Monday, April 9, 2012

The Changing Names of Eadweard Muybridge

Google's Eadweard Muybridge doodle today was in commemoration of Eadweard J. Muybridge's 182nd birthday.

He was an iconic English photographer and a pioneer in animated images in photography (and a writer) who spent much of his working life in the United States of America, but also visited Canada, France, Germany, Austria, Italy, Britain, central and South America and Russia to take photos.

There's no connection to the Borders that I can see, but his life is an excellent example of changing spellings of surnames.

I've consulted the
Another interesting site is Eadweard Muybridge: Defining Modernities / bringing together the international collections of Eadweard Muybridge's work.

He was born 9 April 1830 at Kingston upon Thames, England with the name Edward James Muggeridge.

Wikipedia says he first changed his forenames to Eduardo Santiago (in Spanish, Santiago means St James).

In 1847, his brother, John, died; having changed his name to Wybridge.

In 1850, his name was Muggridge; in April or May 1856, Muygridge; in November 1865, Muybridge.

On 20 May 1871, using the name Edward J. Muybridge (aged 41) he married Flora E. Downs (she was aged 20 !).

Around 15 April 1874 their child, Florado (or Floredo) Helios Muybridge, was born in San Francisco, but Edward then discovered Major Harry Larkyns was Flora's lover, suspected that Larkyns was the real father, and on 17 October shot him dead.

I'm rather confused by the Compleat Chronology because Florado seems also to have been named George Down Muybridge.

On 14 December, his wife, Flora, filed for divorce and alimony claiming extreme cruelty. The trial of Muybridge for killing Larkyns acquitted him on 18 February 1875 on the grounds that the killing was justified because Larkyns had seduced his wife.

Flora's application for alimony was granted on 30 April 1875 at $50 per month; Muybridge at that time earning $300 or more per month, however, on 18 July, Flora died, still married.

Sometime in February or March, his first name changed to Eadweard.

On 8 May 1904 he died. Wikipedia says that on his gravestone, he was named as Eadweard Maybridge. The Compleat Chronology says the crematorium register called him Eudweard Muybridge.

According to Family Search, Florato H Muybridge is in the 1930 census in Sacramento, California, United States of America, birth year 1874, and his mother was born in France. The California death index shows his name as Florado and that he died on 1 Feb 1944. Family Search also lists Florado H Maybridge in the 1900 census in the household of George Tilson. The last 2 records show his birth as January 1874, but that might be because only 1874 was recorded.

If you found his birth record as Muggeridge, you might look for Muggridge, but you would be lucky to think of Muygridge and luckier still to find Muybridge or Maybridge. Even worse, if you were looking for John Muggeridge, I'm sure you wouldn't think of Wybridge.

Our latest volume, Coldingham Monumental Inscriptions has been published.

Read our Kith & Kin column every week in the Border Telegraph and Peeblesshire News newspapers.

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