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ARCHIVES  July 2006, Week 1

ARCHIVES July 2006, Week 1

Subject:

Re: Alpha Order

From:

"Bergeron, Paul" <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Bergeron, Paul

Date:

Mon, 3 Jul 2006 16:20:56 -0400

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (120 lines)

The oldest use of the Mac-Mc filing system that I am aware of -- though I am not a genealogist nor an historian -- appears in Ireland's mid-19th Century tax lists, the "Griffiths Valuations." 

Quite simply, "Mc" was considered to be an abbreviation of "Mac," and the names beginning with either prefix were simply clustered together and alphabetized as if the "c" or "ac" were not even there: as in, M'Adam, M'Alister, M'Arthur, etc.

For example (for visual effect, spacing is added after "Mc" or "Mac"):

Mc	Adam, A. 
Mc	Adam, Alec 
Mac	alister, Alexander 
Mac	alister, Kenneth R
Mac	alpine, Mrs 
Mc	Amey, Mrs
Mc	Ardle, Mr 
Mc	Ardell, Phillip Harris 
Mac	arthur, A.
Mac	arthur, Claude

Some background info:

"Griffiths Valuation: all variants of Mac, Mc etc were recorded as M' so e.g. MacHale was written M'Hale."
http://www.tuamfamilyhistories.com/surname_origins_variants/surname_origins_variants_index.htm 

"Irelands Valuation office conducted its first survey of property ownership in Ireland from 1848  to 1864. This survey became known as "Griffiths Valuation" after Richard Griffith who was the director of the office at that time. The survey was used to determine the amount of tax each person should pay towards the support of the poor within their poor law union. This involved determining the value of  all privately held lands and buildings in rural as well as urban areas to figure the rate at which each unit of property could be rented year after year. The resulting survey was arranged by barony and civil parish with an index to the townlands appearing in each volume. Griffith's Valuation can be used as an excellent census substitute for the years after the Great Famine as censuses prior to 1901 were destroyed." http://www.failteromhat.com/griffiths.php 


Paul R. Bergeron, CA
City Clerk
229 Main Street
Nashua, NH 03060
Telephone: 603/589-3010
Fax: 603/589-3029
http://www.gonashua.com/





-----Original Message-----
From: Archives & Archivists [mailto:[log in to unmask]] On Behalf Of Alison Hinderliter
Sent: Monday, July 03, 2006 3:34 PM
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Alpha Order

However, according to the Chicago Manual of Style (15th edition, 2003, rule 18.71), "Mc" and "Mac" are alphabetized as they appear, and they give the examples

Macalister, Donald
MacAlister, Paul
Macauley, Catharine
Macmillan, Harold
Madison, James
McAllister, Ward
McAuley, Catherine
McMillan, Edwin M.

So keep in mind that rules have changed over the years, and not everyone agrees on what the new rules are. It appears that the Chicago Manual of Style is conforming to the way computers sort alphabetically.

As to why Mc and Mac used to be filed before all the other M's, I always assumed it was something decided on by committee as the best possible way to eliminate any confusion created between names that start Mac and ones that start Mc.  Who decided? Who knows? Maybe Melvil Dui?

-Alison Hinderliter
Newberry Library

-----Original message-----
From: "Eric v.d. Luft, Ph.D., M.L.S.,              Curator of Historical Collections" [log in to unmask]
Date: Mon, 03 Jul 2006 19:08:51 -0500
To: [log in to unmask]
Subject: Re: Alpha Order

> Lisa asks:
> 
> > when did "Mc" come to be considered a separate letter of the 
> > alphabet, for indexing or alphabetizing purposes?
> 
> The answer is: "Mc" is not separate. According to the venerable ALA 
> Filing Rules, "Mc" and "Mac" are to be interfiled, whether they are part of a proper name or not. Thus:
> 
> MacAdam, Frederick
> McAdam, George
> Macbeth
> McDonald, Abigail
> MacDonald, Ronald
> Mace
> Machias
> Mack Trucks, Inc.
> McMaster, Lawrence
> MacMaster, Xavier
> McMaster University
> 
> 
> Ça ira!
> 
> Eric v.d. Luft, Ph.D., M.L.S.
> Curator of Historical Collections, Health Sciences Library Lecturer, 
> Center for Bioethics and Humanities SUNY Upstate Medical University, 
> Syracuse, NY 13210 <http://www.upstate.edu/library/history/> -- 
> 315-464-4585 Owner, Gegensatz Press <http://www.gegensatzpress.com/>

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A posting from the Archives & Archivists LISTSERV List sponsored by the Society of American Archivists, www.archivists.org.
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