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Extras << Vital Records <<

Naming Traditions

A little knowledge about naming patterns can help you guess at missing children or even the name of previous generations. For instance, if you know the names of the children of a couple, you can make an intelligent guess at the names of the couple's parents. These patterns varied widely by ethnic and religious groups, but bearing in mind these numerous exceptions, it is still possible to identify a common pattern found prior to the latter half of the 20th century:

1st son = father's father 1st daughter = mother's mother
2nd son = mother's father 2nd daughter = father's mother
3rd son = father 3rd daughter = mother
4th son = father's oldest brother 4th daughter = mother's oldest sister
5th son = father's 2nd oldest brother or mother's oldest brother 5th daughter = mother's 2nd oldest sister or father's oldest sister
  2nd wife's oldest daughter named after the first wife, using her full name

To learn more about particular naming patterns, browse through these sites:

  • Nicknames: www.tngenweb.org/franklin/frannick.htm
  • Unusual first names: www.genealogytoday.com/names/first/unique.html
  • English, Welsh, Irish, Scottish, Dutch and Old German: www.tcarden.com/tree/ensor/Name.html
  • British: www.familychronicle.com/british.htm
  • Dutch: www.rootsweb.com/~ote/dtchnam.htm
  • Icelandic: www.allscandinavia.com/icelandicnames.htm
  • Norwegian: www.borgos.nndata.no/names.htm
  • Scottish: homepages.rootsweb.com/~scottish/ScottishNamingPatterns.html
  • If you know additional information about the naming patterns, and would like to share them with us, Please visit the tip submission page and submit your ideas. Thank you.

     
     
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