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Blackwood – When is a name not a name?

This evenings’ meeting could have been a bit of as disappointment. Because of a clash with other events, we had to change our usual meeting date from the second Tuesday of the month to the first. We were also moved from our usual room to another on the school complex. Our scheduled speaker had to cancel because of ill health. So, there was much activity behind the scenes. However, the evening turned out to be a memorable one, for all the best reasons.

Elizabeth Gillespie kindly changed her visit from November to April. Her talk entitled “When is a name not a name?” held us all spellbound as she revealed her search for the origins of the surname HUNTOLD. The name did not appear anywhere else in the UK except in her family tree. She took us on a tour of her family tree, which highlighted the lengths she had gone to, to solve this mystery. She went all the way back to the 1841 census, which gave her the first clue. With the knowledge that the family had roots in Yatton, Somerset, she found an entry for Thomas Owld. On looking at the original birth certificate she found the name Hunt had been added apparently as a second Christian name. Later to be joined together as Huntold when they moved to Aberdare. Her search had been complicated by the fact that this name had been intermingled with the name of Bishop over the years and was not cleared up until the early 1900s.

The surprise package that came out of this wonderful exposé, was that, while the talk was going on, one of our members, Wendy Davies, was becoming more and more excited, when it became obvious that her family tree was connected to that of Elizabeth. It turned out that their great great grandmothers were sisters.

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