Can anyone teach me how to find the point in my ancestry where Devlin turned into DeVilling?

+3 votes
I discovered that DeVilling written in a London census, circa 1910, was mistakenly transposed as Dowling. That human error has seriously hindered my efforts. Frustrating.

Also, the great majority of my work was completed on a different genealogy site (1750 names as far back as the mid 13th century) and I have only just begun to rebuild it here. So my tree at present will not be of much use to anyone.
in Genealogy Help by Matthew DeVilling G2G2 (2.6k points)

3 Answers

+2 votes
Best answer

That is an interesting spelling. I have not come across DeVilling in my Devlin research. I'm sure you know that devilling is a junior barrister undertaking paid written work on behalf of a more senior barrister. And the De with the capital V leads me to think there may be some French influence. 

The variant Develin has its roots with the English and the changing of e to i, doubling of letters and adding a g; are all very common variants. 

I have a Category Devlin in England you may find interesting. I am trying to find the Devlin family groups that lived in England. A more historical reference to the Devlin name can be found at Devlin Name Study

I'd be very interested if you did get back to Devlin. If I can be of an help, please let me know.

by Richard Devlin G2G6 Pilot (517k points)
selected by Matthew DeVilling
Yes! We thought we were French for the longest time, as well, until I began this little project. My DNA results showed English/Irish/Welch with a little Scandinavian, but no French.

I found a great article on the name Devlin (O'devlin, O'doibhilin, etc.) that indicates my surname, DeVilling, is a derivative of Devlin. I'd site that source here for others to read, but I cannot recall it at the moment. I'm guessing some American not too far back invented the uppercase V. We still have some branches who use a lowercase v.

In the end, I was very happy to find my ancestral research supported the DNA results.

Than you for your input; it was helpful.

It looks like someone updated Wikipedia Devlin_(surname) Alternative spellings of the name to include DeVilling, and Devilling.[citation needed]

Name Francis Martyn
Spouse's Name Thomasin Devilling
Event Date 25 Jan 1617
Event Place Saint Botolph Bishopsgate,London,London,England

Citing this Record

"England Marriages, 1538–1973 ," database, FamilySearch ( : 10 February 2018), Francis Martyn and Thomasin Devilling, 25 Jan 1617; citing Saint Botolph Bishopsgate,London,London,England, reference , index based upon data collected by the Genealogical Society of Utah, Salt Lake City; FHL microfilm 380,147, 380,148, 380,149, 547,171.

+4 votes
The name changes that happened were usually not just at one point, but gradually over a period of time, and for a lot of different reasons - you have to be good a guessing to jump back past those changes sometimes and that gives you possibilities and then you look through those and then you find one that links up, co-relates to the places and times where it leads to the next generation

I had my Demery line for instance - and I knew they were french Canadian so I thought how would the french spell that and sure enough it was Desmarais

My Nays started off as Mc Nees - you have to look in the time and place and have a flexible thinking about it to find some of these - good luck
by Navarro Mariott G2G6 Pilot (172k points)
+3 votes
Welcome, Keith! I want to encourage you to hang in there. Your tree will connect to our One Tree eventually, especially since you have traced your lines back so far. I have experienced the same frustrations, just like Navarro has, and just like you do. It’ll be worth it in the end.

You’ll find lots of help here on G2G. There are truly skilled researchers on WikiTree who are ready and willing to sssist you in any way they can. So, hang in there. We are in this together.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.8m points)

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