U.S. CitiesCity-Data Forum Index
Covid-19 Information Page
Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy
 [Register]
Please register to participate in our discussions with 2 million other members - it's free and quick! Some forums can only be seen by registered members. After you create your account, you'll be able to customize options and access all our 15,000 new posts/day with fewer ads.
View detailed profile (Advanced) or search
site with Google Custom Search

Search Forums  (Advanced)
 
Old 02-27-2018, 11:16 AM
 
Location: the heart is!
4,635 posts, read 4,022,773 times
Reputation: 10120

Advertisements

It seems to me that the more I 'wonder' about something and the more I 'dig'...one thing always leads to another, somehow.

'Wondering' about middle names of my ancestors at first made me think it was due to multiple marriages (not due to divorce as is more common today but rather due to short life spans of days gone by) and there it is, I'm on more trails and it's somewhat fascinating and enlightening all at once.

I gave my youngest daughter the middle name of my maternal grandmother who I had never met (early death seems to run on the maternal side) and I find it is a 'common' southern middle name for females as well as males, so again, there it is; who knew?

Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet
Southern and Colonial Genealogies

The Use of Middle Names

The use of two given names – a first name and a middle name – was essentially unknown in Europe until the late Middle Ages, and even then the practice was limited to a few distinct cultural groups. Middle names among English-speakers were essentially nonexistent until the mid-1600s, remained quite rare for another century or so, and did not become common until well after the American Revolution.

Among the British stock of the southern colonies middle names were rarely bestowed on children until after the Revolution and did not become customary until the mid-1800s.

The Use of Middle Names | Bob's Genealogy Filing Cabinet
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message

 
Old 02-27-2018, 11:27 AM
 
Location: The High Desert
8,138 posts, read 4,447,098 times
Reputation: 15399
it seems to be a largely southern custom to call someone by both the first and middle names as in Billy Bob or Tammy Faye. I would die of embarrassment in that situation.

My New York Hudson Valley ancestors used an old family surname from 1650 as a middle name for males for four or five generations...the practice is now extinct with the death of my uncle.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-27-2018, 01:39 PM
 
Location: the heart is!
4,635 posts, read 4,022,773 times
Reputation: 10120
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
it seems to be a largely southern custom to call someone by both the first and middle names as inBilly Bob or Tammy Faye. I would die of embarrassment in that situation.

My New York Hudson Valley ancestors used an old family surname from 1650 as a middle name for males for four or five generations...the practice is now extinct with the death of my uncle.
ROFLOL, and I seriously 'do' get it and unfortunately (now that you mention it) that is exactly what has happened for my youngest daughter kind of/sort of. BUT, AND, in the end, maybe that is why 'they' did it as well, to separate the numerous family first names by identifying them by their middle names.

In the end that is why I DID give my youngest daughter a middle name (and it is southern after my maternal grandmother) to separate her from the numerous relatives (paternal grandmother and daughters named after her by their sons as is their 'custom') who have her first name.

ETA from the site:But its popularity must have been encouraged by its obvious practicality. With increases in population density and the size of extended families, the presence of multiple persons in the same vicinity carrying the same first and last names eventually became commonplace. Distinguishing among several persons of the same name became, for the first time, a practical problem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 02-28-2018, 06:10 AM
 
Location: Floribama
15,875 posts, read 32,953,553 times
Reputation: 15153
Quote:
Originally Posted by SunGrins View Post
it seems to be a largely southern custom to call someone by both the first and middle names as in Billy Bob or Tammy Faye. I would die of embarrassment in that situation.
It’s not common anymore. Even decades ago, it wasn’t as common as movies make it seem.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2018, 09:04 AM
 
3,978 posts, read 3,468,648 times
Reputation: 12291
My family jokingly begged me to name my first child 'William Robert' so they could call him 'Billy Bob'.

I have found family names and middle names with many of my eastern Kentucky people, but they often went by nicknames. I've also found many who were named after famous people. Many of the president's were honored such as George Washington, Millard Fillmore, etc. I haven't seen any 'Abraham Lincolns'. I think they may have gotten away from that naming practice after the civil war or ole Abe was too contentious.

We have 'Boone' and 'Daniel Boone' the name in our family. I thought for a while that we may have been related since my relatives did know him. I think they used the name simply because they respected him. It's entirely possible that some of my relatives married into his line as they lived in the nearby location and may have gone to Missouri for a while.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2018, 09:32 AM
 
703 posts, read 446,278 times
Reputation: 913
This is very interesting.

Just a quick look at my tree, I see sporadic middle names starting in the 1750s, but not across the board until 1800s. On my colonial English lines, but not all.

Belle or Bell seems to be very popular in 1800s Virginia.

