Most family historians come across corruptions of surnames in their research – perhaps names changed a little when people move to another area of the country and accents are different. Sometimes it seems to be down to how people spell their names when they become literate (or maybe copy what the registrar wrote on a certificate – the registrar would often write what he heard rather than what we now regard as a standard spelling. It took me an age to discover the marriage registration for one couple: He was an Ellam from the Manchester area, married in the West Midlands, and the registrar wrote him down as HELM.)
I’ve come across the usual sort of corruptions – Hebdon became Hepton/Hebden/Ebdon and Wilbe became Wilby/Willoughby. The one that fascinates me, though is Yeadon. This eventually corrupted to Haden – again in the West Midlands, so quite easy to see how it changed with the local accent, but what perplexes me is where it cam from initially. I can track back to one William Yeadon, my 5th great grandfather, who was born c 1721 according to his apprenticeship documentation.
The question is, from where did he start out? He seems to have been the invisible man before turning up in London as an apprentice. However there are a significant number of Yeadons in West Yorkshire – where there is a town called Yeadon within the Metropolitan borough of Leeds. There is a William Yeadon born around the right time, but nothing firm to say it’s the same person. If he was a Yeadon named after the town from which he originated how on earth did he land up in London??
His marriage record, like his birth record, is noticeable by its absence; seemed to be a single man in London, and suddenly married with a family when he arrives in Stourbridge.
Don’t you just love a good mystery?
btw – if you do happen to have a William Yeadon in your family born almost three hundred years ago – I’d be thrilled to bits to hear from you…….