Thursday, December 29, 2011 reveals Britain's pantomime past

The following is from FindMyPast.

  • Britain’s real pantomime names revealed
  • Captain Hook, Peter Pan, Aladdin and Cinderella among the cast
In the spirit of pantomime, leading family history website  has published a list of real people throughout history with pantomime names.  From the likes of Robin Hood to Dick Whittington, these people have been spotted in the birth and census records dating back to 1837. A record of a Peter Pan has also been discovered in an eighteenth century will. 

Top 10 British panto names:

Number of people in the records at
1. Sultan

2. Cinderella

3. Robin Hood

4. Wendy Darling

5. Fairy

6. Genie

7. Dick Whittington

8. Aladdin

9. Peter Pan

10. Captain Hook

Captain Hook and Peter Pan were two among the real-life cast – the real Peter Pan was discovered in a will from 1762 and he was joined by Britain’s own Captain Hook born in Kent in 1898.  However, when it came to the dames, Peter Pan was spoilt for choice, with 27 Wendy Darlings to choose from. 109 Cinderellas didn’t get to go to the ball, with not one Prince Charming appearing in the records. 

Robbing from the rich to give to the poor, Robin Hood, the finest marksman in all of England could hit a target faster than you could say “he’s behind you”. Although he could never be matched he certainly had his followers, with 91 Robin Hoods showing up in the records, including one in the hero’s hometown of Nottingham.

There was a touch of magic in the air when discovered seven Aladdins and 19 Genies hidden among the records, but they were not alone on the mystical front with 25 Fairys and 249 Sultans joining them too.

Dick Whittington may have found his fortune in London but his name has spread far and wide, with 11 Dick Whittingtons popping up all across England.

Debra Chatfield, family historian at commented: “Pantomime is a great British tradition and in the same way that many people nowadays name their children after celebrities, in the past perhaps people were inspired by their favourite panto heroes. By searching the records online, you can find out more about your family and uncover all sorts of mysteries, which is what makes it so exciting and surprising. And who knows, you could even find a real-life Aladdin orCinderella in your family tree.”

No comments: