My Obsession with Naming Patterns January 5th, 2012
I’m coming clean today about my addiction to naming patterns. My brother is a 4th generation William Moore, and that wasn’t even the beginning of the Williams. In my old “Original” family file, I had 180 Williams in a database of 4,349 people. That’s 4% of my tree being made up of men named William. I know that doesn’t seem like a lot in the grand scheme of things but in my new revamped file, where I still have two branches of the tree to add, there are 49 Williams out of 923 people. That’s already 5% without adding in the Taylors, Crabbs, or Webbs. To anyone but me that doesn’t seem like much but I know for a fact I have 475 people with the Taylor surname in my old “Original” file.
I think it’s this over abundance of Williams that has led to my fascination with naming patterns. I’ve used naming patterns for the Scottish ancestry on my father’s side of the tree. I’ve talked about naming patterns on the blog. I’ve printed out every naming pattern variation I’ve ever come across online. I’ve tried to find patterns in my families that don’t follow a naming pattern. When I say obsession, I mean OBSESSION.
One thing I haven’t done with naming patterns is see if they pertain at all to my Mays line. The Mays family were the most prolific of my lines, so it would be really interesting to dissect them!
The naming pattern rules I’m using were found on the genealogy.com website. The article was written by Donna Przecha. An important part of the article is that you can’t put too much credence in naming patterns. They are very helpful if your family happened to follow them, but not everyone did. Especially if there are skeletons in the closet or a lot of children. A lot of times you can also count on a “regional” or “period” name. You’ll see it most in census records where you see so many names at once. I have only heavily researched the Ohio/Kentucky/Virginia and New Jersey areas. However, I can tell you the names Mahala and Arminda are more common to the rural Ohio/Kentucky area then New Jersey. In New Jersey you’ll find a lot more traditional names; Catherine, George, Lewis, Josephine.
- First son: Father’s father.
- Second son: Mother’s father.
- Third son: Father
- Fourth son: Father’s eldest brother.
- First daughter: Mother’s mother.
- Second daughter: Father’s mother.
- Third daughter: Mother
- Fourth daughter: Mother’s eldest sister.
- William and Anna’s first son, James. I don’t know the name of William’s father, so there is no way to see if the pattern holds up.
- William and Anna’s first daughter, Frances Susan. Frances gets both her names from her grandmothers. Her first name after her father’s mother and her middle name after her mothers. Frances went by both names at different points in her life.
- William and Anna’s second daughter, Nancy. I don’t see any instance of Nancy in the immediate family, but I know they use this name often in future generations.
- William and Anna’s third daughter, Rebecca. She is not named after her mother.
- William and Anna’s second son, John Harmon. Anna’s father was named John, so this fits with the pattern.
- William and Anna’s third son, William. He does have the same name as his father.
- William and Anna’s fourth daughter, Elizabeth. Anna’s eldest sister was named Elizabeth.
- William and Anna’s fourth son, Thomas Lindsey. As far as I know, William’s eldest brother is named James. So this doesn’t fit in with the pattern.
So I came up 4/8 on the first four of each gender. That’s actually not bad especially with quite a few holes in the family picture. Another thing I noticed while looking over the siblings of each family for a few generation is a few middle names that most likely came from surnames that married into the family (ie. Harmon, Lindsey, Hudson). For the sake of research sake I also must mention that William’s brother, Nathan, had at least 18 children and I don’t think any of them followed any type of pattern.
Now the fun part would be to see if the Mays family follows their own pattern. Maybe I can make a chart and dissect the family names myself. Do you see what I mean by obsessed now?
Disclaimer: I am no expert at naming patterns. I’m not even sure about most of the information a generation above William and Anna. I used my “original” file to analyze this hypothesis. I haven’t delved deeply into Anna’s family yet, because I know it twists and turns amongst the Mays/Slusher/Whitt lines, so I decided to hold off until I had the rest of the tree re-added. That way I can keep moving forward instead of continuously going sideways for now.
So I have Google+, Now What? September 21st, 2011
Now comes the hard decision. Do I use it for strictly family or do I use it for something else. Which by the way, only has 2 people so far. My long lost very helpful cousin, Grace and my big brother… who has been on Google+ for eight years already… Okay so that was an exaggeration. It’s not like yoau don’t know that when you read my blog. My brother is a computer guru, and I think he knows people at Google or Google tried to hire him once, something like that. He’s also the genius who when I complained about a frequent crashing of my family tree program, he answered “So write your own.” Yeah. Like that was gonna happen computer guru.
