Try and determine where your relatives got the names for their children. Sometimes this can be difficult to determine (or even guess at) and there is no way to know for certain. However, looking for repeated names or using children’s names as clues may possibly jump start your research. Names are hints as to relationships. Usually they are not evidence.

In this family names that cannot be assigned to the mother’s family or politicians may have something to do with the father’s family.




7 Responses

    • My father was named for his doctor. When the doctor filled out the birth certificate he was supposed to name my father with the doctor’s first and middle names but he filled it out three weeks later and forgot that. He named my father George Weber Hayes. His first name and last name.
      Before I knew this story I spent a lot of time looking for the German Weber’s in my Irish family!

  1. In addition to politicians, children were named for other public figures such as Isaac Newton or Horace Greeley. Sometimes they were named after religion leaders, which gives you a clue to the family’s religion. Children named Luther or Calvin were likely born into a Protestant family.

    • That’s very true. Religion was another important naming factor. It apparently wasn’t to the family in the illustration, but to some it was.

    • My oldest daughter was named after Samantha in the TV show Bewitched and my youngest daughter was named after Sabrina The Teenaged Witch. My mother’s middle name is Ellino. My grandmother seen a movie where the main character had that name and she liked it so much that she named Mom after her. It has become a family name now. Besides Mom, it is the middle name of me, my daughter, my granddaughter, and my niece.

  2. In my family I have found that they named children after the grandparents, maybe to honor them or another deceased family member. Which can become confusing. We have a number of Aquilla’s in our family history. Some were named after Presidents and of course names from the bible.

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