Saturday, 23 October 2010

Surname Saturday: Distin

My DISTINs came from Holbeton, Devon, by way of Malborough, and eventually to South Pool.  Jane DISTIN, my 3 x great grandmother, married into the BALL family, and she was the final DISTIN in my direct line.  Born in 1801, she lived until she was 92, and my own grandmother, Minda Mary Edgcombe BALL, remembers her.  However, looking at the dates, Jane (or Jenny, as she was known) died a year before Minda was born...so it must be another old lady that grandma remembers.

Jane produces another mystery.  I have tried to track her in the censuses but, unfortunately, once she was married and became Jane BALL - well, that is a fairly common name, and there is another Jane BALL who seems to have something to do with a farmer named DADDS.  A mysterious son, George, appears, so I am now not sure whether 'my' Jane lived with someone else, or this other Jane is someone else entirely.

And yet another mystery - Jane has an older sister, also called Jane.  Well, ordinarily I would think it was the Victorians habit of calling a child after the name of one who died extremely young - but the elder Jane lived to be 70! so what was going on here?

DISTIN, a surname that proliferates around the South West of England, is one of the few names in my tree which also appears in France, although none of my ancestors is recorded as French.  Perhaps, if I go far enough back?

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