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07 August 2013

Names that Appear from Nowhere

Those middle or first names of family members that appear out of the blue could be from relatives you do not yet know about, famous people, locations, or someone's maiden name.

And it is always possible your ancestor simply pulled the name out of thin air.


  1. it is hard when a lot of people go by their middle name, I have one son that goes by his middle name but uses is whole name for legal papers.

  2. I have just discovered where a middle name, Gallimore, never used since, came from: a gt gt uncle who married into the family and left them lots of money, so they honoured him in this way. Another one was the bigamous grandfather's surname!

  3. Do not assume that the middle name is the mother's maiden name! It may be the name of the doctor who delivered the child.

  4. Beware of titles used as names. My paternal grandfather's first name was "Doc". Everyone kept deleting it from our records. But, it was actually his first name. He was named after the doctor that delivered him - Doc Plummer - and the records show both names as first and middle. Took me many years before people recording his information would accept his real name.

  5. My husband's great grandfather's sister in law father's name was Governor, not a job title!. Another line named their sons after minister friends.