What can I learn from names in a cemetery?
NAMES: Historic cemeteries are full of interesting names. “Texana Underwood,” as you can see in the photo above, for example. What a great name, eh? Last year, I came across someone named “Dude Hunter.”
Really? How does someone end up with the name “Dude”? Could he be a distant relative of the Great Lebowski?
These days, parents often choose names simply because they like the way it sounds, but people used to follow certain naming conventions. If you are visiting a cemetery to do genealogical research, then knowing the naming conventions that our ancestors often used can be helpful.
Rather than picking a name from a baby book, people used to do this:
1st son: named after the father’s father.
2nd son: named after the mother’s father.
3rd son: named after the father
The same thing applied to girls:
1st daughter: named after the mother’s mother.
2nd daughter: named after the father’s mother,
3rd daughter: named after the mother.
Those rules make sense and are pretty easy to piece together, but there are many confusing factors (more than I should squeeze in an A to Z post) that you’ll often run into, as well.
Don’t take names too literally:
As I like to say, “When it comes to graveyards, even though things are written in stone, that doesn’t mean they are written in stone!”
In historic cemeteries, a “cousin” can refer to any relative outside the immediate family, while “uncle” and “aunt” are often used to denote *any* beloved older person, whether or not they were related. It’s also common for a brother or sister-in law to simply be labeled “brother” or “sister” on a headstone.
And if all that isn’t confusing enough, since the word “nephew” comes from the Latin word for “grandson,” there are times when it refers to grandchildren – of either gender!
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What is the April A to Z Blog Challenge?
Each April, people from all over the world participate in the April A to Z blog challenge, and you can too. It’s a lot of fun and it’s a great way to meet other bloggers. To play along, all you do is make a blog post for each letter of the alphabet during April, then use the blog hop linky to visit as many other bloggers as you can.