When I asked my grandfather about the origins of our German-ish surname, he said we were Scots-Irish and came from West Virginia. I was 13, and just made a note for future research.

I'm now a genealogy researcher, and have long since dismissed my grandfather's version of our family origins. It's a German name, so how is it Scots-Irish? The earliest (known, so far) progenitor of the name came from Pennsylvania and the family ended up in Illinois with a stop in Ohio. So how does West Virginia even get in there?

I figured some other line--female line--probably married in, and THEY were Scots-Irish and from West Virginia, but it never has shown up in my research. So, Grandpa had just heard something that was wrong, that's all.

Until I found where in Ohio the "stopover" was. I had assumed northern Ohio, since that's what's between Pennsylvania and Illinois. Uh, no. Apparently my family was working its way down the Ohio River. There's a whole nest of my ancestors in Gallia County, Ohio, and they were from Clay Township, which, as far as I can tell from a map, might be literally a stone's throw (across the river) from West Virginia.

Grandpa wasn't very wrong. (I still haven't found any Scots-Irish, though.)
blueswan: (Default)

From: [personal profile] blueswan

I really enjoy your genealogy posts. It's nice to see someone who considers it interesting and worth the time and effort it takes.

My favourite part is finding the names of the women who married into the family and giving them back their identity. Have you run into the old German saints naming tradition? I thought a past researcher had muddled things up royally until I got my research hat on and looked into it more closely.

I've been dabbling at it for years and last year dug in and got more into it. I've been lucky to have both sides of the family searched by others, though I was able to add my father's branch back to the main tree. For some reason (I suspect something quite scandalous) they had disappeared altogether for generations. I've been researching both my grandmothers' families as well.

It's all very interesting and I spend hours researching the history and culture of the places various ancestors have lived.
blueswan: (Default)

From: [personal profile] blueswan

My ancestors came over as Lutherans so I'm not sure it was altogether a Catholic tradition. I'm sure it started out that way. Anyway, all the boys in a family would have the same first name (say Johan or some variation of that) and the girls would as well (Catherine for example), but they would be called by their second name. I was reminded of it because you mentioned Pennsylvania. I got my information primarily from this site: 18th Century PA German Naming Customs.

Anyway. sorry to be a pest. Have a lovely week.
dantesspirit: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dantesspirit

The Italians have a habit of naming after saints and apostles as well. Quite a few Micheals, Josephs, Johns, Fances, etc on the paternal side in my tree.

Lots of Maria whatevers too.
Edited Date: 2013-05-06 02:44 pm (UTC)
dantesspirit: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dantesspirit

Oh yes. When I first started out, I made a lot of mistakes and had to do quite a bit of backtracking.

It helped that my grandmother had quite a bit of family history and geneaology stuff already. I can follow her paternal line to the 15th Great Grandfather on the paternal line, and the 7th GreatGrandfather on hhe maternal line.

My husband's paternal line is pure German and I'm at a dead end on that, at his 2x Great Grandfather.}:/ It's as if they didn't exist before his Great Grandfather immigrated to here.

My father's birth father's paternal line I can follow back to my 5th Great Grandfather. His maternal line to my 3rd Great Grandfather. His birth mother's line, all the way back to the 9th Great Grandfather on the paternal side and 3rd Great Grandfather on the maternal line. His adoptive parents lines aren't much better. Heh.

Now, my birth mom's paternal line, well, I can follow them back all the way to 8th GreatGrandfather( LOTS of Pennocks, Gumaers, Spicers, Trowbridges, etc.) on the paternal line and only the 5th Great Grandfather on the maternal line.

For me, it helps that I have a cousin who's been doing this a lot longer than me and could give me alot of info, particularly about my dad's birth parents, since he'd already done the work.}:)

dantesspirit: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dantesspirit

It's an unwritten Catholic tradition (and explains a lot about my tree, lol)-

"The unwritten Catholic Tradition dictates that children to be baptized should be given the name of a Saint. The following examples explain how Catholic names were chosen in the past.

1 st boy: Joseph John Anthony Smith
2 nd boy: Joseph Henry Robert Smith
3 rd boy: Joseph Francis Donald Smith

1 st girl: Mary Magdeleine Esther Smith
2 nd girl: Mary Agnes Anna Smith
3 rd girl: Mary Claire Monica Smith

Each child has 3 surnames and 1 family name.

The first name of every boy is always Joseph. The first name of every girl is always Mary. These names represent the names of Mary and Joseph, the parents of Jesus.

The second name represents the child's given name, the name of a female saint for a girl and the name of a male saint for a boy.

The third name represents, if it is the first girl or the first boy in the family, the name of the mother for the girl and the name of the father for the boy. For all the other children, the 2 nd, the 3 rd, etc..., the third name is the name of the godmother for a girl and the name of the godfather for a boy.

Therefore, the names are..

(Joseph or Mary)(A Saint)(The parent [1 st] / godparent [2+])(Family name)

As a general rule, the child is called by the name of the Saint when spoken to. When he/she writes his/her name, it involves writing the name of the saint and the family name. If an initial must be used, it is the initial of the 3 rd name, the name of the parent or godparent, which ever applies. "

dantesspirit: (Default)

From: [personal profile] dantesspirit

I agree. And let me tell ya, when you see the same name 4-5 times in one family, you start wonder if they really ARE their kids after all...}:P


genealogy: Cover of the Register for Alameda County 1904 (Default)

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