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17 votes
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Reading given name of German great-grandaunt?

The name is Agnes. You can compare each of the letters to those shown in this BYU Script Tutorial for German handwriting. I extracted the relevant letters from the alphabet image on that site, and ...
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8 votes
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Why might name Ferdinando be found in early 17th century Cornwall baptisms?

According to the Oxford Dictionary of First Names: Ferdinand ♂ From a Spanish name, originally Ferdinando (now Hernán), which is of Germanic (Visigothic) origin, derived from farð ‘journey’ (or ...
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6 votes

Reading given name of German great-grandaunt?

I also found it useful to have this PDF around for comparing the letters. The benefit being you can zoom it in quite a bit: https://feefhs.org/sites/default/files/guide/german-gothic.pdf Once you get ...
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6 votes

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

Oooh, I like this question. And I have data to contribute! This data set is from the Israel Genealogy Research Association's "All Israel Database" (http://genealogy.org.il/AID/index.php) which, as ...
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6 votes
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Wife's surname used as second name to indicate Smyth child named after someone from her Osment family?

It's very common for at least one child to have the mother's maiden name as a middle - it's a way of preserving a name that might otherwise be lost. I can't see I've ever seen a case where quite so ...
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  • 4,333
6 votes

How can I identify all the possible alternatives for a surname

For an 'out of the box' answer -- one of the more interesting blog posts I've come across recently is from Kenneth Marks' site The Ancestor Hunt where he offers a series of lessons on how to do ...
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  • 24.4k
5 votes

How can I identify all the possible alternatives for a surname

I'm surprised no-one seems to have mentioned using wildcards. Provided the search engine of the site you are using will support it (and Ancestry is pretty limited in this regard), putting in "Harp*" ...
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  • 1,226
5 votes

Was traditional Scottish naming pattern the same for Highlands, Lowlands and Ulster Scots?

I get both cynical and concerned about naming patterns. Concerned in case people use naming patterns to prove genealogy rather than genealogy to prove naming patterns. Cynical because my great ...
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  • 11.3k
4 votes

Was traditional Scottish naming pattern the same for Highlands, Lowlands and Ulster Scots?

I have found Scottish naming patterns to be a useful starting point in researching my ancestors in early North America - not proof, but a starting point for a line of inquiry in the absence of hard ...
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  • 41
4 votes

Custom of hyphenated names in Germany

I have 25 years of extensive research on the Greiner family. My largest book is 50,000 Greiners of the same blood line and approximately 50 other smaller books which have yet to be connected to the ...
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4 votes

Custom of hyphenated names in Germany

Miriam Zilli Grafer has left on-line trees at WorldConnect and Geneanet, among other sites. [Other links can easily be found by googling her name]. These Greiners seem to be based initially in ...
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4 votes
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What might "biblical" names for Abel/Foot and Noake children in 17-18th Century Devon indicate?

Biblical names may not necessarily signify non-conformist affiliations. There are certainly cases, even before non-conformism was around, where Biblical names more likely signified stronger than ...
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  • 2,988
4 votes

What might "biblical" names for Abel/Foot and Noake children in 17-18th Century Devon indicate?

Hmm - I think the answer might be "It seemed like a good idea at the time" more often than we care to imagine. My Pickstock families from mid-Cheshire in the 1800s seem to like to use more unusual ...
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  • 11.3k
4 votes

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

My ancestor ROBERT OSMENT born 1742 married Mary Gloipen from Yealmpton 12 Jan 1765. ROBERT's daughter was CAROLINE JANE OSMENT. She moved to London and married JOHN BEARD. Some of the children ...
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  • 41
3 votes

In 17th century Scotland/Virginia, could a Jr. have a different name than his father?

The suffix "Junior" could have been used for a number of reasons, none of which are particularly specific to the United States or Scotland. There is not and has never been a formal definition of its ...
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3 votes

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

Excellent work showing the cross-cultural regularity. Collecting the name data and summarizing it reasonably is a huge amount of work. Thank you for your contribution to public knowledge! ...
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3 votes

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

Bottom Line: There is some evidence that the tendency for a few given names to dominate is also seen elsewhere in Europe, even if the top names are not John and Mary Evidence Point 1: Lowland ...
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  • 2,988
3 votes

How can I identify all the possible alternatives for a surname

None of these answers will find all the surname variants and deviants. Soundex and other phonetic algorithms will find some, wildcards will find most. The only way that is possible to locate all ...
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  • 18.6k
2 votes

Is there a chart type that shows myself, a chosen ancestor, every intervening ancestor and their siblings?

It took me a full day to get this chart done, but here are two solutions: (A) Graphic box chart with photos and some facts (birth, death) (1) Isolate your dataset of names you want to include and ...
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2 votes

Why might name Ferdinando be found in early 17th century Cornwall baptisms?

I have a Ferdinando too, and fondly imagined I might have a shipwrecked Spaniard in my tree. However, I think the answer is in the name of Sir Ferdinando Gorges c1565-1647, governor of Plymouth. He ...
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2 votes
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Why were there no Polish given names in Polish village (part of Prussia)?

The most likely reason is that the Catholic priest was German. Back then the baby's names had to correspond to a canonized saint's name. So whatever name the parents gave the child, the priest would ...
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2 votes

Did son-in-law have a different meaning in mid-19th century England?

The Quaker records for Nailsworth, Gloucestershire record the death in 1728 of John White, son-in-law of Charles Fowler of Woodchester and son of Elizabeth Fowler his wife. The poor lad was only 10 ...
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2 votes

Can one known use of a name be regarded as a nickname?

Frank and Francis are the same name; one is from the Old German for "a Frenchman", the other is from the Latin for same, transmitted via Italian. E.G. Withycombe's Oxford Dictionary of English ...
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1 vote
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Creating record for individual where no details are known?

Ideally, there should be a record created for the father. Everyone has/had one, even if the details are unknown. Having a record for them allows you (or someone else) to add sketchy details if and ...
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  • 5,897
1 vote

Creating record for individual where no details are known?

I have created no-name records because they are a natural home for research notes detailing what searches I have done looking for him. Aside from that, there isn't really any reason that I can see to ...
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  • 11.3k
1 vote
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Norwegian naming conventions

You could try contacting an ex-pat organization like "The Sons of Norway" if you can. Since they often have maintaining culture as part of their mission, explaining recent naming conventions might be ...
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  • 26
1 vote

People who give their children the same first name as themselves

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 ...
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  • 1,265
1 vote

Did 19th century English women sometimes change the first name they used?

Albert and Martha House (also known as Pattie) are part of my family history search so interesting you picked up on this name. Pattie was her nickname. Martha brought up my great grandmother (she ...
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  • 21
1 vote

Did son-in-law have a different meaning in mid-19th century England?

According to the OED (Oxford English Dictionary), son-in-law also meant stepson as late as the 1730s. Consider that the OED usage patterns are estimates based on printed, often mainstream sources. I'...
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