Category Archives: Naming Patterns

Time to revisit Naming Patterns

I’ve recently gone hog wild on the Scotlands People website. I must admit, this time I didn’t even use the FamilySeach indexes to help me along. Probably not a smart move on my part, but oh well now!

All that matters is that I have many names to analyze for the Love family.

To start off, I’ll be using the naming pattern that I wrote about here and Irish ones found here to “guess” what the key names will be to go back one generation from my current Love family generation wall, Andrew Love.

WHAT I CAN “GUESS” ABOUT ANDREW USING SCOTTISH PATTERNS AND ANDREW’S CHILDRENS’ NAMES.

  • Andrew’s father is possibly named Robert.
  • Andrew’s mother is possibly named Jean.
  • Andrew’s fraternal grandfather is possibly named Andrew.
  • Andrew’s maternal grandfather is possibly named William.

WHAT I CAN “GUESS” ABOUT ANDREW USING IRISH PATTERNS AND ANDREW’S CHILDRENS’ NAMES.

  • Andrew’s father is possibly named Robert.
  • Andrew’s mother is possibly named Jean.
  • Andrew’s third son was possibly named after Andrew.
  • Andrew’s third daughter was possibly named after her mother, Agnes.
  • Andrew’s oldest brother is possibly named Thomas.
  • Andrew’s second oldest brother is possibly named William.

WHAT I FIGURED OUT ABOUT ANDREW’S PARENTS AND SIBLINGS FROM THE ACTUAL RECORDS.

  • Andrew’s father is named Robert (Scottish – 1/4, Irish – 1/6)
  • Andrew’s mother is named Jean (Scottish – 2/4, Irish – 2/6)
  • Andrew’s fraternal grandfather is named James (Scottish – 2/4)
  • I don’t have Andrew’s maternal grandfather yet (Scottish – 2/4)
  • Andrew’s third son is named Andrew (Irish 3/6)
  • Andrew’s third daughter is named Agnes, like her mother (Irish 4/6)
  • Andrew’s oldest brother is not named Thomas, but he did have a brother named Thomas. (Irish 4/6)
  • Again Andrew’s second oldest brother is not named William, but he did have a brother named William. (Irish 4/6)

IN CONCLUSION

  • Naming patterns aren’t an exact science.
  • Just because the Loves stuck to more of the Irish patterns doesn’t mean they’re Irish. It also doesn’t mean that they aren’t Irish. It just means that they used family names.
  • Naming patterns are fun to use, but usually I only find that the parents part of them fit into my families.

Aren’t naming patterns a great way to make you look more at your family? I’m very excited to have found all 9 of Andrew’s siblings (I think that’s all!) and even his parents and grand parents. I’m once again blocked. I haven’t completely filled in Robert Love’s parents and siblings. I don’t even know if I have them all. What I do know is that in Beith parish, there is a farm/village called Hoodsyard and it’s because of Hoodsyard that I was able to distinguish my Loves from all the other Loves. Now to figure out where the other ones fit into the family!

My Obsession with Naming Patterns

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!

Click for full size

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.
The family I’m using this time is the family of my 3rd Great Grandparents, William Mays and Anna Click.
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. William and Anna’s third daughter, Rebecca. She is not named after her mother.
  5. William and Anna’s second son, John Harmon. Anna’s father was named John, so this fits with the pattern.
  6. William and Anna’s third son, William. He does have the same name as his father.
  7. William and Anna’s fourth daughter, Elizabeth. Anna’s eldest sister was named Elizabeth.
  8. 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.

Scottish Naming Patterns

I’ve had a pretty busy few weeks. If all goes smoothly, I will have a Surname Saturday post this weekend. I found something useful among some of my old papers that I wanted to share. To set the scene, I was trying to decide if I should mention a hypothesis I have about a generation of the Menzies family. I remembered that I had a list of 18th and 19th century English naming patterns. I decided to consult the list and if the names from the family matched the patterns, I’d go ahead and mention it. I’m sorry to inform you, you’ll just have to wait to see if it matched. Until Saturday, you can have fun with these helpful naming schemes. I’m unsure of the exact source. I’m pretty sure one of us printed it off in our beginning days.

Males

  • First-born Son – Father’s father
  • Second-born Son – Mother’s father
  • Third-born Son – Father
  • Fourth-born Son – Father’s eldest brother
  • Fifth-born Son – Father’s 2nd oldest brother or mother’s oldest brother

Females

  • First-born Daughter – Mother’s Mother
  • Second-born Daughter – Father’s Mother
  • Third-born Daughter – Mother
  • Fourth-born Daughter – Mother’s eldest sister
  • Fifth-born Daughter – Mother’s 2nd oldest sister or father’s oldest sister

Here are a few websites that basically say the same thing:

  1. http://homepages.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~scottish/ScottishNamingPatterns.html : This one shows up to 14 children of each gender. I like this one best! I think I’m going to print out this one and keep it handy.
  2. http://www.scotlandspeople.gov.uk/content/help/index.aspx?561 : Take the time to read this whole page, it’s very informative.
  3. http://myweb.wyoming.com/~msaban/SCTname.htm : This one shows two different patterns.
  4. http://www.mengelfamily.com/naming/namingscottish.htm : This one shows the same pattern I have listed above.
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