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05 June 2012

Don't Assume the Gender

Be careful in assuming the gender based solely upon how a name is used today. My ancestor Augusta Newman is a male--sometimes he used Auguste or August, but there are numerous records where the name is written as Augusta. Today Augusta would typically be considered a woman's name.

And of course today there are several names that could refer to a male or a female. Don't assume.


  1. My husband's middle name is Madison - named after his great-grandfather Madison Hall Cantrell. Now Madison is a girl's name and that has totally ruined passing the name on to another boy. Maybe it could be used as a middle name, but you wouldn't dare call him Madison, because of all the teasing and confusion it would cause!

    The one that really frustrates me is Francis or Frances, spelled both ways for men and women.

  2. My boss, who is in his 40s and is a male, is named Brook. I don't know if he was named for anyone, but now the name is exclusively used for girls.