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The most common Junior and Senior combinations are father and son, but what about in other contexts, such as grandson and grandfather (assuming that they have the same name)?

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Conventional wisdom is that Junior and Senior are used to distinguish a younger from an older person of the same name. Further, it is said that the two need not be related in any fashion. I don't remember seeing an unrelated pair myself, but that's what is said.

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  • Interesting. Thanks for your answer! This particular scenario is to do with people being named after their relatives, I suppose. – Mad Banners Feb 5 '18 at 1:21
  • This is the most common informal usage, however in cases of grandfather and grandson, the correct formal usage is the suffixes I and II. – Mad Banners May 8 at 5:23
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As noted in another answer, junior and senior as used in records simply to distiguish BY AGE two people of the same name AT THAT POINT IN TIME.

I've actually run across records that had a third individual, of intermediate age, who was identified as "mediocris," to distinguish him from "senioris" and "junioris". These were in church parish records, so all the individuals so identified were part of the same community and congregation, but not necessarily closely related.

The real fun starts when one of the set dies, or another same-name individual enters the records. Then the suffixes (may) shift to accomodate the new, contemporary, situation.

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  • bgwiehle - This usage is not uncommon in earliest few US Censuses, what I call the "hash-tag" censuses. – Inspector 8 Feb 7 '18 at 6:48

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