Thursday, August 16, 2012

Another name conundrum!

Oh my goodness – what is with all the name changes in my family. Today I have yet another name conundrum – and this one is NOT so easy to explain away with transcription errors .


You may recall my layout and post a while back on Mary Ann Goodwin ( nee Gleeson) .

Gleeson being a fairly common Irish name , and my  mother being most interested in Mary Ann’s history, my first step was to get a copy of the marriage certificate.  From August 1880 in NZ parents names were to be listed on the Marriage certificate, and I had found that James and Mary Ann were married in 1880 so I hoped I would get the information there, but as you can see below Mary Ann and James were married before August and so I didnt get much further in my quest for her parents with the marriage certificate.


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However as you can see it clearly says Mary Ann Gleeson here. – and her obituary states she came out on the Brodick Castle from Ireland after spending her early life in Dublin.

The Brodick Castle arrived in Auckland in 1876.

The passenger list has in the list of single women passengers a Mary Gleeson aged 17 .  - There is no mention of anyone on the passenger list with the name Lester.

Why Lester you may ask.. well, in order to get more information on Mary Anns parents, I had to order her death certificate, and this arrived this morning



Check out the names of her parents… James and Mary LESTER … Oh my goodness, where on earth does Gleeson come from then??

One mystery is solved here though. Lester is a family name. My Great Grandfathers middle name is Lester, my grandfathers elder brother who died as a child had the name of Lester, and my mothers middle name is Lester. So now we know where that came from.. but where does the Gleeson come from .. How will I find out, and will I ever know??


  1. My next step would be to either:
    Obtain her birth certificate
    Or obtain her Mother's death certificate.
    Although her parents are listed as Lester on her death cert, if he father died and her mother remarried while Mary was very young, she may have then been known as Gleeson.

  2. Ahh that it was so easy Kathy, but this is Ireland in the 19th century we are talking about - I cant even FIND a birth for her, or a marriage for her parents let alone her mothers death, whenever that might have been!!

  3. Additionally her birth around 1857 was before civil registration in Ireland which didnt start till 1864 - so no joy on a birth certificate at all for our Mary...