When a name gets passed down, people often think it’s from someone in the same generation as the parents or grandparents of the person who has the family name. That name can easily come from a generation or two further back.

A parent could easily have chosen a name of one of their grandparents to give their child or from a beloved aunt or uncle who was actually one of their grandparents’ siblings. That family name may come from a little further back than you think.

And don’t just assume that the first person you find with the same name in the tree is where the person got the name from. There may be another person you haven’t found yet who is the reason the name was passed on.

And you may never know exactly for whom the person was named–particularly if the chooser of the name is deceased and did not pass that information along. I know exactly where my middle name came from, but my first name’s “origin” will remain a mystery.



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