Scottish naming traditions

For those researching family in the three towns area.
User avatar
Hughie
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 9844
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:42 am
Location: Australia Formerly Ardrossan
Contact:

Scottish naming traditions

Post by Hughie » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:26 am

Scottish naming traditions - when researching family use this only as a guide.

1st born son named for his father's father
2nd born son named for his mother's father
3rd born son named for his father
Any other sons often named for father's or mother's uncles.

1st born daughter named for her mother's mother
2nd born daughter named for her father's mother
3rd born daughter named for her mother
Any other daughters often named for mother's or father's aunts.

How did you get your Christian name or middle name? Can you trace the names back in time within your family? My immediate family followed exactly the first three relating to sons above. I was the third born son so I was named Hugh after my father.

The name Hugh started in our McCallum family in 1860 with the birth of Hugh McCallum my great grandfather in Kilwinning. He was named after his mother's father Hugh Boyd (1810-1892) a carter in Kilwinning.

Apart from all above is there a story behind your naming?

wmh
Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Posts: 76
Joined: Wed Apr 16, 2008 9:27 pm
Location: prestwick south ayrshire

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by wmh » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:04 pm

Interesting topic Hughie, which is consistant with the naming of children in our family past and present.
Another part of this naming was our middle name , mine is Murray which is the name I actually use , however that was my grandparents surname and it was used as a middle name for a good few of our family also.
So the surname of parents and grandparents seems to have been used commonly as a middle name. ??

WMH

User avatar
Hughie
Administrator
Administrator
Posts: 9844
Joined: Thu Dec 09, 2004 12:42 am
Location: Australia Formerly Ardrossan
Contact:

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by Hughie » Tue Dec 01, 2009 12:41 pm

That's the great thing about searching Scottish ancestry, WMH. It's so much easier for us than for the English researchers. Yes, our ancestors for the most part used surnames for middle names - normally a dead give-away when trying to find out about John ?????? Smith.

hahaya2004
Mega Heid Poster
Mega Heid Poster
Posts: 1106
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 12:22 pm
Location: formerly Saltcoats

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by hahaya2004 » Tue Dec 01, 2009 5:35 pm

My parents were the first in our family to break with the tradition - they chose Irene because my father's favourite song was "Goodnight Irene".
They did give in when they decided on a middle name. My father's mother was called Helen Taylor (after her grandmother) and my mum's mother was called Adelheid Helene, so my middle name is Helen.
It is never too late to be what you might have been.
George Eliot

Milda
Mega Heid Poster
Mega Heid Poster
Posts: 1728
Joined: Fri Jun 20, 2008 10:49 am
Location: Coleraine N.I. Originally Saltcoats

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by Milda » Tue Nov 30, 2010 1:57 am

My mum's mother was called Matilda,so my name was made up from letters out of that and my middle name is Ann because my dad's mum was Margaret Ann.

sheenaj
Regular Poster
Regular Poster
Posts: 308
Joined: Sat Jan 01, 2005 5:04 pm
Location: Texas USA

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by sheenaj » Tue Nov 30, 2010 9:51 pm

Many years ago I asked my mum about my name as there were no Sheena's. in either family.
I discovered it is Gaelic for Jane,[Janet or Jean]. discovered all of these reditions appeared through out my Father's tree As for Rae I believe it was a shortened form of Rachel -my Grandmother's name.
Now surnames they all seem to recycle in my Dad's side. Mostly as a middle name, Callow and Lawrie being the more persistant ones.
When my son was born as we had SO many John's on either side [mine and Husbands] we chose the Gaelic form of Iain and Stewart for my Father's side.'course living in America poor Iain has had to put up with a lot of strange interpretations of his name:-)

Lynne
Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:58 am

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by Lynne » Wed Dec 01, 2010 12:21 am

We have hung onto the John a bit in my family, but alas the Boyd & Finnie names have been dropped in my branch. Had I realised when I had my children, the significance of these names, I would have included them when naming my children. My 5th g.grandfather retained the Boyd when naming his children (his mother's maiden name), and the McEwens kept the Finnie, so we had Robert Finnie McEwen and John Helias Finnie McEwen. I have no idea where the Helias came from, but I stumbled upon a John Helias Finnie one day, who was a policeman in Matabeleland...having emigrated to there from India. I haven't as yet pursued this line, being too busy trying to establish William Finnie & Ann Boyd's ancestry.

