[APG Public List] Newborn Given Temporary Name?

Donna McR donna316 at tx.rr.com
Sat Jul 31 11:11:33 MDT 2010

I need to add that the birth and death records of William Albert Fuller are not available, according to both death county and state.

He died in 1915, so I do not have many records at all to review.  I have reviewed all tax records, etc., at the courthouse and archived with the genealogical society.  Wills and/or probate records for him and his supposed parents are not available.



From: Donna McR 
Sent: Saturday, July 31, 2010 11:59 AM
To: APG Assn of Prof Genealogists 
Subject: Newborn Given Temporary Name?

Hello Friends------

I often come across a baby recorded as "Nameless" in censuses.  I realize the reasons for doing this.

This situation is not "Nameless," but I think it may be something akin.

The 1880 census of the household of Frank and Sallie Fuller [names changed for privacy] records a baby named John Fuller as born May 1880.

A John Fuller of this age never appears again, as far as I can tell from a thorough census search and search of other family documents.

I need to determine reasonably that William Albert Fuller, also born in May 1880 according to his tombstone, is the son of the couple above.  His parents' will and probate are not available, and their 1900 census is nowhere to be found (even after a thorough, downright obsessive search---definitely exhaustive).

In the 1880 census also appears Lena Fuller.  In 1910, I find William Albert (and wife) in the next dwelling listed after Lena, and a known brother to Lena recorded two dwellings down.

I have scoured the census of 1880 for another baby named William Fuller and find none that matches.  I have considered that William Albert Fuller may have been adopted from outside the family and even re-named, but I find no other male child born that month and year in the county or surrounding counties.

A file on the extended family held by the local genealogical society lists William Albert as Frank and Sallie's son, does not mention a birth for John Fuller, and makes no note of adoption (although the creator of the list might have just omitted that).

I have also looked for a William of the right age living with other family members in the counties and state from which they came.  No William there.

The infant John Fuller is recorded in this 1880 census as having been born in May 1880.  William Albert Fuller was born 25 May 1880.  The census was taken 2 June 1880.

This infant's grandfather was named John, and there were many in the extended family named John, although this particular couple never had another child named John.

For William Albert Fuller to be the biological son of Frank and Sallie, they would have to have changed his name from John Fuller to William Albert Fuller----or given the eight-days-old baby a temporary name to satisfy the census taker.

Do you know of cases when the parents just gave a child a temporary name for such a record as a census taken a few days after the child was born?

Warmest Regards,


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