Monday, February 6, 2017

Mrs. Mary Wright XX: Quaker naming patterns

😭I decided to take a look at Quaker naming patterns/customs to see if that would offer any insight into the project.

Several sites offered basically the same information:
1st son after the wife's  father.
1st daughter = husband's mother.
2nd son = husband's father.
2nd daughter = wife's mother.
3rd son = husband.
3rd daughter = wife.
Popular names: John, Joseph, Samuel, George, Thomas, William, Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Anna/Hannah, Jane, Catherine, Margaret, Phebe.

Remember, these are traditional naming patterns. There was nothing to stop the parents from juggling things around a bit.

James and Mary had the following children:

Mary* [for James' mother?]
Hannah* [for Mary's mother?]
Thomas* [for Mary's father?]
John* [for James' father?]
James Jr. [for James?]
Thomas (1st Thomas died young)

I think it's a fair bet that James, Jr. was named for his father. If James' father had been James, then Jr. would probably have been James III.

If Mary's parents were John Bowater & Mary Maunder, then the first daughter & 2nd son were named for her parents. If Mary's parents were James Davis & Margaret Jordan, why wasn't a daughter named Margaret? If neither Bowater or Davis? See the list above for options on both sets of parents.

As for James' parents, if we eliminate Mary & John from the mix, then Thomas & Hannah could be viable options for Mr. & Mrs. Wright.

If James & Mary totally ignored tradition, then we are left with Thomas, John & Isaac for the two fathers and Hannah, Martha, Elizabeth, Ann, Sarah & Lydia for the two mothers.

Seven of the children were given "common" Quaker names.

Note that Thomas died young and the third son following was also named Thomas. This could have been of some significance. If Thomas & John were the names of the couple's father, then the next son was named for his father. Thomas would have been repeated to insure that a son was named for both grandfathers.

As for the other children? They could have been named for godparents, siblings of the parents, aunts & uncles, etc.

What have we learned? James & Mary may or may not have followed standard Quaker naming customs. 

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