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.
Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: William Mays June 19th, 2010
This is my first Saturday Night Genealogy Fun post! This is a prompt put forth by Randy Seaver at Genea-Musings. I thought this one would be particularly fun since a lot of my Mays relatives had a great many children.
- Determine who is one of the most prolific fathers in your genealogy database or in your ancestry. By prolific, I mean the one who fathered the most children.
- Tell us about him in your own blog post.
I didn’t need to go far to find one of the most prolific fathers in my tree. There may be one with more children, but they aren’t confirmed by me yet.
The children count for William’s children may be subject to change. I haven’t finished researching them all yet.
William Mays married Anna Click
born: About 1813, Kentucky
- James Mays; born Oct 1836, married Margaret Slusher; had 8 children.
- Frances Susan Mays; born May 1837, never married (not sure); had 5 illegitimate children.
- Nancy L Mays; born about 1839, married William Flannery; not sure of children yet.
- Rebecca Mays; born about 1841, not married; had 1 illegitimate child.
- John Harmon Mays (my 2nd great grandfather); born Sep 1842, married Celia Slusher; had 4 children (1 was stillborn).
- William D Mays; born about 1843, married Lilly; had 4 children.
- Elizabeth J Mays; born about 1847, married ? Gray; not sure of children yet.
- Thomas Lindsey Mays; born about 1849, married Sarah Elizabeth Whitt; had 6 children.
- Anna Z Mays; born about 1852, not married; had 1 illegitimate child.
- Arminda Mays; born about 1853, one illegitimate child. married James Shelton, had 2 children. married Joseph Slusher, had 3 children.
- Jane Mays, born May 1853, no known spouse or children. (Shoot, she could be Arminda for all I know right now. This family confuses me.)
- Jurena Mays, born Mar 1855, married ? Adkins. No known children.
- Green Mays, born Jun 1857, married Susannah Gillium; had 11 children.
- Sarah Mays, born Jun 1860, no known spouse or children.
- Nancy Ellen Mays, born about 1862, married Hansford Conn; had 5 children.
As I stated by Jane’s information this family confuses me too much on the census. The children’s information is always fluctuating. Rebecca has been known to jump around in age by 10 years. I really don’t like to base anything for the Mays’ on any census information if I don’t have to. As you can see they were VERY prolific. It wasn’t just William. His brother Nathan also had 16 or so children. I can’t be sure of Nathan’s though because he was taking care of grandchildren by time the 1880 census came along, so I got very confused about who were children and who were grandchildren. Eventually I’ll sort it all out. They really could have helped out by varying the names of their children but all the Mays’ rotated the same 20 names or so. With each one having children numbering in the teens, well you can see how it would get confusing!
That makes sense! May 14th, 2010
Yesterday I shared with you my forays into researching Hulda Adkins, #0034 from my Random Relative Project ™ (Category coming soon, I’m addicted to categories). Late last night, I was just kind of playing around on my laptop before bed. I had already turned off my desktop and wasn’t really paying attention to what I was doing. For the purposes of recreation though, I’m taking a more direct route to my discovery.
Don’t ask me why I was researching Hulda’s father in the middle of the night. In fact I didn’t even have my “official” family files. Only a back up from my thumb drive. So I’m surprised how accurate the file was. I must have been clicking around on the tree in Family Tree Maker doing random “leaf” searches.
It certainly makes all the sense in the world now that I look at it. Why else would someone move or otherwise disappear between 1860 and 1870. Just because I haven’t found anything having much to do with the Civil War doesn’t mean I never will. I just haven’t been looking for it is the problem. I should probably look more into that.
Now that would make even more sense of why they would pick up and move until Harrison had passed away.
Random People: Hulda Adkins #0034 May 13th, 2010
I had an idea! Why not share my progress on my “random people” with you! First up is Hulda Adkins. In my Original file I don’t have much on her yet. I have her 1870 listing, which was when she was just 9 years old.
born: about 1861, Kentucky
Parents: Harrison Adkins, Rebecca Click
After this point, in order to research Hulda, I’m going to have to research the rest of her family. I don’t have to fully research them, but I do have to figure out where the family is in later years.
