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Naming Techniques

29 Aug

I am working on some Irish research for a friend and another research (Thanks Molly!) sent me the Irish Naming Convention seen below. It looks similar to what I have seen for Italians.

Irish children naming convention:

for male babies:

1st son named after father’s father
2nd son named after mother’s father
3rd son named after father
4th son named after father’s oldest brother
5th son named after father’s youngest brother
6th son named after mother’s oldest brother
7th son named after mother’s youngest brother

for female babies:

1st daughter named after mother’s mother
2nd daughter named after father’s mother
3rd daughter named after mother
4th daughter named after mother’s oldest sister
5th daughter named after mother’s youngest sister
6th daughter named after father’s oldest sister
7th daughter named after father’s youngest sister

Usually – when the child was named after another immediate family member (mother or father), the middle name was used… either alone, or in conjunction with the given first name.

Additional note –
IF the father (or mother) – was HIMSELF (or HERSELF) a 3rd child… then the given name might either be skipped altogether (because it was already used.. IN the family, so to speak).. OR the firstname might be given… but if too many other LIVING relatives already were using that given name, the middle (baptismal) name might be the identifier.

In conjunction with what I learned this week about Irish Naming Conventions, Daniel Hubbard at Personal Past Meditations posted another great blog post, Making Names for Ourselves. Daniel discusses the usefulness of naming conventions; how they were used; how genealogists can utilize these techniques to help solve family mysteries, or provide new leads to solve those mysteries; and how current genealogists use or do not use these naming conventions. Read through his post when you have some time. It might give you a few new ideas to consider when tracing your families.

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