calleytwo
leading Poster
leading Poster
Posts: 656
Joined: Sun Oct 23, 2005 9:42 pm
Location: Adelaide, South Australia

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by calleytwo » Thu Dec 02, 2010 8:32 am

The tradition was followed through in my father's generation. Uncle Jim. eldest son was named after my great grandfather, Dad, after his mum's father(Alexander Borthwick) and the sisters, all followed the formula. My only sibling, elder brother John, was named after dad's father but dad broke with tradition - left out the second option (mum's dad - Dugald Mclellan) and named me after himself - using the gaelic form Alistair. The joy of my life - daughter Bonnie (anybodie want a 14 year old attitude) did not appear to follow the tradition. However since both her grandmothers were Mary we gave her that for a middle name. My brother did not follow the tradition for the three delights of his life but picked nice Scots names, Heather, Fiona and Jeanette. Wee Ali (or should it be Wee Doogie? ) :roll:

Lynne
Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:58 am

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by Lynne » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:49 am

calleytwo wrote:The tradition was followed through in my father's generation. Uncle Jim. eldest son was named after my great grandfather, Dad, after his mum's father(Alexander Borthwick) and the sisters, all followed the formula. My only sibling, elder brother John, was named after dad's father but dad broke with tradition - left out the second option (mum's dad - Dugald Mclellan) and named me after himself - using the gaelic form Alistair. The joy of my life - daughter Bonnie (anybodie want a 14 year old attitude) did not appear to follow the tradition. However since both her grandmothers were Mary we gave her that for a middle name. My brother did not follow the tradition for the three delights of his life but picked nice Scots names, Heather, Fiona and Jeanette. Wee Ali (or should it be Wee Doogie? ) :roll:
My brother, John, was named after my mother's brother, but apart from that, the names are all over the place. We also have a Heather, though!! :) My daughter's middle name is Maree....a variation on my mother's middle name, Mary, while my youngest daughter swears blind that we named her after a racehorse!! :) Lynne. :)

User avatar
down south
Mega Heid Poster
Mega Heid Poster
Posts: 3144
Joined: Mon Feb 16, 2009 4:18 pm
Location: Cheshire,formerly Saltcoats

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by down south » Thu Dec 02, 2010 4:59 pm

I'm stiil looking hopefully for any Scottish ancestors... :think:

But I was interested to discover that my Cumbrian-born great-grandfather ( South London grocer and Victorian patriarch ) followed the formula above exactly when it came to naming his six sons. In fact it was the first appearance of this topic that inspired me to track down the last brother, after whom the youngest was named ; previously I thought I'd found them all. The four girls of the family didn't follow the plan so well, with some having merely fashionable names; though I did discover that my grandmother's hated and never-used first name Harriet in fact came from HER grandmother.

My other down south ancestors don't seem to have used this tradition, but they certainly still passed down their names, in the nineteenth century at least ( generally longer for boys ). My father's name William goes back at least to his Gt Gt grandfather Nock, and there were also Samuels in every generation , descending from that early William's father.

In fact I've found the recurrence of family names one of the great helpful pointers of family history. It's very satisfying when you get back into a previous generation and find all the people the younger ones got their names from, all lined up like ducks in a row; and even better, you know for sure that you're on the right track.

Susan

Lynne
Frequent Poster
Frequent Poster
Posts: 56
Joined: Sat Nov 13, 2010 12:58 am

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by Lynne » Thu Dec 02, 2010 10:42 pm

It certainly does help, Susan. I found that my ancestors kept the names, rather than follow a steady pattern, for the most part. But it's still a great help. :) Lynne. :)

chrys
New Poster
New Poster
Posts: 6
Joined: Sun Jul 25, 2010 7:08 am

Re: Scottish naming traditions - Topic for December 2009

Post by chrys » Thu Feb 17, 2011 4:05 pm

this would explain then why all my Kilpatricks are either William or Robert - my father being William his RObert and his WIlliam and so on with an occasional Hugh and ALexander thrown in and i thought i was an original being Chrystyne however i am not my great grandmother being the first so i am just a different spelling but i am interested to know how the middle names come down the generations. Thanks Chrys

Post Reply