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26 July 2013

Repeated Names?

While not a common practice today, in times when more children died as infants or as small children, parents would sometimes "reuse" names of deceased children when a later child of the same gender was born. It was not uncommon for some families to have two or three children with the same name. Do not assume that there is a mistake if a church records indicates your ancestor had a son William born in 1802 and another William born 1805. In that case, checking for a death record for a William between 1802 and 1805 may be in order.

8 comments:

  1. This is true for Irish families...can't tell you how many Francis/Frances(both genders) we have,being the one before met an early death. Can get very confusing!

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  2. My grandparents did that when their oldest daughter became a nun. Mary Elizabeth was no longer using the name so my mother was named Elizabeth Mary about 15 years later.

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  3. Very true. This used to drive me crazy until I looked into it. Such a name is called a "necronym" meaning named after the dead. Highly taboo in some cultures but common in others, it bears a mention in all of my genealogy classes.

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  4. I found this to be true w/ my Norwegian ancestors also. If a child died, the next child of the same sex took that name.

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  5. My great grandfather was Angus; he had a brother named Angus. Both survived into adulthood. One Angus moved to the US, while the other stayed in Canada.

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  6. I ran into this with my English gr-grandparents. They had a daughter Ann who died young. A second daughter was also named Ann who also died young. They gave up on Ann after that.

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  7. I have found the same tradition with my German ancestors.SC

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  8. I have found it in Danish and Swedish families in the 19 century. My Mother Paternal Grandmother had 2 sisters named Dagmar when the first died a few months before the birth of the second. This month I found that my father's mother had two brothers who were born 2 years apart with the exact same name. I hope to find dead records online for Sweden soon to find out when the first died.

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