Saturday, 16 June 2012

What's in a name?

On May 5 1780, James LOUDEN married Christian McGARNIE in the parish of Whitekirk and Tynninghame. A fortnight later, on 19 May 1780, James LOTHIAN married Christian BEGARNEY in the parish church of Dunbar.

The two villages are described as being an eight-minute drive (or in 1780, a one-hour walk) apart.

Is this an amazing coincidence or the same couple being married twice, and if so why?

  • I have previously found that Christian McGarnie was baptised Christian BELGARNIE and that her "correct" maiden name was recorded at the christening of some of her later children with James.
  • I have found no other record of Christian BEGARNEY.
  • There was a child of Christian BALGONIE and James LOTHIAN christened Janet in Dunbar on 30 December 1780, apparently an only child.
  • Christian and James of Whitekirk had seven children between 1783 and 1796; none were called Janet, although that was the name of Christian's mother and had been given to two of her sisters.

The temptation to declare that these two families are one and the same is almost overwhelming. But why were there two kirk weddings?

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