Patrick Udny, of that Ilk - Finnish patronymicon removed

Started by Pontus Kyander on Monday, July 22, 2013


Profiles Mentioned:

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7/22/2013 at 9:04 AM

Dear all,
Please apologise, but I removed the Finnish patronymicon "Ranaldinpoika" as I believe it is of little help here in an international community like Geni. If something like it should be used - given there is historical support for using any such - I suggest Ranaldson instead.
It could possibly disrupt connections between trees and over to other genealogical communities.
Best regards,
Pontus Kyander
(grt grdson x 12)

7/22/2013 at 8:22 PM

I think you made the correct decision.
The family link to Scandanavia is not until Peter Udnie the mid-1600s so there's no reason why Patrick would have had a Finnish patronym living in Scotland 250 years earlier.

More concerning:
Peter Udnie's father, William Andrewson Udnie of Tillery, died 52 years before Peter was born?

7/23/2013 at 6:59 AM

Thanks Alex,
Well, that was a good observation. Time travel?
Time will tell. I believe knots like these need old fashioned archival etc research on site in Scotland, for instance to properly find out about who actually is Peter Udnie's father and the dates for his life-span.
With kind regards,
Pontus Kyander

7/23/2013 at 1:06 PM

Dear Alex,
Without access to any other sources, I just noticed that other sources at MyHeritage have 1546 as Guilhelmus' birth date.
I took the liberty to change it, as it must have been wrong initially, Time may correct and also add a year of death.
Most kindly,

7/23/2013 at 1:30 PM

Trusting sources from the same site, I have changed and added information on Peter Udnie (in Finland) as well.
All the best,

7/23/2013 at 7:49 PM

A birthdate for William on 1546 does make more sense, putting him in his 40s when Peter is born. Most of the MyHeritage trees list his death as 1634 meaning he was 88 years old which seems very old to me.
The problem with using online family trees as a source of information is that mistakes made by one researcher tend to get repeated and gain respectability thru repetition by others.

Unfortunately 16th century Scotland is not my area of specialisation either :)

7/23/2013 at 8:52 PM

There are many references to the Oudny family in this book:
"Records of the Sheriff Court of Aberdeenshire. Edited by David Littlejohn"

I think for the most part they are listed as Sherrif's deputies. The first reference is from 1504:
"Ranald Oudny appointed to serve at Courts in place of his father William Oudny of that Ilk."
My interpretation is that William de Uldney was an official of the court but due to age/sickness his son Ranald Udny of that Ilk (as his heir) was present at the court in his place.
Later (in i think 1509) William's widow, Janet Seton of Meldrum or Jonet Seytoun is mentioned several times, which matches quite closely to the death date of 1510 on William's profile.

I think that the use of "of that ilk" as a name on Geni stems from these documents and is a mistake made by a non-English speaker. Certainly i am struggling to read this book so for a Finn or Swede...
I actually had to Google the phrase to determine it's meaning, it's a phrase my mother migth have used but not one my children would recognise and has certainly changed somewhat between now and the 1500s.

Basically, it means that the person's surname is the same as the name of the place in which they live. So "Patrick Udny, of that Ilk" = "Patrick Udny, from Udny" or "Patrick Udny of Udny". Apparently it is more often used for wealthy landed families rather than to identify where a peasant is from.

7/23/2013 at 9:18 PM

By the way Udny is pronounced "Widney" if you were wondering :)

7/23/2013 at 9:40 PM

I've removed "of the Ilk" from all the profiles i could see and added approximate birth years to the top profiles which make more sense (they may be wrong but better than having parents only 9 years older than their children.

The Janet Seton's section is equally messy despite having quite a few Master Profiles curated by Private User.
Perhaps Ben can suggest some good sources to us for researching these families?

7/24/2013 at 12:28 AM

Dear Alex,
Thank you for filling me in on these things.
It is good these profiles get an involvement from somewhere nearer the sources. The Udneys of this line have become a bit of a singular Finnish preoccupation, which of course puts limits on available sources and such.
I have only recently come across these relatives, on Geni, and it is great that various idiosyncracies are gradually wiped out.
What I can contribute to this is limited, nevertheless do I find it really important that these particular lines leading from Finland to Scotland and beyond are properly researched and amended.
It seems quite a few Scots ended up in Finland from the late Medieval times and on.
One such connection that certainly needs to be followed up is the Tait/Tayte family that seem to have arrived already in the 13th c. It ultimately leads up to my own family in the 16-17th centuries, then spelled Teit, and after being knighted also in Sweden/Finland, their names became Teet and Teetgren. They kept the same coats of arms as the Scottish branches, and a lot of other aristocracy in Finland descends from this particular line of Scottish expats.
Do you know any reliable sources for the Taits, also from Aberdeenshire? The same book?
Thank you once more for great help.
Best regards,


7/24/2013 at 2:29 PM

"Basically, it means that the person's surname is the same as the name of the place in which they live. So "Patrick Udny, of that Ilk" = "Patrick Udny, from Udny" or "Patrick Udny of Udny". Apparently it is more often used for wealthy landed families rather than to identify where a peasant is from .."

Alex I believe that is a correct intepretation. Trust me, I'm very much a beginner at Scots genealogy, but I have learned this much:

Names are all about the property ownership.

So by definitation a peasant is not a landowner, and therefore would not be entitled to use of the surname "Udney of that ilk". (no comma, it's a complete surname).

There are good books in archive stream for different families and counties, and the Scots Complete Peerage is the single best resource (for those to whom it applies).

I'm fascinated by the Finnish connection.

7/24/2013 at 6:05 PM

The computer ate my reply :(

7/24/2013 at 6:52 PM

I know nothing about researching in Scotland, i noticed this discussion because of the Finnish connection :)

I think the "of that Ilk" is an important piece of information about a person's status but that including it in the name field is incorrect. It's more of a title than a name.

7/24/2013 at 8:14 PM

My understanding is that it was (not sure if still the case) part of the surname and only held by the family head, along with the property. But - there are a lot of Scottish name resources out there. I just worry about the correct names for my ancestors from Ayrshire.

7/24/2013 at 11:13 PM

I'd be more concerned that while it may be technically part of a surname of the head of the family the way that new profiles are created on Geni might propogate the surname to all family members whether it is appropriate or not.

7/24/2013 at 11:34 PM

There shouldn't need to be many new profiles created in that time frame. Ones I have seen that are new have been impeccably sourced and named by actual Scots. It there's a question that arises there are several curators, including myself, with substantial Scots ancestry. Actually one of our Finnish curators does an outstanding curating job in the tree.

Private User
7/24/2013 at 11:47 PM

In Scotland the territorial designation is legally part of the surname (for those who use it). The Scottish law and custom is more analogous to France than to England. There is extensive literature on this subject because it is so confusing for Americans. See, for example,

The territorial designation properly belongs to the head of the family, his wife (if she uses a married name), the eldest son, and all daughters. Younger sons get the plain surname without a territorial designation, unless they have land of their own.

The practice of duplicating the surname (Udny of Udny, or Udny of that Ilk) arose because some families take their surname from an estate, while in other families the "estate" is the clan.

Udny of Udny and Udny of that Ilk mean the same thing. Which form a family uses depends on its own preference, except that daughters will always use the form Udny of Udny rather than Udny of that Ilk. Not only do different families follow different patterns, but the same family can switch back and forth over the generations. This is one place where we have to actually do the research, not just make it up.

The territorial designation does not come from noble titles, just from landed estates, because the whole point is that it is a name, so it survives attainder.

On Geni, the whole surname (Udny of Udny or Udny of that Ilk) should go in the surname field of Scottish families, where appropriate. In England, the same kind of territorial designation would be properly set off with a comma (that is, be put in the suffix field).

7/25/2013 at 12:35 AM

I wasn't saying that people making new profiles would make a mistake i was contemplating that the existing profiles were created in ignorance. One generation had a 50 year gap between death of father and birth of son, another generation had the father only 9 years older than the son. Obviously(?) it's bad merging not bad building but either way the result is a bad branch which is hard to correct without any good sources.

If Justin says the surname should be "Udny of that Ilk" i'll accept that and revert the profiles for William and Ranald (who feature in the court documents i located yesterday) tomorrow.

7/25/2013 at 3:16 AM

Alex pay attention to a point Justin made "each family had their own preference whether to use "of that ilk" or "of (estate)."

When I clean up in the Scots tree I use a source, the best I can find, and link it within the overview, and often attach it as a document. There really isn't a good alternative to using what someone else said (can blame them if I get it wrong!)

7/25/2013 at 3:18 AM

Also I believe the "i" in ilk is always lower case.

Private User
7/25/2013 at 6:19 AM

No, the i in Ilk is always upper case.

7/25/2013 at 11:39 AM

Thank you. It's hard to read.

7/25/2013 at 5:26 PM

Actually the sherriff's records use both upper and lower case, although upper case seems more common.
I've changed William to "Udny of that Ilk",even though nowhere in the document does Ranald ever get referred to in that manner he is referred to as the "heir apparent" so it seems safe enough to assume he also used "of that Ilk".

7/25/2013 at 5:37 PM

There's a few "odd" profiles in this area, for example the occupation field of Ranald Udny of that Ilk is locked. How can a field be locked if the profile is not an MP?
It's is especially strange because his occupation is listed as "in Udny, Aberdeen, Skotland". I was going to change it to "Juror/Sherriff's deputy".

7/25/2013 at 5:46 PM

Occupation is not an MP lockable field. Perhaps you don't happen to collaborate with any of the profile managers and that's why you cant edit - it's a field that is not under revision / reversion control. Send out some collab requests & see if that changes the edit rights.

7/25/2013 at 5:47 PM

Also someone should "resolve conflicting data" (actions menu)

7/25/2013 at 6:27 PM

Ok, so the field isn't actually locked i just dont have access to it, understood.

I've done the confict resolution but it is awaiting authorisation by the manager.
All pointless anyway as the conflicts regarded the middle, first and surnames which have all been editted about 6 times this week :)

7/25/2013 at 6:49 PM

There's an outstanding merge on Roger de Berkeley Iii but i can't find any details about it. It's resulting in a tree conflict for his daughter (who is currently daughter of bother Rogers).

7/25/2013 at 7:30 PM

There's a bad merge involving Ilbert de Bois-l'Evêque, Seigneur de Bois-l'Évêque, le Mareschal.
The tree is currently showing Elias Giffard, Lord of Brimsfield as his father but Elias is 3 years younger than him.
The other option presented in the Tree Conflict is Geoffrey de Venoix, "le Mareschal" who is only 9 years older. Worse Geoffrey is married to his mother Lesceline de Bec - dates would suggest she IS his mother, not his wife.

Interestingly (?) Geoffrey has a brother named Robert who currently shows as an uncle of Ilbert de Bois-l'Evêque, Seigneur de Bois-l'Évêque, le Mareschal ("fitzrobert" as in "son of Robert") so perhaps "uncle" Robert is the actual father? Otherwise why isn't his name Fitzgeoffrey?

7/25/2013 at 10:52 PM

Alex I would need sources / guides to address your tree conflicts, dating in the medieval tree is really imprecise in online trees.

I'll take a look at name displays.

The Sheriffs book looks great.

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