Tag Archives: Family history

What’s in a Name?

Family hidstoru

Of many sane and sensible answers to that oft-quoted query, one that seldom appears but in my view rates highlighting is HOW TO PRONOUNCE IT!

Immediate cause of this mini-rant is the irritating frequency of hearing my surname uttered as  WAY-DEN – rather than its common rendering as WAD-DEN,  rhyming with sodden, or Godden or, if you like,  Culloden.  

Bringing up this minor grievance just now stems from the recent release in Ottawa of the booklet, The Waddens: A Family History, co-authored by me and my late brother Brian Wadden of St. John’s, Newfoundland.   While delving into many aspects of family background, including the various ways in which the family name has been spelled, we never got around to describing how it is pronounced.  There never was a pronunciation problem in Newfoundland or Nova Scotia, where families of this name are not uncommon, but in Ottawa this wayward take on the name does abound.  Maybe it is an Ottawa Valley thing!

Telling the story of one Irish family’s migration to Newfoundland in the 1830s, well before the Famine, this little booklet touches on a few surprises found in digital parish records. Family origins are traced to Norman and Flemish invaders of Ireland more than eight centuries ago. Descendants remain in Newfoundland but many more are scattered throughout North America.

A few pictures help to identify some key individuals in family development.

Copies of The Waddens: A Family History may be ordered by contacting nix.wadden@sympatico.ca

An Irish Based Family Story

With Paddy’s Day fast approaching, images of old Ireland come readily to mind in announcing the launch of a small booklet tracing the old world origins of the Wadden family of Newfoundland. Entitled The Waddens: A Family History, its scope ranges from the Norman invaders of Britain and Ireland to far flung descendants throughout North America. The 86-page booklet, including family photos in both colour and black and white, is co-authored by Nix Wadden and his late brother, Brian, upon whose extensive research most of the content is based.

Their great grandfather Nicholas Wadden and several siblings emigrated from Ballynaboola in the New Ross area in southwest Ireland to Newfoundland in 1830. One brother moved on to found a widespread family branch in New England. Another Nicholas from New Ross later settled in the U.S. Midwest. Studies of digitized family records in Ireland produced positive results, along with some surprises, welcome and otherwise.

Visiting a modern Wadden family add a fresh perspective, while extracts from an historic text recounts the rise and fall of distinguished ancestors in the Norman Wadding family.  Rounding out the content is the story of Wadden families in Cape Breton, probing the mystery of its founding by a young Newfoundlander.

Produced by Allegra Printing in Ottawa and self-published, copies of The Waddens: A Family History may be purchased at $20 plus 2.50 for mailing by contacting nix.wadden@sympatico.ca