I did find a Huldy Adkins living with this family in 1880. She is listed as a niece of the family. Since this Huldy isn’t living with anyone I have in my family file, I’m going to have to search out the rest of Hulda’s family in 1880 and see where they are. I’m going to have to make sure she isn’t living with them. Then I’m going to have to search out the Barnett family’s origins to see if they are in fact relatives of this Adkins family.
I did find Hulda’s mother, brother and two sisters living in Devils Fork, Elliott County, Kentucky in 1880. Her mother and sister Eliza Jane living with her brother McFarlan, and her sister Melvina living next door with her family. Still no Hulda though. It would make sense for her to be living with relatives in Nicholas County though. Her family originated from Morgan County until they for some reason moved to Nicholas County (where they were counted in 1870). Then the family once again packed their bags and went to Elliott County, which isn’t random, because Elliott County was formed in 1869 from parts of Morgan, Lawrence, and Carter counties. So they most likely moved back to the area their family originated. I’m going to guess it was after the death of Rebecca’s husband Harrison. I haven’t found a death record for him yet though, so I can’t be sure of the timing.
As of 3:54 today, I haven’t found any other location that Hulda could be in. True I haven’t scoured every resource, but I don’t want to get too frustrated. I’ll just move onto the next random number, just to change it up a bit.
Surname Saturday: Oy Vey April 3rd, 2010
Today, is Surname Saturday over at GeneaBloggers. I wasn’t even going to post again until Monday or Tuesday. Then I watched the newest episode of Who Do You Think You Are? That show is so great to give me motivation to get off my duff and get back to work on my family file. I really do want to clean it up and get it in order. The right way this time. So here I am, spending my Saturday going through census records on Ancestry.com and citing my sources correctly on my website and in my programs. Yes I said programs. I’m a long time Family Tree Maker user but I’m checking out RootsMagic Essentials.
Five out of seven families on this page alone are in my family file. This is what happens when I research my mother’s family. The Whitt, Mays, Adkins, Click, Rowe families of Kentucky all belong to me in some way. They all inter-married at different sections of the tree too. So if I am adding new information in from a record and spy a maiden name of Adkins or Whitt, I know it’s only a matter of time before the tree winds around again. It’s quite interesting and I can’t help but wish I knew the stories behind all these marriages!
The Mays family that I currently have documented originate from Virginia. There is some talk about a connection to Mays’ that ended up in Texas or other points west, but I haven’t been able to find any proof of that yet. It’s hard enough finding information for what I currently have! The first know Mays relative I have is William Mays, he was born around 1777 in Pittsylvania County, VA. As the family grew, they also moved around. I have Mays family members being born in Floyd County, VA. The family that I have found eventually made their way to Kentucky. I have them living all over, Mason County, Elliott County, Bracken County, Pendleton County, Morgan County. Just about everywhere.
The Adkins family first entered my tree when Frances Adkins married my first Mays member, William Mays. I have noted her father’s name as maybe being Moses Adkins, but I have no solid evidence of that yet. Hopefully as I work up my chain, I will finally be able to find a birth or death record for Frances. That isn’t the only place the Adkins turn up in my tree. In fact I have 39 people in my file with the surname of Adkins. All of them are spouses or children of people in my main line. That is without me even trying to research the Adkins family yet. Most of my Adkins people are from Virginia and Kentucky. Where the Mays family is, the Adkins family follows… or vice versa.
The other families I mentioned are really along the same lines of the Adkins family. They turn up often as spouses of my main families, or each other. I have 12 Rowes, 27 Whitts, and 15 Clicks in my family file. All originating from the same places as the other families.
Sometimes I think maybe these families came over to America together and just stayed together. I don’t know if that’s the truth as I haven’t found the exact origins of these families yet. It’s comforting that I have a big pool of these families brought together, but it can be so exhausting trying to determine where everyone fits in together. It’s mainly why I let my mother handle this side of the family for so long. So that’s why I say Oy Vey!
Surname Saturday is a Daily Blogging Topic that I got from GeneaBloggers. To participate in Surname Saturday, simply create a post in which you discuss a surname and mention its origins, its geographical location(s) and how it fits into your genealogy research.