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08 July 2012

Named for a Famous Non-Relative?

Anyone with a cursory knowledge of US history would know that an ancestor named George Washington Smith, Benjamin Franklin Butler, or Abraham Lincoln Jones was likely named for the famous American. But what about someone named Lorenzo Dow Smith or Jasper Newton Smith? Do not assume you have a connection to the Dow or Newton families just because your ancestor had these names. Sometimes names are simply popular cultural references that have faded from memory.

1 comment:

  1. The person doesn't have to be a national or state-wide personality. The local doctors had many youngsters named for them.