Even then, many more on the Southern lines have nicknames attached like, Millie for Mildred or Polly for Mary untill even later.

What I really don't understand is all the official baked, that are nicknames, that don't match the name at all coming from one Virginian line. How do you get the name Peter from Hershell Albert? Or Mary from Janet Ellen? This was a common theme until the 1950s on that particular line.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2018, 01:34 PM
 
Location: the heart is!
4,635 posts, read 4,022,773 times
Reputation: 10120
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsez View Post
my family jokingly begged me to name my first child 'william robert' so they could call him 'billy bob'.

I have found family names and middle names with many of my eastern kentucky people, but they often went by nicknames. I've also found many who were named after famous people. Many of the president's were honored such as george washington, millard fillmore, etc. I haven't seen any 'abraham lincolns'. I think they may have gotten away from that naming practice after the civil war or ole abe was too contentious.

This is so funny and so true as well. When my brother was expecting his first child he and his wife wanted to name her Jennifer and his wife's middle name is Susan. Of course when you have Kentucky and Tennessee along with the 'usual suspects' of the entire eastern seaboard of early ancestors in your genealogical descent, name recommendations come automatically. I suggested Susan for her middle name and they went with it. I call her Jenny Sue.
Quote:
Originally Posted by sarahsez View Post

we have 'boone' and 'daniel boone' the name in our family. I thought for a while that we may have been related since my relatives did know him. I think they used the name simply because they respected him. It's entirely possible that some of my relatives married into his line as they lived in the nearby location and may have gone to missouri for a while.

Wow, that's pretty interesting, seriously enough to consider "Finding Your Roots" on PBS; if only we were celebrities.
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
 
Old 03-03-2018, 01:53 PM
 
Location: the heart is!
4,635 posts, read 4,022,773 times
Reputation: 10120
Quote:
Originally Posted by abcdefg567 View Post
this is very interesting.

Just a quick look at my tree, i see sporadic middle names starting in the 1750s, but not across the board until 1800s. On my colonial english lines, but not all.

I'm glad you found it interesting 'cuz', seriously we could be related. Does Combs, Cumer, or Coomer strike any chords with you?

Belle or bell seems to be very popular in 1800s virginia.

Even then, many more on the southern lines have nicknames attached like, millie for mildred or polly for mary untill even later.

What i really don't understand is all the official baked, that are nicknames, that don't match the name at all coming from one virginian line. How do you get the name peter from hershell albert? Or mary from janet ellen? This was a common theme until the 1950s on that particular line.
Hmmm? Well, first of all I am glad to hear you find it interesting, next I have some familiar information to share with you; it is very near and dear to my heart as I continue to search for clues and further my knowledge of 'who they were, how they came here, and why they chose Kentucky' as their 'home base'. I hope you find it very interesting as well.

I have an ancestor with 2 middle names Lee and Bell, I originally presumed that one of them was perhaps due to a previous marriage as they did not all have long lives. That is how I stumbled on the site for 'Bob's Filing Cabinet'.

We could be...related (highly unlikely), are there any Taylor, Coomer, Coffey, Cook, Dickson in your line?

BELL
Origins in Ulster: Plantation
A common name in Tyrone, this family were from the Scottish Borders known for centuries as the “Bellis” of Annandale Dumfriesshire. A very unruly Clan they were broken and scattered by James VI in the decade after 1603. Many members of this Clan made their way to Ulster. Some didn’t make it the whole way and resettled on the island of Islay in the Western Isles where they can still be found in numbers.

Bell County, Kentucky
Bell County is a county located in the U.S. state of Kentucky. As of the 2010 census, the population was 28,691.[1] Its county seat is Pineville.[2] The county was formed August 1, 1867, from parts of Knox and Harlan Counties[3] and augmented from Knox County in 1872.[4] The county is named for Joshua Fry Bell, and was originally called "Josh Bell" but shortened to "Bell" by 1880
Reply With Quote Quick reply to this message
Please register to post and access all features of our very popular forum. It is free and quick. Over $68,000 in prizes has already been given out to active posters on our forum. Additional giveaways are planned.

Detailed information about all U.S. cities, counties, and zip codes on our site: City-data.com.


Reply
Please update this thread with any new information or opinions. This open thread is still read by thousands of people, so we encourage all additional points of view.

Quick Reply
Message:

Over $104,000 in prizes was already given out to active posters on our forum and additional giveaways are planned!

Go Back   City-Data Forum > General Forums > Genealogy
Follow City-Data.com founder on our Forum or

All times are GMT -6.

© 2005-2020, Advameg, Inc. · Please obey Forum Rules · Terms of Use and Privacy Policy · Bug Bounty

City-Data.com - Archive 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35 - Top