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.


  • 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


  • 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. : 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. : Take the time to read this whole page, it’s very informative.
  3. : This one shows two different patterns.
  4. : This one shows the same pattern I have listed above.

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