Genealogy Tips

Same name, different child

Kathleen McKenzie on her Vita Brevis blog wrote a post “The Name’s the Same”, where she told of how her great grandparents had two children who had died young, and they had then given two younger children the same names.  She had investigated this, and found that it was an Irish custom, to honor the children who had died, and ensure they weren’t forgotten.

This custom doesn’t appear to have been isolated to Ireland, but seems to be a fairly common practice in a number of countries.

Here are a few examples from my family tree.  I have many other examples of this:

Stephen Campkin and Rebecca Pewter had
Livesay Ann Campkin born 1 Jan 1830, died 16 Nov 1832 in Melbourn, Cambridgeshire, England
Liversay Ann Campkin christened 27 Jan 1833, buried 4 May 1844 in Melbourne, Cambridgeshire, England

David Andrew and Catherine Meiklejohn had
Barbara Andrews christened 22 Jan 1832 in Halkirk, Caithness, Scotland
Barbara Andrews christened 20 Oct 1833 in Halkirk, Caithness, Scotland
(Scotland only have a few burial records available, so I don’t have burial records for these)

Jean Guillaume Theisinger and Anna Margaretha Kayser had
Margaretha Theisinger christened 7 April 1809 in Katzweiler, Pfalz, Bayern, Germany
Margaretha Theisinger christened 12 April 1815 in Katzweiler, Pfalz, Bayern, Germany
(I don’t have burial records for these)

John Vaux and Joanna (Joan) Laver had:
William Vaux christened 15 March 1791 in South Petherton, Somerset, England, buried 1 Aug 1794 st South Pethertron
William Vaux christened 14 July 1796 in South Petherton, Somerset, England

1 thought on “Same name, different child”

  1. It’s not an Irish custom. It’s the same in The Netherlands. The children were usually named after a grandparent, so, when the child died, another child was given the same name – to honor the same grandparent. You could have 5 children with the name Jan or Pieter or Willem in one family. See also my blog post about my great-grandmother who had the name of an elder sibling:


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