I've come across people who give their children the same first names as themselves, and just call the child "junior" while the parent is referred to as "senior". For example, the Nobel laureate John Forbes Nash Jr's father was John Forbes Nash Sr. Nash Jr has 2 sons: John David Stier and John Charles Martin Nash. I'm curious as to why a family would want to call 4 of their men "John". Wouldn't it be better to have different first names for different people in a family?

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    I suspect that this can only be answered by personal opinion. Naming patterns can easily result in duplication or triplication of given names but we have no idea whether a pattern is driving the examples.
    – AdrianB38
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 17:35
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    Hi, Thomas, I've closed your question because it goes against several of our site guidelines. Please read the section about what's on or off-topic in the help center. genealogy.stackexchange.com/help/dont-ask and genealogy.stackexchange.com/help/on-topic
    – Jan Murphy
    Commented Oct 4, 2018 at 21:36

1 Answer 1


This often happened if the first child or children died young.

I have several ancestors of the 17th or 18th centuries where a child John was born and died in infancy. Another son was born and also called John.

Indeed in one case I do have four Johns in the one family.

This isn't necessarily the family giving the son(s) the same name as the father, in some cases it they are named after another relative, like a grandfather.

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