Post by greyroamer on Aug 24, 2018 23:41:07 GMT -5
Just a general observation, rather than a specific query. It is understandable (although sometimes frustrating) that parents will name their offspring after themselves or their own parents -- But, is it just me or do others notice the tendency for one person to marry a person with the same name as that person's father or mother. I have come across innumerable example of, say John Smith, son of Mary marrying a spouse named Mary, or Mary Smith, daughter of John, marrying her own John. It seems to me to be too common to just be coincidence and perhaps represents a deep psychological need. (I really don't get out much )
Post by Cornish Terrier on Aug 25, 2018 1:14:08 GMT -5
Certainly a curious frustration but I think it is really more to do with commonality of names or even commonality within a given area. If we were dealing with names like Mahersharlalhashbaz and Hermione for example it would be a slightly different matter.
But I have noticed at different times in the past that there will be certain common names that that suffer from a lack of use in a given Parish. Elizabeth is a very common girl's name yet in some places it can be very sparingly used for a long period. In the case of boys then you may find a particular Parish over a period of say 10-20 years where the name John might fall out of favour.
It is not coincidence, but it does not represent some sort of psychological need, either. It is simply that John and Mary were probably the most common given names for men and women in Penwith in past centuries. (The other two really common ones were William and Elizabeth.) So it is not at all surprising to find a John marrying a Mary and/or being the son of a Mary, and so on. You can even find John the son of John and Mary himself marrying a Mary, as happened in at least two of my ancestral lines.
Parents naming their children after themselves or after their own parents is actually one of the most useful tools for identifying families in the absence of probate or BDM and census records. Not of course if we are talking about names like John and Mary, William and Elizabeth, as they were too common and nearly every family had some or even all of them. But other names, which we would think of as being "common" but which were NOT common in that area at that time, can often point to who the parents and grandparents were. Examples would be names like David, Hannah, and Peter. Not what we would call uncommon names. But uncommon enough in Penwith in past centuries.
Hi Trencrom, thanks for your reply. I think you may have taken my comment a bit to literally. I wasn't actually commenting on John and Mary, per se, but on a fact I have noticed that many men marry a woman who has their mother's given name and many women marry men with their father's given name, whether that be John, James, Francis, Herbert or whatever. While I wouldn't go so far as to suggest the "I" word, I feel sure that there is some sort of psychological link. Whether they find the name more trustworthy or caring or familiar, I don't know, but I have seen it too many times for it to be simply a coincidence.
I agree that parents names can help with making matches, particularly when a parent gives a child their own parents name even if as a second given name, especially if the name isn't common. I find it a little unfortunate that the practice of giving the child the middle name of the mother's maiden name doesn't seem to have become common until the 19th century. It certainly would help when making some matches. Mike
Post by Cornish Terrier on Sept 1, 2018 7:18:16 GMT -5
I would still stick with 'coincidence' - I find it rather difficult to believe that anyone would deliberately search out a partner with a specific name to match a parent.
A man with a mother named Mary might meet 50 or 100 potential spouses with the name Mary but not like any one of them! Taking into account all the factors involved (such as a few dates etc. to get to know a person) a man might end up in his 80s without finding the right 'Mary'.
And, of course, there is also the possibility that none of the Marys might like the man involved either!
I'm not trying to throw ridicule on the suggestion but I do think it is all more coincidence than anything else.
In a 20+ year in a real estate related career where document accuracy was important, I observed a very uncommon incidence of couples sharing common middle initials. If you want to live happily ever after ...
Post by Cornish Terrier on Sept 2, 2018 2:22:14 GMT -5
Probably not so much these days but if you consider instances of this 'same name syndrome' back in the 18th and 19th centuries (as an example) a more likely reason for this might be the incidence of first and second cousin marriages - particularly when dealing with less common names. For example, if the daughter of a Theophilus were to marry someone else named Theophilus then the odds are that the husband was a cousin.
I find it a little unfortunate that the practice of giving the child the middle name of the mother's maiden name doesn't seem to have become common until the 19th century. It certainly would help when making some matches. Mike
From what I have seen, middle names did not become common until the mid-19th century. But I have also seen a mother's maiden surname as the middle name of more than one child in Penwith as early as the 1790s. Sometimes the middle name of a child was not its mother's maiden surname, but rather the father's mother's maiden surname. I have found that occurring in Penwith in the 1820s.