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Old Maiden Names

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Old Maiden Names

Postby Will Mundy » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:34 pm

As I have been researching my ancestry I have found especially in the early 19th century that people would give maiden names of their forebears to their children as middle names, such as Mary Ellis Johnson, Jane White Painter, George Taylor Painter and Fanny Fox Johnson. I was wondering if anybody else has found this and if there was any special reason for doing so?


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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby sdup26 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 5:58 pm

Sometimes a surname was given as a middle name to 'keep it going' - especially, but not exclusively, in a family that had no sons. So brother-less 'Jane Smith' marries John Brown and calls herself Jane Smith Brown. Or it could be a 'thank you' - adding their surname into your own family's name was a way to show gratitude to a benefactor, or someone who'd helped the family in some way.
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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby junkers » Sat Oct 05, 2019 6:22 pm

This was quite common and I am sure it continues today if only to indicate your ancestors, at least it is better than some names like Romeo or members of a football team.
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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby Templ4r » Sat Oct 05, 2019 7:26 pm

as SDUP26 says.

Often it's the firstborn daughter, I have Ellen 'Smith' Hassall for instance. James Hassall married Ellen Smith.

My wifes Stamper ancestors from Aycliffe Durham, they named their sons with names of friends.

Edward 'Charles Attwood' Stamper
'Joseph Forster' Stamper
John 'James Walsh' Stamper
Ralph 'Henry Chaytor' Stamper
Richard 'George Melbank' Stamper
William 'Benton Ord' Stamper
and my favourite Frank 'Jules Avriland' Stamper

One good hint is if you have an illegitimate ancestor, sometimes the surname, or even the full name of the reputed father is added so people can try to figure out who he is.
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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby Templ4r » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:05 pm

If you look 10 up from the bottom, John Smith, baseborn son.. implies to the vicar who the father is..
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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby Amazinggrace » Sat Oct 05, 2019 8:13 pm

Very common practice inScotland.
My two middle names are my mothers maiden name and my grandmothers maiden name.
Certainly makes it easier to check ancestors.
Grace :D
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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby AdrianB38 » Sat Oct 05, 2019 10:08 pm

A number of my Dundee relatives were named with a middle name commemorating someone else. Usually it's a relative (e.g. the mother's maiden name, grandmother's maiden name, etc.) but there's no particular pattern in my lot - just whatever seemed interesting for each child, I guess. Occasionally the commemoration is of someone else - my G-GF was named George Slimman Bruce and it turned out that George Slimman had been a business associate of my GG-GF, so all that looking for a Bruce / Slimman marriage had been wasted!
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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby phsvm » Sun Oct 06, 2019 2:14 pm

My problem is that numerous children in various branches of the family were all given the same names.

I have a number of Richard Humphrey Clinkards, all of about the same age I makes tracing individuals very difficult.

I have found the practice of using maiden names as middle names a godsend when researcing WW1 military reecords. There may be half a dozen soldiers with MICs with the name Hubert Berry but there in only one Hubert Stanbrook Berry!
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Re: Old Maiden Names

Postby Kekoe » Sat Oct 12, 2019 2:15 pm

I, and both of my female paternal cousins, have our grandmother's maiden name as a middle name.

One set of maternal gt gt grandparents gave their children maiden names as middle names. There are other instances of maiden names as middle names on both sides of my family, but there is no pattern to it and it wasn't necessarily done by the next generation. There doesn't appear to be any particular reason for it, as far as I can see, merely the whim of the parents.
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