Monday 9 May 2011

Happy Families

Remember the game ‘Happy Families’? Well, here’s a selection of historically true names culled from the archidiaconal probate documents of Berkshire by Frank Denzey:-

Mr Acres the Husbandman
Mr Brown the Baker
Mr Chambers the Potter
Mr Coggeswelle the Miller
Mrs Faithful the Widow
Mr Farmer the Yeoman
Mr Field the Husbandman
Mr Fisher the Fisherman
Mr Gripp the Joiner
Mr Haycroft the Husbandman
Mr Hide the Tanner
Mrs Hope the Widow
Mr Horner the Trumpeter
Mr Howse the Mason
Mr Knife the Surgeon
Mr Loader the Carrier
Mr Mason the Bricklayer
Mr Meales the Baker
Mr Merryman the Tapster
Mrs Pretty the Widow
Mr Styles the Tailor
Mr Tassell the Milliner
Miss Waite the Spinster
Miss Webb the Spinster
Mr Wells the Siever
Mr Wheater the Husbandman
Mr Wheeler the Wheelwright
Mr Whetstone the Wheeler
Mr Yieldall the Keeper

And versions of this one pop up from time to time.  It’s far too good to be true, which means that it probably isn’t!

Sir William Boyden married La Contessa Francesca Zapretti, both from long established noble families. When their first child, Hugh, was born they hyphenated their surnames – so their young son became Hugh Zapretti-Boyden. In later life Hugh became a parrot breeder......             

If anyone else has anything unusual to pass on, then send it to me at .

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