Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Narcisse, Narcy, and Nancy

It probably will not be discussed in an upcoming issue of Casefile Clues, but it makes a good point so I thought I would mention it here.

While doing some background work on the property owned by Samuel Neill in Hancock County, Illinois, the deed of purchase for one property mentioned the female grantee three times. 

And that was good, because every time her name was different.

The signature is transcribed as Narcisse. In the acknowledgement, she is listed as Nancy and as Narcy. The clerk has actually underlined the "an" in "Nancy," but has made no notation about the Narcy. My hunch is that Narcy was a diminutive for Narcisse in the eyes of the Justice of the Peace recording the acknowledgement and the clerk transcribing it, but that the clerk was guessing "Nancy" was an error and because it was an error that had to be recorded as such, he underlined the "an" in "Nancy" to indicate it was a mistake. 

Even in deeds there can be clues as to name variants--in this case since they are all on the same document they help to provide actual evidence of the variant. 

The deed in question was dated 20 September 1879, was recorded in Hancock County, Illinois, Deed Book 98, page 539 and is from John F. Hart and Narcisse Hart to Samuel Neill for sixty acres in St. Albans Township. I actually pulled the book off the shelf and viewed it myself and my cousin (3rd cousin to be precise) who works in the recorder's office made the copy. 

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