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Naming Patterns

Few families today select their children's names only, or even mainly from those of their forebears. But in Galloway, as in most of Scotland and much of England, this was once the practice of a majority, maybe even a large majority. Change appears to have started with the improved communications of the early to mid 1800s, with railways and newspapers possibly foremost.

But very many families continued this tradition well into the twentieth century, and surely quite a number still do, although exceptions have always been there. For example, frequently a new minister, or sometimes a doctor would be honored by naming the newborn after him. In the event, unfortunately all too common, of a child's death, it was also very normal to name the next-born of that sex with the dead child's name, a practice which can prove remarkably confusing to the genealogist of today.

Sons
Birth Order Named After Variation
1st born Paternal grandfather Maternal grandmother
2nd born Maternal grandfather Paternal grandfather
3rd born Father  
4th born Father's oldest brother Paternal great grandfather
5th born Mother's oldest brother Maternal great grandfather



Daughters
Birth Order Named after Variation
1st born Maternal grandmother Paternal grandmother
2nd born Paternal grandmother Maternal grandmother
3rd born Mother  
4th born Mother's oldest sister Maternal great grandmother
5th born Father's oldest sister Paternal great grandmother