My 5th great grandparents Sarah Osment and John Smyth married on 13 Jul 1764 at Stoke Damerel, Devon.
The ten children I have for them, who appear to have all been christened in or near London, appear to have been named:
- John Osment (1766 – 1767),
- Sarah Osment (1768 – 1831),
- Elizabeth (1771 – 1809),
- William (1773 – 1817),
- Robert Osment (1774 – 1836),
- Mary (1778 – 1799),
- Thomas (1780 – ?),
- James Osment (1783 – 1803),
- Rebecca Osment (1785 – 1829) and
- Jemima Osment (1787 – 1817)
I have always found it curious that some had their mother's surname as their second name while others did not, but I had put it down to the sketchy records, and more or less assumed that they all did have it (just that it was not always recorded).
John wrote his Will on 27 Aug 1804 and I have just seen a transcription of it. All of the children alive at the time were mentioned and are named with or without the Osment second name as per the above list so it really does seem like some had it and others did not.
I have a theory for which it is hard to find evidence yet, because I do not know the previous generation for either Sarah Osment or John Smyth. My theory is that the Osment second name was given when the child was named after someone from the Osment family.
I think Sarah Osment may have come from Devon (around Plymouth) but have less clues as to whether John Smyth did too. My understanding is that their burials at Bunhill Fields suggest strongly that they were Dissenters.
Has anybody come across examples where this naming pattern of ...
"wife's surname used as second name to indicate child named after someone from her family"
... has been used?
I recently used Find My Past to discover that Sarah Osment was baptised on 27 Jan 1743 at Plymouth Charles, Devon with parents Robert Osment and Elizabeth. Her only siblings appear to have been: John (1738), Robert (1742) and Rebecca (1745). It looks like four of the six children given the Osment name can be accounted for by the naming convention I originally suggested. However, I have not yet located a Jemima or a James.
As an aside, the eldest daughter of Sarah Osment and John Smyth, Sarah Osment Smyth married John Stacy (my 4th great grandparents). All eleven of their children were given her maiden name Smyth as their middle name.