Wednesday, May 5, 2010

The naming game

I have a few family lines that drive me crazy. Everyone is a John or Andrew. Even cousins born the same year have the same name. So the next few posts will naming patterns. They can be helpful. Just remember it is a pattern and not always used. So we will start with ....

English Naming Pattern

1st son = father's father
2nd son= mother's father
3rd son= father
4th son= father's oldest brother
5th son= father's second oldest brother or mother's eldest brother

1st daughter=mother's mother
2nd daughter=father's mother
3rd daughter= mother
4th daughter=mother's eldest sister
5th daughter=mother's second oldest sister or father's oldest sister

This pattern continued to about 1870

Colonial America

New England's first settlers gave three different types of names:
1. English origin
2. Hebrew/ bible names
3. Names associated with moral qualities: Patience, Mercy, Charity, Thankful

In New England, Virginia and later in other colonies it was common to see surnames as a middle name.

Southern names typically use basic English names such as Mary, Richard. However, regional names did develop such as Ashley, Courtney, Tracy, Shelby. Also two word names are Southern such as Billy Bob, Betty Jean. There is a French influence in the south from Louisiana such as Beau, Paulette.

Quakers and Puritan especially used the biblical names. Puritans would often open the Bible, close their eyes and point to a word at random. Thus you had such names as Maybe, Freegift etc.

1 comment: