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15 May 2014

Is That "First" Name Really a Middle Name?

Is your "person of interest" hiding from you because what you think is their first name is actually a middle name that they used at some times of their life and not others?

And if they went "back and forth" between" between their middle and first names, the confusion is even greater.

7 comments:

  1. We've run into this numerous times in my husband's Creole family in New Orleans, especially among the females, who tend to be named Mary Something ... and then use the Something or a diminutive of Something or an unrelated nickname or a combination of all of the above.

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  2. To complicate matters, I've seen census listings such as "Benj. A. Surname" when the person's name is "Albert Benjamin Surname." This is quite common in the 1900/1910/1920 census records from Yazoo County, MS. When I see names of my relatives in online trees with first & middle names reversed, I know the submitter is not very close (if any) kin!

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  3. My husband's 2x great grandfather fits this! I have him listed as George Jackson Forehand, George Forehand, Jackson Forehand and Jack Forehand!! Still unable to find anything on his birth or death.

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  4. Also, I've seen a lot of first name of Joseph and Mary on baptism records whilst looking for relatives in Quebec, Canada...... most of these went by a middle name on other records.

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  5. I've been doing genealogy for years and still can't figure out whether my ggrandfather is Thomas James or James Thomas.On the 1855,60&70 census,he is Thomas. The 1880 lists him as James T. In the Civil War,he enlisted as Thomas and when he was buried in 1885 it also was under Thomas.He is also Thomas J on my grandfather's birth cert in 1881.However he died two months before his last child was born and his name is listed as James Thomas on her cert. When my grandparents got married in 1903,ggrandma listed him as James.I might add that ggrandfather was an infamous sawdust swindler and was shot with a Colt45 because of his activities in 1885.According to the newspapers of the time,ggrandma didn't know how he earned his money! I'm wondering if she switched the names on purpose to avoid association with his given name.Any thoughts?

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  6. My brother's sons have always used their middle names as their primary name.

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  7. It's still a common practice. I have two cousins (born c. 1979) that go by either their middle name, or their first/middle initialized (i.e. TJ for Thomas James)

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