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First Name Basis - For those using unusual names to search for missing twigs, branches, and roots

Use the advanced search function of the Social Security Death Index (SSDI) to search that database for your unusual first names. Here's the URL: http://www.ancestry.com/ssdi/advanced.htm

Judy Henley Phillips nicknames, variants, and diminuitives of common (and not so common) given names.

Naming Conventions courtesy of The Gene Pool.

What does your name mean? Thanks to C. Thomas Wright III for this URL!

Terry Egan tegan@inform.com.au compiled the following information. Please send him additions to include in his list. What's in a name? The following name variations have been compiled from information supplied by participants on the GENIRE-L.  Many other nicknames were submitted, however I was interested mainly in name substitutes that became a 'traditional' alternative to the baptismal name.  In other words, family nicknames or simple name-shortening have not made it to this list.  Also, substitutes that are still common today are not included (e.g. Bill, Bob, etc). Some likely derivations have also been included, however this author can not warrant the accuracy of the information.  Items marked '*' may be family nicknames as only one source has submitted them.
>Bridget Delia
>Bridget Delene*
>Julia Judith
>Thadeus Timothy, Teague*
>Jeremiah Derby
>Jeremiah Dermot because Diarmuid in Irish sounds more like Jairmud.
>Mona Nonie
>Peter Pierce
>Patrick Peter (interchangeable)*
>Patrick Patsy or Packy*
>Deborah Abigail*
>Joanna Susan*
>Mary Mayme
>Mary Polly
>Mary Ann Polly
>Clara* Polly
>Sarah Sally
>Sarah Sadie
>William Wit
>Honora Nora, Onnie
>Owen Eugene 'Eoghan' Gaelic, 'Eugenius' Latin, hence Eugene.
>Ann Nancy (still common)
>Winifred Una*
>Margaret Peg or Peggy Margaret means 'Pearl' and in Gaelic'Peigi' means 'Pearl'.
> However another alternative proposes that the Greek word for 'Pearl' was borrowed by the Latin 'Margarita' which was subsequently borrowed by the Gaelic.
>Margaret Madge (still fairly common)
>If you have other substitutes that were common in the past in Ireland, but cause nightmares for Genealogists today, I will be pleased to add them to the list.
>Thanks to all who participated. Terry Egan tegan@inform.com.au

NAMING PATTERNS common in Ireland in the  mid-1800's

If you test it against the names of your ancestors AND they followed it...the probability that the prior generation might have is enough for me to look for that first name I would expect the prior generations would have-when I have no other leads to follow.

The 1st son was usually named after the fathers father
The 1st daughter was usually named after the mothers mother
the 2nd son was usually named after the mothers father
the 2nd daughter was usually named after the fathers mother
the 3rd son was usually named after the father
the 3rd daughter was usually named after the mother
the 4th son was usually named after the fathers eldest brother
the 4th daughter was usually named after the mothers eldest sister
the 5th son was usually named after the mothers eldest brother
the 5th daughter was usually named after the fathers eldest sister.

Naturally this pattern could not be followed exactly, but most families would try and keep to it.

NAMING: Variations of Given Name

In my research on Owen Beagan of Cavan I find Owen is often substituted by Euginus, which is Latin for the anglicized Eugene. The early Catholic registers, tolerated by the Church of Ireland, were not allowed to
write in Gaelic (Owen = Eoghan ,pronounced Oine).
Allen Temple Beagan
1 Cross St.
Sandwich, MA USA 02563
: beagan@capecod.net
>"Genealogy Notes" of  Ireland, Jersey, Newfoundland, Prince Edward Island
>and the Boston States

18th Century PA German Naming Customs very interesting and some info would apply to other nationalities

      The general naming pattern in Scotland was to name:

      One variation of above was for the eldest son to be named after the mother's father and the eldest daughter after the father's mother.

      Since given names change over the years someone doing research on their line would need to know the approximate time period when their ancestor was born and in what country.

Source: "In Search of Scottish Ancestry"

I found this on another list. Since many people on this list ask about origin of names, this may be useful.

Wilson Roberts willr@NETZONE.COM wrote:

