Saturday, March 12, 2016

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun: Middle Names

I almost always find it interesting when Randy Seaver suggests mining for details in our family tree databases for Saturday Night Genealogy Fun.  This week we're looking for middle names:

1)   It became tradition in English-speaking countries to bestow middle names on children during the 19th century and later.  Go back four generations in your ancestral families and list the middle names of the children in these families.  Do you know why those middle names were bestowed?

2)  Share your family middle names on your own blog post, in a comment to this post, or on social media like Facebook or Google+.

1.  Father:  Bertram Lynn Sellers, Jr. (1935– ):  Middle name is father's middle name.
Mother:  Myra Roslyn Meckler (1940–1995):  The R is for maternal great-grandmother's first name, Ruchel, but no idea why Roslyn for the American name.
Daughter:  Janice Marie Sellers (1962– ):  The M is for great-grandfather Moshe Meckler; Marie is supposed to be for a Catholic saint, probably Jesus' mother.
Son:  Mark Russell Sellers (1963– ):  Russell was the name of one of mother's old boyfriends.
Daughter:  Stacy Ann Sellers (1964– ):  Ann is for paternal grandmother.

2.  Father:  Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr. (1903–1995):  Middle name was said to be for a "close friend of the family", but unknown whether middle or family name; story yet to be confirmed.
Mother:  Anna Gauntt (1893–1986)
Son:  Bertram Lynn Sellers, Jr. (1935– ):  Middle name is father's middle name.

3.  Father:  Abraham Meckler (1912–1989)
Mother:  Esther Lillian Gordon (birth name, later changed to Lillyan E.; 1919–2006):  Middle name is for paternal grandmother's middle name.
Daughter:  Myra Roslyn Meckler (1940–1995):  The R is for great-grandmother's first name, Ruchel, but I don't know why Roslyn for the American name.
Son:  Martin Herbert Meckler (1944– ):  The H is for maternal great-grandfather's middle name, Hertz, but no idea why Herbert for the American name.
Son:  Gary Steve Meckler (1951– ):  The S is for mother's sister-in-law's mother's name (that become complicated, didn't it?), Scheindel, but no idea what Hebrew name or why Steve for the American name.

4.  Father:  unknown, possibly Bertram Lynn
Mother:  Laura May Armstrong (1882–1970):  No known ancestor with this name.
Son:  Bertram Lynn Sellers, Sr. (1903–1995):  Middle name was said to be for a "close friend of the family", but unknown whether middle or family name; story yet to be confirmed.

5.  Father:  Thomas Kirkland Gauntt (1870–1951):  No known ancestor with this name.
Mother:  Jane Dunstan (1871–1954)
Son:  Frederick Cleworth Gauntt (1892–1910):  Middle name is maternal grandfather's middle name.
Daughter:  Anna Gauntt (1893–1986)
Daughter:  Bertha Gauntt (1895–1900)
Daughter:  Carrie Florence Gauntt (1896–1985):  No known ancestor with this name.
Daughter:  Mary Louise Gauntt (1899–1971):  No known ancestor with this name.
Daughter:  Edna May Gauntt (1902–1981):  No known ancestor with this name.
Son:  James Kirkland Gauntt (1905–1949):  Middle name is father's middle name.
Son:  Thomas Franklin Gauntt (1908–1991):  Middle name is possibly for Benjamin Franklin.
Son:  Elmer Gauntt (1912–1912)
Son:  John H. Gauntt (1914–1917)

6.  Father:  Joyne Gorodetsky (birth name; about 1892–1955)
Mother:  Sore Leibe Brainin (birth name; about 1890–1963):  No known ancestor with this name.
Son:  Sidney Gordon (1915–?)
Son:  Alexander Gordon (1917–1995)
Daughter:   Esther Lillian Gordon (birth name, later changed to Lillyan E.; 1919–2006):  Middle name is for paternal grandmother's middle name.

7.  Father:  Moshe Meckler (birth name; about 1882–1953)
Mother:  Mushe Zelda Nowicki (birth name; about 1880–1936):  No known ancestor with this name.
Daughter:  Sore Meckler (birth name; about 1900–1980)
Son:  Simcha Meckler (birth name; about 1903–1968)
Son:  Hirschel Meckler (birth name; about 1905–1968)
Son:  Abraham Meckler (1912–1989)
Son:  Rubin Meckler (1914–1915)
Daughter:  Florence Meckler (1915–2005)
Daughter:  Elsie Meckler (1919–1974)

In these names I found:
• 2 where middle name is father's middle name
• 1 where middle name is great-grandmother's given name and unknown source of American name
• 1 where middle initial is for great-grandfather's given name and name is for Catholic saint
• 1 where middle name is mother's old boyfriend's name
• 1 where middle name is for grandmother's given name
• 1 where middle name is said to be for close family friend but unknown which part of name
• 1 where middle name is grandmother's middle name
• 1 where middle name is great-grandfather's middle name and unknown source of American name
• 1 where middle initial is for mother's sister-in-law's mother's name and unknown source of American name
• 1 where middle name is grandfather's middle name
• 1 where middle name is possibly for Benjamin Franklin

I believe I have a total of 36 names for the four generations.  Twelve had middle names from a known family member.  Seven had middle names of unknown origin.  For one I have only an initial for the middle name.  Fifteen have no middle names.  And one person I'm not actually sure what his name was (but I'm working on it!).

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