View Full Version : Godmothers

01-02-13, 10:44
Hi all,
I have just been revisiting some old notes i made from microfilm of baptisms in Kilbarron parish (Ballyshannon) in Donegal. Obviously these gave me useful info re DOBs, parents' names, including mother's maiden name.
I'm now looking more closely at the godparents to see what I might be able to glean from them.
I don't know enough about all the women named as godmothers, but of some of the names i recognise, it seems to me that the priest has recorded married godmothers by their birth/maiden name rather than their married name.
Does anyone out there know whether this was standard practice or was it inconsistent - sometimes maiden name, sometimes married name, varying from parish to parish, even priest to priest?

Janet in Yorkshire
01-02-13, 15:45
I've only seen godparents listed in RC records, which I haven't needed to use much. (Apart from some 20th century C of E registers.) I was only too grateful that the mother's maiden name was recorded, as well as her marital name! I think a pre-prepared format was used, so there was only room for one surname for each godparent.

Is it possible that rather than "married godmothers" being recorded in their maiden names, these were other members of the extended family with the same names? It wasn't uncommon for several brothers to use exactly the same forenames for all their offspring, resulting in 2 or more cousins having exactly the same forename and surname. Couple this with cousins of the fathers doing the same thing and you have a whole host of John/Mary/William Smiths etc.


01-02-13, 16:16
And another obvious question: you're sure the godmother was married at the time of the godchild's baptism?

01-02-13, 17:16
Thanks for replies.
Just as an example to clarify: godparents recorded as Denis Daly and Sarah Bannigan. Sarah Bannigan was married to Denis Daly and there is no other Sarah Bannigan in the tree at the time; the child being baptised, also called Sarah Bannigan, was the next generation, a niece. It was this one in particular that struck me, hence me asking the question re naming conventions for godmothers.
Similarly, godparents recorded as Anthony Bannigan and Ann Fox. Anthony Bannigan was married to Ann Fox with no other likely Ann Fox around at the time...
I should also have mentioned that these are RC records just in case it's relevant.
Hope this makes sense ...