If the father is the IV in line with no middle names, can his son with a middle name be V?

+3 votes
[[Hinton-961|John W. Hinton]] is the son of [[Hinton-613|John Hinton IV]].  Can he be number V, i.e. ‘John W. Hinton V’, or does the middle name disqualify him?
in Genealogy Help by Betty Gerlack G2G1 (1.1k points)
Technically, except for royalty, Sr/Jr/III etc. only applies to simultaneously-living people. Of course, that's not how families use it, but that actually turns out to be the key: the question isn't whether he qualifies or not, but whether he used it or not. If he did, then write it in. If not, don't.

1 Answer

+8 votes
Best answer
If there is evidence that he was called John W. Hinton V in his lifetime, then he should be entered in wikitree as John W. Hinton V. Absent that evidence, the suffix should not be used.
by Stu Bloom G2G6 Mach 7 (74.9k points)
selected by Susan Smith

Thanks.  Since no one in this line had roman numerals during their lifetime, they need to be removed.  Will do that. Fortunately there was a Col, a Major, and a senator so easily identified.

For other lines, such as farmers, it’s more complicated. A Jr. becomes a Sr. who has a Jr. who becomes a Sr., and on and on, no middle names or titles.  By the 3rd generation it starts creating problems, even worse by the 5th.  That’s where genealogists use of roman numerals really helps.  How should that be handled?

I'm not sure what the official WikiTree policy is. My own practice is to only put Jr. in the "Suffix" data section if the child is so called in the birth record. In the biography, I only use Jr. and Sr. if those terms are in the record I am citing; for example, if a man is called Joseph Brown Sr. in his death record, in the ===Death=== section of the biography I call him that, or if he is called Thomas Smith III in his marriage record, in the ===Marriage=== section I call him that.

It can get somewhat confusing when working with the records of colonial New England (and perhaps other venues) when all the men living in a particular town with the same name were given numbers according to their birthdates, regardless of relationship. In Berwick, Maine, for example, there was an older Nathan Lord, and then Nathan Lords born in 1710, 1718, 1723, and 1724,(one of them the son of the elder Nathan) and they are identified variously in some records as Nathan Lord I, Ii, III, IV, and V.

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