I was named Frances after my dad's much loved elder sister who died at the age of 14. She was named after her father's youngest sister, who was only ever called Babs as she was the youngest in a family of five children, such are the vagaries of known names in family history.
I've often wondered if any Francis' out there get the same misspelt treatment and then last week while walking through Radnor Street Cemetery I caught sight of the following headstone inscription, which definitely needed proof reading.
In loving memory of
The beloved son of
William and Mary Ann Eyre
who died August 11, 1890
aged 29 years
Not lost but gone before
Frances William Eyre
Father of the above
who died Decr. 21st 1899
aged 71 years
Also Mary Ann,
Wife of the above
who died Decr. 21st 1906
aged 80 years
Perhaps the monumental mason who completed the inscription on this headstone was having an off day.
The first part of the inscription following the burial of James Eyre names his parents as William and Mary Ann Eyre.
However, the person who completed the inscription, presumably nine years later following the death of William, not only reversed William's two christian names, but misspelt Francis, using the female version of the name.
William Francis Eyre was born in Ashbourne, Derby in 1828. By 1871 he had moved to Wiltshire and a job in the GWR Works as a Coach Body Maker. William first lived in London Street, Wroughton with Mary Ann and five of their children.
William's last home was at 11 Exmouth Street, where he died on December 21, 1899. A search of the burial registers revealed that even here his name had been spelt incorrectly and the letter i is heavily written over.
Looks like not only the stonemason but the burial clerk should have gone to Specsavers!