Humphrys genealogy

Genealogy research by Mark Humphrys.

My ancestors - Humphrys - Contents

  The long "Humphrys" tradition

Dr. David changes to "Humphreys" in 1890s

St.Enda's using "Humphrys" in 1910


FAQ - Why I changed my name

I was born with the surname "Humphreys", but in 1985 I switched to the spelling "Humphrys". How come?

It turns out the spelling of our surname has a long history:

The spelling "Humphrys" may reflect the original Welsh origins. It was pronounced "Hum-friss" or "Um-friss" in Co.Limerick. Alfred O'Rahilly said the Humphrys family didn't like that pronunciation and preferred to pronounce it the more standard "Hum-frees". Even today, though, despite the Limerick family changing to the spelling "Humphreys", it is still pronounced locally as "Hum-friss" or "Um-friss"

When in 1985 I found out about the old name, I liked it, and just started spelling my name that way. I changed my name officially by deed poll in 1988. No one else in my family changed, so I spell my name different to my brothers. I did surprise my father by discovering that his father was born "Humphrys" in 1896.

My children use the spelling "Humphrys", so I have started a whole new branch of the tree with this spelling.

The long "Humphrys" tradition

"William Humphrys" in the Union of Kilnarath, Co.Tipperary, in [Religious Census 1766].
This may be my great-great-great-great-grandfather William Humphrys.

The grave of my great-great-great-great-grandfather William Humphrys (died 1792 or 1799), showing the old spelling.

The grave of my great-great-great-grandfather John Humphrys, showing the old spelling.

My great-great-great-grandfather John Humphrys Senior, of Glenstal, is party to [Deed of 1809], which shows the old spelling.

Entry for Glenstal in [Tithe Survey, 1826], showing the old spelling.

Entry for Glenstal in [Griffiths Valuation, 1851], showing the old spelling.

The grave of my great-great-grandfather James Humphrys (died 1899), showing the old spelling.

Stained glass window erected in memory of my great-great-grandfather James Humphrys and his wife, by their son Fr. James Humphrys.

Letterhead of my great-granduncle Mick Humphrys, 1902.

Letterhead of Mick Humphrys, 1919.

Tiled floor at the door of Mick Humphrys' pub, 81 Dame St, Dublin.

Grave of my grandfather's 1st cousins, showing the old spelling.

Flyer for the pub of my grandfather's 1st cousin.

Dr. David changes to "Humphreys" in 1890s

My great-grandfather Dr. David Humphreys changed the spelling from "Humphrys" to "Humphreys" in the 1890s.

Dr. David still listed under the old spelling in [Thoms, 1894].

The first clear appearance of the new spelling is "Dr. Humphreys" on a Christmas card from Dr. David in 1894-95.
See larger. From [P106/343].

The marriage settlement 1895 of Dr. David Humphreys shows the new spelling.
He also spells his brother Fr. James as "Humphreys".
See full size.

However then the marriage cert 1895 shows the old spelling.
Dr. David had been baptised with the old spelling in 1861.

The birth cert of my grandfather Dick, 1896, shows the old spelling.

1898 telegram shows the new spelling.

The birth cert of my grandaunt Sighle, Feb 1899, shows the new spelling.

The will of Dr.David, Dec 1899, showing the new spelling.
He also spells his mother as "Humphreys".
See full size.

The will of Richard Rahilly's widow, 1903.
Think this is a transcript rather than the original, but either way it shows someone confused about whether to use the old spelling or the new spelling for her daughter Nell.
See full size.

Same for her grandson Dick.
From above. See full size.

St.Enda's using "Humphrys" in 1910

My grandfather Dick Humphreys went to St.Enda's school in 1909-12.
St.Enda's are found (see below) in [An Macaomh, Christmas 1910] using the old spelling "Humphrys" - possibly because that is what is on Dick's birth cert.
However note that in [An Macaomh, Christmas 1909, p.56] they used "Humphreys".

My grandfather Dick Humphreys, age 14, sports day, St.Enda's, Cullenswood House, Ranelagh, 24 May 1910.
From [An Macaomh, Christmas 1910, p.68].
See wider shot.

Dick starts as a boarder, 12 Sept 1910.
From [An Macaomh, Christmas 1910, pp.73-74].
See full size top and bottom.

Donation Drive

Please donate to support this site. I have spent a great deal of time and money on this research. Research involves travel and many expenses. Some research "things to do" are not done for years, because I do not have the money to do them.
Please Donate Here to support the ongoing research and to keep this website free.

Help       Conventions       Abbreviations       How to read the trees

Privacy policy       Adoption policy       Image re-use policy       New 250 G VPS server.