Anyway, this isn’t a post about my genius computer guru brother. He doesn’t read my blog anyway. He does visit the website though, and he pays for the domain, but that’s more like a history of the website story there.
I like the idea of using my Google+ as a genealogy networking thing that can eventually incorporate my family in also. However I was a little concerned that Google suggested I add Paris Hilton to my circle. It’s not like I have anything against Paris Hilton, because I certainly don’t. I love watching her aunts on The Real Housewives, I just don’t want to have her in my circle.
I know most have had this for awhile now. Either I’m slow to catch up to things or Google didn’t think I was cool enough to have it yet. The point is, I have it now, and I want to use it! So if you get some crazy lady adding you to her circle. That’s just me, adding everyone to my Google+ circle. Now excuse me while I go pretty up my profile with things like words!
For those who need an invite still, I have 150:
I’ll Never Do That Again August 25th, 2011
I don’t know what I was thinking. I’m in the middle of rehabbing my whole family tree and website. How on earth did I think I could keep going at this pace without my since-2003 Ancestry.com membership? I know what I thought. The problem was I splurged last year on the World Membership and the only way to downgrade this year was to cancel and then re-subscribe. I thought that maybe now was the time to try a genealogy life without an Ancestry.com membership.
I was fooling myself. I understand it’s a big expense even for the US Membership. However, there is no website with as complete access to the census than Ancestry.com. Feel free to prove me wrong! I’m also very attached to the Kentucky Death Records for 1852-1952. I mean, hello! My Mom’s whole family was in Kentucky for those years! They have an Ohio Death Index for more recent years. They have Ohio Marriage and Divorce records for my cousins who are super hard to pin down.
By the way, this is no way an advertisement for Ancestry. It might seem like it, but it’s not. It’s just that Ancestry is one of the tools I use on a daily basis. I lasted 2 days without my Ancestry membership, and I’m never doing that again!
I don’t think I ever stood a chance. So my advice is, when trying to decide if a website is worth your money, be sure to look at the databases that you USE, not might use, but actually USE on a regular basis. The convenience of the access has to be taken into account also. My local libraries and societies have very limited hours, so I can’t rely on them to be my main source of information.
P.S. I am still working on the new website design. I took a few months off because I thought my head would explode. However, my head is still here, therefore work has resumed… from scratch. Which isn’t going as well as I would have liked but it’s coming along.
This is not an endorsement for Ancestry.com. It is merely a peek into my daily use of the website. I was not compensated for this blog entry. I don’t expect to be compensated for this blog entry. I am just a paying member of the website who has come to rely on said website for my genealogy adventures. I’m not recommending that you go out and pay for a membership, because it might not be the same degree of success or convenience for you that it is for me. I like writing these disclaimers, it’s turning into a problem.
Missing my Family! August 7th, 2011
I’ll admit it. I’m missing my Ohio family something fierce! It used to be that we would only see each other every five years or so. It’s been less then a month since my Aunt Melinda and cousin Patty were here. It’s only been a week from that time that I was in Ohio visiting for a few days. I miss them though! It’s funny how when you’re a child and on a trip to a family reunion, all you can think about is your friends and what you’re missing back home.
I don’t think about any of that now! It’s been since October that I saw my cousins in New Jersey and New York. Longer than that for some of them. Probably since Aunt Diane’s funeral. I miss them too!
Here’s Aunt Melinda and Mom checking out something in the water at Point Lookout.
I love Point Lookout. I think Melinda was a little disappointed it wasn’t this huge, tall lighthouse. We don’t need those big ones here though. We’re right on the water! Nothing blocking the lighthouse but water!
Seriously, Use City Directories February 21st, 2011
I don’t know if you can tell or not, but I’m kind of obsessed with City Directories. It started when I was going through them on Footnote.com and learning so much about William Moore. Now it’s a full blown obsession. I just can’t believe the things I’ve learned just by looking up people in the directories. Today though, I found something even crazier then I’ve found in the months since my first look.
From the directory excerpt you see above, what interests me most is the second Thorward on the list.
— George died April 8 1940 age 88
This is a great find for me, because the only documentation I have of George’s death are his obituary (a newspaper clipping with a year written on it), and the year on his tombstone. This gives me a date to check in vital records now instead of just a year.
Now we have George’s wife Josephine. For her, I only had a year written on her tombstone.
Now here’s George and Josephine’s son Lewis. I had his death date already, but this just proves why you should be using city directories! It just might solve the missing relative problems you have. It might give you a ballpark date to search for vital records. They are full of information!