07 May 2011

Surname Saturday - 45: Nolaurd?

That's right -- "Nolaurd." How's that for a typical Irish surname. Yet that's what it states on the microfilmed transcription of the Clinton Co., Iowa death register for John KENNEDY, one of my Irish great-great-grandfathers.  Maiden Name of Mother: Nolaurd.

I'm not sure what to make of that. It's like breaking through a brick wall and finding...another brick wall. 

The informant was John Sheppard. He is the husband of Anne (Kennedy) Sheppard. John Kennedy was living with the Sheppards when he died. In the 1900 US Census, he is listed in their household as "Uncle." I believe he's Anne's uncle, the brother of her mother, Mary (Kennedy) Lawler Kennedy. In the 1910 US Census he is listed in the Sheppard household as a boarder.

It's possible that John Sheppard got the information about his wife's grandmother's maiden name wrong. I know that information about my wife (Lynch and Kuntz), but stuff like that is important to me. Maybe John Sheppard wasn't all that interested in genealogy. I don't put much trust in the information he provided.

The other possibility is that it's a transcription error.  Maybe it's "Nolan" or something more common in the original death records. A trip to the Clinton County courthouse is in my plans. That will be on my list of things to look into.

Of course, if it is "Nolaurd" that will be a real break. An uncommon name will make it more likely when I find someone that they are the person I'm looking for.  Not like Kennedy. 

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