The Animal Kingdom

9 October 2015

SpiderHornsbyFriday has been frenetic. That’s all. I could write about a topic or two with particular relevance to today but I have decided to put those to one side in favour of humour. Rhinogwen. Yes, you read that correctly. Six BMD records post-1900 for individuals named Rhinogwen Evans – 2 births, 2 marriages and 2 deaths (when you combine the indexes on Ancestry, FreeBMD and FindMyPast). But where on earth did the name Rhinogwen originate?!

An interesting death took place in 1900 – in the Medway Registration District (RD) – for Spider Hornsby. Intriguing as, aside from the name, the death was registered with an age bracket of 53-54 (as opposed to an exact age),which is very rare. Looking at the index itself, the death of ‘H’ Hornsby was also registered in the same quarter and year, in the same volume and on the same page, suggesting that Spider was also known as ‘H’?! How….?!

Badger – a name which is said to be derived from the French ‘bêcheur’ (meaning ‘digger’) – is less commonly found as a first name, with just three entries on FreeBMD at the time of writing – Badger Walter Allin (b. September quarter 1864 Holsworthy RD) and the deaths of Badger Lewis (March quarter 1874 Llanelly RD aged 75) and Badger Somerset (September quarter 1900 Cardiff RD aged 56).

Edward Carter was born in Torquay in 1878 and by 1891, the first name of Goat had been added (by his parents, presumably?!):


[Source image: 1891 census (Ancestry) – RG12/1710/102/33]

A student of music in 1891, Goat married in September quarter 1905 in Fulham RD. I wonder if he and his wife had any kids? [‘scuse the awful joke….] Along with the goats and sheep, the rabbits were also evident in the records of yesteryear with Rabbits Henry dying in December quarter 1837 (only just after civil registration had begun) in Wimborne & Cranborne RD. No age was recorded for this Rabbit so it is unknown whether s/he was a child or elderly wo/man. Only the purchase of the death certificate would tell us this information, or we could find it with a sneak peak at the burial register of the ‘right’ parish.

The 1911 census is a hot bed for animal enumeration as the householders completed the forms themselves. Many individuals decided that it was very important to keep extremely accurate information about everyone who resided there, both in terms of humans and animals. A real eye opener for the genealogists of today!

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