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Tuesday, November 25, 2003

Courtenay middle name

fname=Joe
lname=Courtenay Wheller
address1=ACN, Tecasin Business Centre, 243 Hoang Van Thu Street
address2=
city=Ho Chi Minh City
state=Vietnam
zip=xxx
joew@acnielsen.com
ancestor=Any

comments=This query is perhaps too general, but maybe somebody is aware of a solution.

Courtenay has been my family's middle name for generations, always alongside Wheller (but without a hyphen).

The Wheller family was from Devon, though now spread around UK.

The family explanation (or perhaps myth) has been that many generations ago one of the Courtenays was a little wayward with the domestic help. This led to an illegitimate birth. Given the social system of the time, the mother was not able to legitimise the child but instead inserted the Courtenay name into the family name as an ongoing reminder.

A fanciful family legend? Quite possibly. But I would be interested to know if anyone was aware of whether such namings in such circumstances were common practice or even perhaps if there was a more 'legitimate' connection between the Courtenays and Whellers in times gone past.

Thanks for your help,

Best regards
Joe