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Graham & Grimes

Anyone know how or why the names Graham and Grimes are confused, I have a copy of a marriage entry for Patrick Graham (my grandfather) but his surname has been recorded as Grimes, this is not the first example I have seen, some entries have the name Graham with Grimes in brackets.

Brendan

Re: Graham & Grimes

I am taking a stab in the dark here Brendan but I know that very often in census and other records, especially where so many could not read or write, then the interpretation of their name was left up to the person recording the information. (E.g. Walsh and Welsh, Robinson and Robison). I'm guessing that perhaps in follow up to that, if your Grahams came originally from somewhere other than Belfast and had a strong accent (e.g. Ballymena) then the 'recorder' interpreting the accent could have thought their pronunciation of Graham was perhaps Grimes.

I hope this might help you in some way.

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi Fra
Thanks for feedback, I know that the family came from Armagh (1911 census) so possibly that is the reason, it makes family research very difficult.

Re: Graham & Grimes

Fra is quite right accent and literacy, or lack of it, explains how surnames are mispelt, but in the case of the Graham's there is an added deadly possiblity.
The Graham's in Scotland were under sentence of death for merely being called Graham, as they had become outlaws and raided the castles in lowland Scotland, taking livestock etc , hence their blanket sentencing to death. Some Grahams changed their name to similar sounding names, like Grimes, some even spellt their name backwatds to Maharg to avoid detection.

Re: Graham & Grimes

HiJoe
I remember reading a book some years ago called the Steel Bonnets about the Scottish clans, it would appear that when the Grahams first arrived in Ireland they were known as the wild and lawless Grahams as fighting seemed to be their main hobby.

Re: Graham & Grimes

Yes the renegade Presbyterian minister Alexander Peden labelled them that in his book.

Re: Graham & Grimes

the same could be said for many names on the island,for eg.my name breen,has several known variants,the o breen clan [orig]of brawney,following confiscation of their lands c.16th century,changed to brien in the midlands,their homeland,and to bruen for those who moved west.then there was a 'sea' change to brown for some in the far west..admiral brown founder of the argentine navy,was [its believed]a breen.when researching my lines,I came across others.breene,bryne,brean,brene,dependin on the local dialect,and the *literacy of the one registering the name,it could become unrecognisable,heres a couple of links..http://www.ancestryireland.com/database.php?filename=db_mathesons

the second one is[in my view]a better resource for the island of Ireland as a whole than either the maclysaght,and woulfe books on the subject,this one is free and gives an explanation of the variants,distribution of names by county,etc..as you will see..http://archive.org/stream/cu31924029805540#page/n1/mode/2up

* remember the vast majority of english,were illiterate!in the native gaelic tongue..loll

Re: Graham & Grimes

This is getting more and more confusing, I have my grandfather as Graham on the 1911 census, he is Grimes when he gets married in 1920 and his three sons were Grahams. The witness at his wedding was a Graham in the 1911 census and is Grimes in 1920. My grandparents so the story goes were both killed in a car accident 1926/1927, but I can find no trace of this, The three boys were sent to the De La Sall boys school and orphanage, none of the boys ever spoke about it. I am at a loss where to look next for the family, any advice would be very welcome.

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi Brendan

You say your grandparents were reportedly killed in a car crash in 1926/27; Joe can keep me right on this but I'm thinking it may not have been an automobile car crash since, unless they were wealthy, not many people had cars back then.

I'm wondering was it a tramcar crash? Joe can you shed any opinion on this?

Are you based in Belfast Brendan? You might try the newspaper library at the street to the side of Central Library, they have copies of old newspapers going back to the 1920s, perhaps an accident of that kind of magnitude, leaving two dead, would have been considered newsworthy and you just might find it documented.

Good luck to you. Family history is a life long quest, more of a marathon than a sprint ..... just like life itself!

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi Fra
My thoughts were the same as yours, that perhaps it was not a car accident that killed my grandparents, I live in London and have tried the British Newspaper Library but they have very limited information. I am not sure if they would have been considered wealthy or not,I do know that they owned their own house and also a property in Earlscourt Street, my grandfather worked for the British Argentine Meat Co in Newtownards as a manager and also at one point had his own butchers shop. I have a cousin visiting Belfast next month and will ask her to check in the Library for any information, not having exact dates is a problem as the youngest of their sons could only say he was a baby when they died and he was born around 1926 we do not have any official note of his birth at all. I will keep trying and thank you for your advice.

Re: Graham & Grimes

Brendan,

Tell your cousin to enquire in the Central Library about The Newspaper Library (two different buildings). Likely it would not have been reported in British Newspapers but if your cousin checks local papers like the Irish News or the Newsletter from that time you may just strike lucky.

One way to zone in a little more on the time frame is to ask that youngest son who was born in 1926 which month he was born. For example if he was born in July then your cousin knows not to search any month previous to that. S/he will have to search through the microfilm records on an issue by issue basis. This can be time consuming but believe me if they find an article reporting the crash, every hour will have been worth it. The details of the newspaper report can be printed out too so that you have a record.

From what I've seen in newspaper records myself, I'll be surprised if something about it isn't recorded.

Best of luck. Let us know how you get on!

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi Fra
I will pass on your advice to my cousin, the youngest son died in August of this year two weeks before his birthday so at least she will know where to start, I believe it was the Irish News I looked at on the British Library site but as it seemed to be printed every other day it was time consuming to say the least, and I think some issues may be missing.
Thank you once again for your help, I will certainly let you know how we get on.
Brendan

Re: Graham & Grimes

Exactly...they told the census taker "We're Grahams" which sound like "Grimes."

