Lost Lines (name changes)

The commonest reason for a line to end is that a person does not have any offspring or has only daughters who take their husband’s name.

However, there are other reasons. These are a few:

  1. The family is illiterate so that they were unable to tell enumerators and other officials how to record their name.
  2. The accent of the family meant that enumerators and other officials mis recorded their name. (this is often linked with the above).
  3. A person changes their name because they just don’t like it, perhaps because they think it sounds embarrassing.
  4. A person falls out with their family and changes their name.
  5. The person adopts a stage name or similar which they then use instead of their real name and pass it on to their family.
  6. An individual has other reasons to purposely change their name.
  7. A man takes his wife’s name on marriage.

Examples of this amongst Pullums that I have found are:

Music Hall and Minstrels
Henry Ebenezer Pullum (1828 – 1890)
aka Harry Templeton

From Baker, Burglar, Soldier, Buyer to an Officer and a Gentleman.
Percy Digby Templeton Pullum (1864 – 1929)

Henry Morton Pullum
Although not the eldest son (born 1889), Henry was the only child of Frederick James Pullum and his wife Agnes Morton to be given his mother’s maiden name as his middle name.
In 1911, aged 21, he is not with his family but is recorded as Henry Morton Pullum but when he gets married to Esther Maud Soloman on 23rd October 1918, he is recorded as Henry Morton (formerly Henry Morton Pullum). On all further records, (1939 register, death index & probate) he is Henry Morton. Rumour has it that he dropped the name Pullum after a family dispute.


However, there is also the situation where a line that would have died out is kept “alive” e.g. by a female keeping her name after marriage or not marrying and so her child has her maiden name or a double-barrelled name that includes it.

I have also found (after being alerted by a contact) that the first two reasons above can lead to siblings having different names after leaving home.

However, in the case of James Pullum (1867 – 1944), the line of the son whose children had the variation PULLEM as their name ended after only two generations due to a lack of grandsons.


last updated 18.03.18