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30 October 2014

Children With the Same Name

Your ancestor and their spouse may have had more than one child with the same name. In some families it was common to "reuse" names of children who had died as infants. Consequently a couple may have children named Geske born in 1852, 1856 and 1859--if the first two died. Couples may also have children with names so similar that a researcher does not realize the children are different--naming children Lucinda and Lucena can confuse researchers. And other families give children names that are different in their homeland but are different in the country where they settled--Johann and Jann may both get anglicized as John.

Don't assume those kids with the "same name" are all the same kid.


  1. Also, don't assume that the first John died. In my Norwegian family, my g-g-g-grandparents named their first son after his paternal grandfather and their second son after his maternal grandfather. Both were named John. I mistakenly assumed the first John had died young when, in fact, both survived and journeyed to America.

  2. And then there are the rebels. I worked with a woman who gave her twin boys the same first name and simular-sounding middle names. The middle names started with the same initial.

    Another individual about whom I heard legally switched the names of his 2 daughters, giving each the name of the other. They were not twins.