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi Brendan

The Graham families from Fermanagh and their kinsmen in Antrim were freuently recorded by Officials as Grahams Greeme and Grimes. (and at least 80 other variations are listed)this is an accident of the pen. The real family name is Graham.

anyway im keen to contact any Grahams particularly any from Ahoghill and Ballymena circa 1800

Is see your accessing Rushlight.

Joe Graham does a magnificent job promoting his local heritage worldwide.

Phil Graham

Re: Graham & Grimes

Dear Joe, As I understand it three Graham brothers arrived in America and one settled in Ohio another in Madison County Indiana another lived in Tazewell,Tennesee. I understand I am from the Madison County Grahams.My father told me as was passed on to him that we were Scots that migrated to Ireland and he considered himself more of an Irishman than a Scotsman .He passed away in 1974 . Was always proud of his Irish heritage.My wife and I have 5 children ,4 daughters and 1 son. My son is a career soldier in the US Army. He is 27 yrs old and was married last November. My hope is for some little baby Graham's crawling around soon.I found it interesting you have a brother named Hugh and I was told one of the three brothers was named Hugh, however from a previous generation.Thanks for your website Joe. It has helped fill in some of the blanks that have occured over the years and may God Bless you and your family.Gordon L Graham

Re: Graham & Grimes

Brendan,
I just read all the messages from and to you about the Graham & Grimes.
My mother was the youngest Graham born in Earlscourt St., to John (Jack) and Elizabeth Graham. Jack Graham was born in Darkley, Co. Armagh. His father was Patrick Graham. Two sisters also lived in Earlscourt St.

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi folks I m from Limerick in Ireland and I ve spent a long time trying to get to grips with the Grimes/Graham name change! As far as I can trace back (mid 1800s they were all Grimes until about 1920 when my Grandfather got married. He was told by the priest there was no such name as Grimes that the name was Graham and on foot of this all the children of this marriage became Grahams although most were called Grimes and kept the name even though all documentation relating to them stated Graham. My father went to UK abt 1960 and we were all born and grew up as Grahams which of course caused confusion when we arrived back home to Ireland in the late 70s and all our relations here in Ireland were as far as locals knew " The Grimes s"! Its interesting but has hampered my ancestral research as I dont really know whether the Grimes s were Grahams prior to 1850s etc?
Any help appreciated,
Regards
James

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi Joe,
Were you related in any way to Paddy Graham the boxer from the market.
I used to go to the Ulster hall a lot on Saturday night and he was a regular on the bill. I loved to see him on the bill because you knew you were in for a good fight. He was a slugger who always went toe to toe. I always thought if he had a good coach to tell him to box his way out of trouble he would have went as far as the British title. He had a big heart. If I remember right he was on the same bill as John Kelly fighting Bunty Doran for the title. I had a lot of respect for John that night because he carried Bunty (who was in the twilight of his boxing career)to a points decision without hurting him real bad. Later on John went on to beat Peter Keenan and give him a boxing lesson into the bargain for the british title in the kings hall. Peter made the unfortunate mistake when earlier a reporter asked Peter would he give John Kelly a shot at the title and he responded "who's John Kelly" Well that night of the title fight the Kings Hall resounded with chants of "who's John Kelly" while John was giving him a boxing lesson he would never forget. Those were great days never to be seen again. Great memories.

Re: Graham & Grimes

No I am not related to Paddy Rusty , although I have met him a few times , great craic he is , a great sense of humour. He lives down in the Market.
So Peter Keenan found out who "John Kelly was " Rusty lol

Re: Graham & Grimes

My great grandfather was born Frank Graham, when he entered the army he didn't have a birth certificate because he was born at home in the late 1800's. The army gave him a birth cert. but they put Frank Grimes, he couldn't read so he put an X next to the name. Louisiana kennygrimes0@gmail.com

Re: Graham & Grimes


Chris Writes 13th January 2014

Good day
I'm trying to make two links with 19th century Antrim.

First is a young daughter of Gawn and Maggie Graham of Connor: Martha Graham died 20 December 1908 aged 7 years 5 months, so she did not appear in either the 1901 census or the 1911 census. My family kept a memorial of her death.

Second is Janet Graham my great-great-grandmother (died July 1870, wife of old Sam Hill of Carnmoney Presbyterian church) - she gave her Graham name to various descendants, some of them well documented in Carnmoney, but there is not much about Janet herself.

Does anyone know more about them? All help appreciated!


Chris

Re: Graham & Grimes

Hi Brendan,

Good to see your query and the responses it generated. I've been doing this " Family Tree and Graham Origins " Study for around seven years the
'noo, and the more I study , the more I find I have to learn. ! Somewhere in my collection of notes, I have ( iI think ! ) four pages of some 100 + ways of spelling Graham ....I'll E.Mail it to you if you like . Joe Graham said in his response , the we were under sentence of Death once for just having the " wrong " surname ! He's quite correct. One thing I read was that some of those of our Ancestors who chose to change their name , chose Maharg, which does'nt take a lot of figuring out is Graham spelled backwards ! Others went McHarg so I've read. I checked this out, and one Correspondent said :- " My Grand-dad said our name , Maharg, was changed from another surname , many years ago" , and I found by Googling :
"btinternet. residential numbers" that there are Mahargs in the UK Phone book. I have , by the way , got Lists of our Clansmen who in 1605 sent to Holland , by King James, and the following year , whole families who were Exiled to Ireland....if you want them ...just add thet to the list ! I am also in touch with two Scots Grahams whose Ancestors returned to Scotland from Ireland Generations ago. If you want assistance with your Family Tree studies, I could put you in touch with them. I don;t go to this Website very often, but I'm best contacted at :- bruros@clear.net.nz; which shows you what country I live in ! Look forward to hearing from you, Cheers the ' noo, Bruce Graham !