenson, Alex. Montgomery, John M’Ilhenny. SCABLY, Wm. Scott, Widow Cunningham, Wm. M’Clure. TRIMRA, John M’Ilhenny, John Kirkwod, John Davison, James Martin.

GraphicFile001.png Questions for Hearth Money Roll - 1665 Leck Parish[edit | edit source]

  1. Define the cohort.
  2. Why was the record created?
  3. What are its limitations?
  4. What are its strengths?
  5. Can discrepancies be adequately explained?
  6. What age range would each of the persons on this list probably be?
  7. How many names are there?
  8. Is there one hearth per person, or do some have multiple hearths? If so, what is the remainder?
  9. What is the tax per hearth?
  10. Does the list contain Catholics and Protestants? How do you know?
  11. Has the transcript of the record been kept in its original context?
  12. Do these individuals have the right to vote?
  13. Where does the trail lead?