Tag «given names»

Naming Patterns?

Some families name children according to naming patterns and other families do not. Names being repeated in a family can be clues to connections, but they should be used as clues and not as facts.

And just because other families named the oldest son for the paternal grandfather does not mean that your family did.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 24 Jun 2012.

How To: Use Names, Not Just Relationships

When identifying people on pictures, writing about them in your research notes, or asking someone about them, try and avoid only using a relationship to describe the person.

Writing “John’s Grandma” on the back of a picture is helpful, but still pretty vague. Who was John and which Grandma is it?

When asking your own Grandma questions, asking her to tell you something about “Grandma” may result in her not talking about who you think she is talking about. Ask her about a specific person–referring to them by name.

When I asked my Grandma questions, I was less confused if I said something like “tell me about your Grandpa–John Trautvetter” instead of asking about “Grandpa Trautvetter.” When I asked about “Grandpa Trautvetter” it took me awhile to realize she was talking about her dad who was my dad’s Grandpa Trautvetter.

Try and avoid creating more confusing and don’t refer to people only by their relationship.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 21 Aug 2012.

Named for a Famous Non-Relative?

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of US history would know that an ancestor named George Washington Smith, Benjamin Franklin Butler, or Abraham Lincoln Jones was likely named for the famous American. But what about someone named Lorenzo Dow Smith or Jasper Newton Smith? Do not assume you have a connection to the Dow or Newton families just because your ancestor had these names. Sometimes names are simply popular cultural references that have faded from memory.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 8 Jul 2012.

Note from Site Admin: I have encountered exactly this issue in my research, middle name of Dewitt. All indications point to a military service connection. If you have a similar situation, continue to broaden your research & look for close neighbors, military associations, political, etc.

Names Switched?

My great-aunt is buried in Idaho. She has two tombstones–one a military one and other a joint stone with her husband.

The dates of birth and death are the same–born in 1910 and died in 1990.

One has her name as Anna M. Hutchison and the other has her name as Margaret M. Hutchison.

Never hurts to change those first and middle names around when performing searches.

And the stones should be transcribed they way they are inscribed. Commentary about what is “correct” can be made elsewhere.

© Michael John Neill, “Genealogy Tip of the Day,” http://genealogytipoftheday.blogspot.com, 8 Nov 2012.