>Subject: : OCCUPATIONS CHART for Reference
>Accomptant      Accountant
>Almoner         Giver of charity to the needy
>Amanuensis      Secretary or stenographer
>Artificer                A soldier mechanic who does repairs
>Bailie          Bailiff
>Baxter          Baker
>Bluestocking    Female writer
>Boniface                 Keeper of an inn
>Brazier         One who works with brass
>Brewster                 Beer manufacturer
>Brightsmith     Metal Worker
>Burgonmaster    Mayor
>Caulker         One who filled up cracks (in ships or windows) or seems to
>make                  them watertight by using tar or oakum-hemp fiber
>                 produced by taking old ropes apart
>Chaisemaker     Carriage maker
>Chandler        Dealer or trader; one who makes or sells candles;
>                 retailer of groceries
>Chiffonnier     Wig maker
>Clark           Clerk
>Clerk           Clergyman, cleric
>Clicker         The servant of a salesman who stood at the door to
>                 invite customers; one who received the matter in the
>                 galley from the compositors and arranged it in due form
>                 ready for printing;  one who makes eyelet holes in boots
>                 using a machine which clicked.      
>Cohen           Priest
>Collier         Coal miner
>Colporteur      Peddler of books
>Cooper          One who makes or repairs vessels made of staves & hoops,
>such                  as casks, barrels, tubs, etc.
>Cordwainer      Shoemaker, originally any leather worker using leather from
>                  Cordova/Cordoba in Spain
>Costermonger    Peddler of fruits and vegetables
>Crocker         Potter
>Crowner         Coroner
>Currier         One who dresses the coat of a horse with a curry comb;
>                 one who tanned leather by incorporating oil or grease
>Docker          Stevedore, dock worker who loads and unloads cargo
>Dowser          One who finds water using a rod or witching stick
>Draper          A dealer in dry goods
>Drayman         One who drives a long strong cart without fixed sides for
>                 carrying heavy loads
>Dresser         A surgeon's assistant in a hospital
>Drover          One who drives cattle, sheep, etc. to market;
>                 a dealer in cattle
>Duffer          Peddler
>Factor          Agent, commission merchant; 
>                 one who acts or transacts business for another;
>                 Scottish steward or bailiff of an estate
>Farrier         A blacksmith, one who shoes horses
>Faulkner        Falconer
>Fell monger     One who removes hair or wool from hides in preparation for
>                 leather making
>Fletcher        One who made bows and arrows
>Fuller          One who fulls cloth;one who shrinks and thickens woolen
>                 cloth by  moistening, heating, and pressing;
>                 one who cleans and finishes cloth
>Gaoler          A keeper of the goal, a jailer
>Glazier         Window glassman
>Hacker          Maker of hoes
>Hatcheler       One who combed out or carded flax
>Haymonger       Dealer in hay
>Hayward         Keeper of fences
>Higgler         Itinerant peddler
>Hillier         Roof tiler
>Hind            A farm laborer
>Holster         A groom who took care of horses, often at an inn
>Hooker          Reaper
>Hooper          One who made hoops for casks and barrels
>Huckster        Sells small wares
>Husbandman      A farmer who cultivated the land
>Jagger          Fish peddler
>Journeyman      One who had served his apprenticeship and mastered his
>                 craft,   not bound to serve a master, but hired by the day
>Joyner / Joiner A skilled carpenter
>Keeler          Bargeman
>Kempster        Wool comber
>Lardner         Keeper of the cupboard
>Lavender        Washer woman
>Lederer         Leather maker
>Leech           Physician
>Longshoreman    Stevedore
>Lormer          Maker of horse gear
>Malender        Farmer
>Maltster        Brewer
>Manciple        A steward
>Mason           Bricklayer
>Mintmaster      One who issued local currency
>Monger          Seller of goods (ale, fish)
>Muleskinner     Teamster
>Neatherder      Herds cows
>Ordinary Keeper Innkeeper with fixed prices
>Pattern Maker   A maker of a clog shod with an iron ring. A clog
>                   was a wooden pole with a pattern cut into the end
>Peregrinator    Itinerant wanderer
>Peruker         A wig maker
>Pettifogger     A shyster lawyer
>Pigman          Crockery dealer
>Plumber         One who applied sheet lead for roofing and set lead   
>                   frames for plain or stained glass windows.
>Porter          Door keeper
>Puddler         Wrought iron worker
>Quarrier        Quarry worker
>Rigger          Hoist tackle worker
>Ripper          Seller of fish
>Roper           Maker of rope or nets
>Saddler         One who makes, repairs or sells saddles or other
>                   furnishings for horses
>Sawbones        Physician
>Sawyer          One who saws; carpenter
>Schumacker      Shoemaker
>Scribler        A minor or worthless author
>Scrivener       Professional or public copyist or writer; notary public
>Scrutiner       Election judge
>Shrieve         Sheriff
>Slater          Roofer
>Slopseller      Seller of ready-made clothes in a slop shop
>Snobscat / Snob One who repaired shoes
>Sorter          Tailor
>Spinster        A woman who spins or an unmarried woman
>Spurrer         Maker of spurs
>Squire          Country gentleman;   farm owner;  justice of peace
>Stuff gown      Junior barrister
>Stuff gownsman  Junior barrister
>Supercargo      Officer on merchant ship who is in charge of cargo and the
>                   commercial concerns of the ship
>Tanner          One who tans (cures) animal hides into leather
>Tapley          One who puts the tap in an ale cask
>Tasker          Reaper
>Teamster        One who drives a team for hauling
>Thatcher        Roofer
>Tide waiter     Customs inspector
>Tinker          Am itinerant tin pot and pan seller and repairman
>Tipstaff        Policeman
>Travers         Toll bridge collection
>Tucker          Cleaner of cloth goods
>Turner          A person who turns wood on a lathe into spindles
>Victualer       A tavern keeper, or one who provides an army, navy,
>                   or ship with food supplies
>Vulcan          Blacksmith
>Wagoner         Teamster not for hire
>Wainwright      Wagon maker
>Waiter          Customs officer or tide waiter; one who waited on the tide
>                   to collect duty on goods brought in
>Waterman        Boatman who plies for hire
>Webster         Operator of looms
>Wharfinger      Owner of a wharf
>Wheelwright     One who made or repaired wheels; wheeled carriages, etc.
>Whitesmith      Tinsmith; worker of iron who finishes or polishes the work
>Whitewing       Street sweeper
>Whitster        Bleacher of cloth
>Wright          Workman, especially a construction worker
>Yeoman          Farmer who owns his own land
Whenever a newborn was to be christened, the invitations went out to all the relations, brothers and sisters, cousins, aunts, uncles, in-laws and outlaws, to gather together and choose a name.  Pipes were passed, whiskey was drunk, and eventually a name was settled on.  This custom was called the Naming Convention and the idea was later picked up by politicians who used the same method to name a candidate for elective office.