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Middle Names = Mother's Maiden Name

Replies: 3

Re: Middle Names = Mother's Maiden Name

Posted: 16 Feb 2014 3:37AM GMT
Classification: Query
Hi,

You asked if it was common place to give a child a mother's maiden name for a middle name. Yes, it seems to me that it was for some, as I have run into this quite a lot researching my ancestors. And that [male ancestor's] middle name is many times a tip-off to the mother's maiden name when you're having a hard time trying to figure it out.

Fairly often (but not always!) the mother's maiden name was given as a middle name to at least one of the sons, sometimes to the 1st born. It was a way of passing down the mother's family surname, otherwise, it's "lost" (given up) when she marries.

Hypothetical example of what I've seen fairly often researching my ancestors:

Let's say 'Bob Jones' marries 'Sally Smith'. They have a son and guess what? They MIGHT name him 'Leonard Smith Jones'. Leonard grows up and marries 'Mary Wilson'. They have a son and they may very well name him 'David Wilson Jones'. David grows up and marries 'Judy Franklin' and they may very well have a son and name him 'Steven Franklin Jones'. See the pattern?

I helped a lady here once who couldn't for the life of her figure out an ancestor's mother's maiden name...I noticed that her one [male] ancestor's middle name was Black. Odd middle name, eh? So I started searching for a marriage record for his father marrying a woman with the surname Black, and poof!, there it was. It all lined up perfectly. He was not the first born son though, he was the last born son. Nevertheless, his mother's maiden name was his middle name.

One of my ancestor's middle names was 'Schreck'. Say what?! :-0 Well, his mother's maiden name was Schreckengaust. ;-)

So yes, I try to get the middle names of all male ancestors for clues as to their mother's maiden name. This naming custom is NOT a hard and fast "rule", but it does seem to me that it was fairly common among some.

"I bet many people named their daughters after their mothers." Yes, sometimes they do; sometimes it's handed down as a 1st or middle name...in my family, my 2nd great grandmother was 'Catherine'. She named one of her daughters Ethel Catherine. Ethel named one of her daughters Helen Catherine. Helen did not name her daughter (my mother) Catherine, but my mother did name me Kathy....some variant of the name Catherine has been passed down thru 5 generations.

You can do an internet search on 'naming customs' sometime if you're curious; it makes for interesting reading.

Kat
SubjectAuthorDate Posted
furyanfan 29 Dec 2013 8:21AM GMT 
McComberdesce... 29 Dec 2013 1:43PM GMT 
furyanfan 1 Jan 2014 8:57AM GMT 
Kat747 16 Feb 2014 10:37AM GMT 
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