The relative you heard called “Aunt Margaret” actually had a different first name and Margaret was her middle ame. You are researching a distant cousin whose identity you only learned about through genealogy. Are you certain that name you’ve only see once is actually his first name?

It’s not unusual to discover that close relatives we have known our entire lives had a first name other than the one we thought they did. The possibility of not knowing their real name becomes even greater the more distant the connection. That possibility also becomes more likely when our only knowledge of the name is through a few obituaries or other similar sources.



3 Responses

  1. My mother’s name was Margaret Ruth. Her father called her Susan. His name was Americus, just like his grandfather. Both men went by Mack. When his parents died, my grandfather legally changed his name to Mack. All records of my father show A.L. or Chuck. His father was Alexander Lawson, called Allie. Findagrave insists that my father’s name should be Alexander Lawson even though there is no record of this. His birth certificate states A.L. 🙂

  2. My grandmother’s name was Sarah. In ONE census her name was recorded as Sahara. Guess how many trees think she is Sahara even though all the other census call her Sarah. Even after I’ve let them know the census taker didn’t know how to spell Sarah, her name remains Sahara.

  3. Discovered my dad and his 2 sibling birth certificates names don’t match in any way their baptismal certificates. All i nfo except their first and middle names is correct. No cousins were aware of this.

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