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Ferdinand Richard Holmes Merrick/Meyrick

I know it’s a terrible photo but it’s one of just two we have (both are awful), and at least it gives an impression - the dapper moustache, the jaunty hat...  It’s actually taken from a family portrait.  The photograph  was not great quality in the first place, and blowing it up has made it even worse - so apologies - but you have to use what you’ve got!


This other ‘Dearman’ grandfather was a doctor - a doctor who specialised in mental cases, at that - a career that has so far not appeared to be attractive to his grandchildren and their descendants - at least in this particular branch.


Ferdinand is rather a work in progress.  I have yet to obtain some vital bits of documentation - birth and death, and since nobody now living ever knew him and nobody ever spoke of him voluntarily I am relying on a few oblique comments by his wife in her autobiography, medical directory entries and the odd newspaper article.


Ferdinand (or was it Kate?) seems to have been responsible for changing the spelling of the family name from Merrick to Meyrick.  An anglicism perhaps, though ironically Meyrick seems to be a Welsh name?  A desire to drop the Irish connection?


So an adventurous life of a hard ruler, if you take the meanings of his names to be apt.  And they possibly could be, though I suspect that both meanings rather lost their power as his life unfolded.


Ferdinand Richard Holmes Merrick/Meyrick

b ca 1869 Dublin?

m Kate Evelyn Nason 12/12/1899 Monkstown, Co. Dublin, Ireland

d 1940 London


Children

Mary Ethel Isobel 1900-1938

Dorothy Evelyn 1902-1987

Henry Lyster 1903-196-?

Kathleen Holmes 1907-?

Gordon Holmes 1909-1947

Eileen Margaret Nason 1910-1959

Lilian Agnes 1912-198-?

Gwendoline Irene 1914-2002


Documentation

Marriage certificate

Census for 1901, 1911

Medical Directory entries

Various newspaper articles and notices

Secrets of the 43 Club by Kate Meyrick


Ferdinand

origins

From old German, meaning ‘adventurous life’ but mostly associated with the Spanish and Italians.  I have no idea where this name choice came from.  It’s unusual.

variations

Ferdinando, Fernando, Ferrante

abbreviations

Ferdy, Ferry, Fero


Richard

origins

An old English name from the Teutonic meaning ‘ruler’ and ‘hard’.  A name of the kings of England.

variants

Ricardo, Rickert

abbreviations

Dick, Dicky (unfortunate), Dickon, Rick, Ricky, Richie


Holmes

origins

Old norse meaning ‘river flat’.  However, this is probably a family surname from a generation or so back, as two of his children were given it too.  Though there’s always Sherlock of course.  Maybe his father was a fan!