May 19, 2008

Naming Conventions

In looking back through the generations of our ancestors you notice pretty quickly that the same names appear over and over.  There are sure a lot of men named John, Joseph, George and William in our family tree.  For the women it's Elizabeth, Mary, Jane  or Sarah.

I recently ran across something that may explain some of this.  It was a tradition in many  families to follow a certain convention for naming their children.  There were variations in the conventions followed and some families followed more religiously than others it seems.  One of the most common conventions was as follows:

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

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

It's interesting to look at 'what could have been' if Mom and Dad had followed tradition:
    • Being the 1st born and only son, I would have been named John.
    • Luci, being the 1st daughter, would have been Rachel.
    • Sherry would have been the only Angeline in school.
    • Jeffery would not have had a boy's name, she would be little Gertrude.
    • And since Mom didn't have any sisters, Michelle would have been named for Dad's oldest sister, Magaline.
Actually, I may like those names a little better.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

Knowing that dad had to put up with one set of Johns and Rachels I doubt if he would have had to put up with a second. Let the names Luci and Clyde stand.