Author Topic: smith as a middle name  (Read 889 times)

Offline dtcoulson

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smith as a middle name
« on: Monday 18 September 17 14:45 BST (UK) »
Hi people.

Apologies if this is not the sort of topic to raise on this forum.

I have been looking at the use of Smith as a middle name in the 1800s and have observed some patterns that could be illusions but could also mean something interesting.

I see a number of fathers who give their sons their own name but add Smith as a middle name.
For example, James Purvis might call his son James Smith Purvis. Of course this could simply be a recycled maiden name in each case but I wonder, did the name Smith ever signify something like 'junior' ? Or was it somehow fashionable ?

Overall I see Smith being used quite commonly as a middle name but seems most commonly placed behind the name Thomas.

Opinions?

-David C

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Online carol8353

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #1 on: Monday 18 September 17 14:58 BST (UK) »
Generally a surname used as a middle name is a nod to a previous generation ie mum or grandma's maiden name. I've never thought of it as an alternative to 'junior'.

Carol
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Offline GrahamSimons

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #2 on: Tuesday 19 September 17 11:20 BST (UK) »
Godparent is another possibility - so John Smith was a godfather. Some Catholic confirmation registers can be searched; my understanding is that Church of England registers are thinner on the ground.
Simons Barrett Jaffray Waugh Langdale Heugh Meade Garnsey Evans Vazie Mountcure Glascodine Parish Peard Smart Dobbie Sinclair....
in Stirlingshire, Roxburghshire; Bucks; Devon; Somerset; Northumberland; Carmarthenshire; Glamorgan

Online rosie17

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #3 on: Tuesday 19 September 17 11:27 BST (UK) »
Generally a surname used as a middle name is a nod to a previous generation ie mum or grandma's maiden name. I've never thought of it as an alternative to 'junior'.

Carol

Yes I agree with Carol a lot of my family myself included  have my Grandma's maiden name as our middle name .. :)

Rosie

Offline BumbleB

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #4 on: Tuesday 19 September 17 11:35 BST (UK) »
I've got one Smith as a first name - mother's maiden name.  But then I have another family who used a surname as first name for some of their sons - Fairbank (grandmother's maiden name), Hollan/d (mother's family have connections with surname Holland), Jennings (not entirely sure but again a surname connection to mother's family).
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Archbell - anywhere, any date
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Offline dtcoulson

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #5 on: Wednesday 20 September 17 00:22 BST (UK) »
I think that if such a pattern existed, someone would have spotted it by now and have written about it.

A second question I would like to ask is whether people in the 19th century named their children for significant people in their community: politicians or businessmen or even artists and writers and soldiers that served the community well.

-DC

Offline Rena

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #6 on: Wednesday 20 September 17 05:01 BST (UK) »
All the families that I'm following used the traditional naming pattern of first son named after paternal g/father, etc., etc.   

However, I do have a line that at first glance didn't use that pattern until I realised the middle given name was the child's name and the first given name was donated by a godparent who was often a local person of substance (e.g. who wasn't a labourer or labourer's wife) and who hopefully would be useful to the child's future prospects.

My gt. uncle Tom born in Norfolk carried the full name of his father's employer "Robert Blake" as his middle names.

My Lanarkshire born grandfather Andrew carried the three full name of a local bigwig; "Andrew Stevenson Dalglish" as middle names.  One of his brothers was given the three full names of his maternal uncle, Allan Cameron M'Kenzie, a blacksmith, who had no son to carry on his name.

Also in my tree is one Aberdeen couple with numerous children who ran out of family names and I can spot that one son carried the name of a ships captain that lived next door to the wife when she was a child and it seems the wife had a large say in the names of her several daughters many of whom carried the full given & maiden surnames of her childhood girl friends.
Aberdeen: Findlay-Shirras,McCarthy
MidLothian: Mason,Telford,Darling,Cruikshanks,Bennett,Sime, Bell
Lanarks:Crum, Brown, MacKenzie,Cameron, Glen, Millar
Ross, Urray:Mackenzie
Moray: Findlay; Marshall/Marischell
Perthshire: Brown Ferguson
Wales: McCarthy, Thomas
England: Almond, Askin, Dodson, Harrison, Maw, McCarthy, Munford, Pye, Shearing, Smith, Smythe, Speight, Strike, Wallis/Wallace, Ward, Wells
Germany: Flamme,Ehlers, Bielstein, Germer, Mohlm, Reupke

Offline Redroger

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #7 on: Thursday 21 September 17 15:10 BST (UK) »
Smith, or for that matter any other surname was frequently used in cases of illegitimacy so that a boy might be baptised John Smith Brown, the Brown, mother's surname being quietly dropped if the parents did subsequently marry. One that i could never get my head round was a man on our payroll who had two Christian names, followed by three surnames, the last two of which he had dropped, and used the first surname as his normal surname. ie. John William Brown Smith Jones was known as John William Brown
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Offline Gadget

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Re: smith as a middle name
« Reply #8 on: Thursday 21 September 17 16:37 BST (UK) »
One of my 3 x great grandparents's daughters has Smith as a middle name. I've searched for about 10 years to find out from whence it came but, so far, haven't found any relative. I've also searched for prominent people in the vicinity but have drawn a blank there too.

I go back and check every so often but so far - zilch.

Gadget
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