[APG Public List] 19th century middle initials and names

Melinda Henningfield mhenningfield at gmail.com
Thu Aug 27 23:02:51 MDT 2009


Jay,

I have also been researching a John C. ____ in Kentucky and Missouri.
He was born about 1793, so he is about 16 years younger. After
examining numerous records, I found the "C." written out only once. I
found it in a deed of gift from his father to him when he was a young
man. His middle name, Cotton, was his mother's maiden surname.

Good luck, it just might be out there.

Melinda Henningfield

On Thu, Aug 27, 2009 at 4:16 PM, <JFonkert at aol.com> wrote:
> Thank you, Tom.  So many possibilities.  I have a theory (little more) for
> the parents of my man.  If I am correct, the "C." could stand for Craig, the
> maiden surname of the mother.  However, I have only circumstantial evidence
> at this point.  I have found various records from Kentucky, Indiana and
> Virginia that consistently show the "C" middle initial, but nothing to
> suggest what it might have stood for.  I will receive copies of some court
> records in the next few days that might possibly give further hints to the
> man's family relationships.
>
> Jay F.
>
> In a message dated 8/27/2009 5:56:48 P.M. Central Daylight Time,
> Tom at JonesResearchServices.com writes:
>
> This is a question that may be more likely answered the other way around ---
> when a likely eponym is discovered, you'll have evidence for deducing the
> middle name, rather than being able to use it to discover kinship ties. Born
> about 1777 and in Kentucky by 1795, this man was likely a Virginian. I've
> seen relatively few middle names and initials, especially for men, in the
> time and place. Nearly all are namesakes. For most colonial Virginians the
> eponym was just about as likely to be a prominent neighbor or official as a
> relative.
>
> Does your man have a Germanic surname? Virginians born into families
> connected to German-speaking Europe might be more likely to have a middle
> name than most Virginians, but theirs could be the name of a saint,
> relative, godparent, or all three. In a few cases a middle initial may
> signify the father's or mother's surname, if the man was illegitimate or for
> some other reason experienced ambiguity about his surname. I've also seen
> rare instances where a middle initial abbreviated the first part of a
> complicated surname ---- John S. Barger for John Shufflebarger. If your man
> was born a few decades later with the first name of John, and depending on
> the parents' religion, the middle initial C might have stood for Calvin. In
> any case, a middle initial that does not abbreviate a name would be highly
> unusual in eighteenth-century Virginia. ---- Tom
>
>
>
> jfonkert at aol.com wrote:
>
> Good morning to all.  I am working on a man who lived in Kentucky from about
> 1795-1825, probably born about 1777.  Throughout this Kentucky period, he
> was consistently known with the middle initial "C."   A full middle name is
> never spelled out.  Can anyone tell me, is it likely that "C." stood for a
> middle given name?  Or might it have just been an initial?
>
>
> Jay Fonkert, CG
>
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> Jay Fonkert, CG
> http://fourgenerationsgenealogy.blogspot.com/
> Saint Paul, MN
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