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

JFonkert at aol.com JFonkert at aol.com
Thu Aug 27 17:16:56 MDT 2009

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_ (mailto: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
Saint  Paul, MN

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