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Questions tagged [naming]

Social practices associated with assigning a (locally unique) label to an individual.

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13 votes
8 answers
3k views

How can I identify all the possible alternatives for a surname

My ancestor Mary Ann Harper is frustratingly elusive as mentioned here. However, Harper is a surname that would lend itself to different spellings in censuses, birth records and the like — ...
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14 votes
2 answers
971 views

Correctly identifying individual who goes by multiple names?

This question is general to all inquiries where a person has differing last names in multiple records. In my particular case, I am researching my 3rd great grandfather Simon Zoller (1840-1902) and I ...
BennyMcBenBen's user avatar
10 votes
4 answers
286 views

How do I deal with alternative spellings to names?

I am trying to find out information for an Arzula Hokum and am running head-first into issues with her name. Her first name sounds like Ursula and her last like some variant of Holcomb(e). How do I ...
fbrereto's user avatar
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16 votes
9 answers
6k views

Which name should be a person's primary name?

People can have many different names over time. Examine the example of a woman who immigrated to the US from an Eastern European country. She could have three names over time: Katerina Jurkiewicz (...
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10 votes
2 answers
313 views

Wife's surname used as second name to indicate Smyth child named after someone from her Osment family?

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, ...
PolyGeo's user avatar
  • 11.2k
9 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is there a standard reference for alternative forms of a given or personal name?

I learned as a child that Uncle Jim was really my father's brother James. As a beginning family historian, I discovered that my g-g-grandfather often wrote the same name as Jas. I could learn more of ...
Banquo's user avatar
  • 151
7 votes
2 answers
881 views

Reading given name of German great-grandaunt?

I cannot read this name, which is the name of one of the older sisters of my great-grandfather. It is supposed to be a german female name. This was written in 1878. Sample of handwriting by the same ...
Bregalad's user avatar
  • 1,407
6 votes
1 answer
423 views

Mary and Mally: were they used interchangeably in Yorkshire in the late 18th century?

In my previous question on Finding the Fatherless Feathers, I made reference to a Mally Thomas with whom the Feather siblings seemed to be lodging in 1841, in Heptonstall, Yorkshire, England. In 1851,...
Verbeia's user avatar
  • 2,998
5 votes
3 answers
292 views

Did other countries have the concentration of first names that England had in past centuries?

Anyone who has done genealogical research on England in the 17th through 19th centuries will have noticed it: a parade of Johns, Williams and Thomases, accompanied by Marys, Elizabeths and Annes. ...
Verbeia's user avatar
  • 2,998