Variations of McMullian, McMullan, McMullen

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Variations of McMullian, McMullan, McMullen

Postby tomwdcraftr » Wed Jun 08, 2011 10:15 pm

I've found our family name spelled different ways, and likely changed over time. John McMullan married Margaret Orr in Downpatrick, Down, Ireland at the Church of Ireland Cathedral May 2, 1844. I have two records of this event which are handwritten records, probably by the person registering the marriage. I don't know where John was born, or even his age, unfortunately. On one record the name is spelled "McMullan", and on the other "McMullen". Then, after the family emigrated to Quebec, I found an actual signature for John showing the spelling: "McMullian" in 1847. The record was for the birth of his second Son, William John, and the Son was shown by the registrar or curate as "McMullen".

I have not seen too many spellings as McMullian, and was curious if the name could have been spelled that way for a reason?? Perhaps, a class issue, a way to identify with a particular religion, or??

During the time my Great Grandfather, William John McMullen lived in Fergus, Wellington County, Ontario he changed the name to "McMillan". I don't know the exact reasoning, but it may have been because there was another William McMullen living nearby, and perhaps he changed it to avoid confusion?

On different census records, I've seen the name spelled a lot of different ways, which seemed likely at the discretion of the census taker or the person recording the information.

Thanks!! Tom McMillan (Washougal, WA)
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Joined: Wed Jun 08, 2011 9:34 pm

Re: Variations of McMullian, McMullan, McMullen

Postby Camelspank » Sun Jan 05, 2014 10:00 am

Hi Tom,

I am a very new user of this group, but picked up on your posts as I am looking to try to research my family history.
My current name is McMillan, and I believe I am only the 4th generation since my family arrived from Ireland. That could be completely incorrect though as my family were shrouded in mystery and I know that trying to trace my roots is going to prove difficult as even my grandfather and his wife have several names to contend with.
My father passed away in 2012, and with him, he took any chance of my learning or recording from him.

I have sketchy stories about my fathers grandfather being a lifeboat man on the Thames, but that is as much as I know.
Finding reliable information about Irish people in London, especially those living in the docklands of London is going to be a test in itself.
As you will probably know signs on the doors of hostels, pubs, and public baths carried the lines " no beggars, dogs or Irish". So that gives an indication of just how low the Irish were regarded in London, and therefore births and deaths would not have been seen as very important for this unwanted immigrant sect.

The spelling confusion, and many changes were mainly due to poor literacy of both the individual recording the names and the individual who was being recorded. If neither were accomplished in reading and writing errors would go unchecked.
Also the chance to reinvent yourself when travelling to the Americas must have been an opportunity many took, wanted men in Ireland by the British would have found people willing and able to hide them and cover for them in the new lands.

I am now the eldest of my family name, and want to attempt to find my line back to Scotland.

If nothing else I know I have a fellow McMillan out there.

Benjamin McMillan
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Joined: Sat Jan 04, 2014 7:00 pm

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