Spell me with a 'U'

Wilmut' is an unusual spelling. It probably derives from the general carelessness about spelling a couple of hundred years ago. My great-great-great-great-great-great-grandfather was Charles Wilmot (c.1690-1747): his sons George and Isaac spelled their surname Wilmutt, though Isaac's descendants all spelled it Wilmott.

George (1717-1777) and his eldest son Samuel (born 1771) stuck with Wilmutt (Samuel's signature on the right dates from 1790), but Samuel's eighth child, Isaac (born 1804), my great-great-grandfather, used Wilmut and that spelling has stuck for his descendants. (I have written a web-page on our family history.)

It used to be the case that I would carefully spell my name for people and they would write down 'Wilmot' or 'Willmott': nowadays people generally get it right, and I wish I could claim that it was because of my books: but really it's since my cousin Ian became world-famous as the leader of the team that created Dolly the cloned sheep.

Posted: Thu - May 4, 2006 at 11:32 AM by Roger Wilmut          



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Published On: Mar 11, 2016 05:00 PM