For relatives who had middle names, try and determine (if possible) where the middle name originated. It could be a maiden name of the person’s mother or grandmother. A middle name could be the first or last name of a contemporary well-known person (nationally or locally) such as a politician, minister, etc. That middle name could have come from a neighbor, family friend, godparent, etc.

Or that middle name could simply be one that the parent liked for no other reason than that.



2 Responses

  1. That really covers the possibilities. I have an example in New England. The girl’s name Harriet Newhall or Newell (first and middle) comes up often, and I wondered about it, so I looked it up and discovered that it was the name of a young missionary woman who died on her mission. The time was around 1815.

    • That is one I was not aware of. Jasper Newton is another popular combination. Google searches can sometimes help discover explanations for name combinations that were based on contemporary events.

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