A caution when merging siblings.

+8 votes
Often we can find two siblilngs with the same name.  Sometimes they should NOT be merged.

Somewhere between 5% and 40% of families, (before 1900)  when an infant dies, will use the name again, whether to honor the grandparent (or aunt/uncle) for whom the child was named, or to remember the infant who couldn't survive.

Just be aware when you have to children with the same name that have birth days two to five years apart that probably the first one died before the second was born, that they are not duplicates.

Just one more thing to worry about.
in Genealogy Help by Tom Bredehoft G2G6 Pilot (200k points)
edited by Keith Hathaway
That's a very good point, Tom.

I think I've made this mistake myself.
I know of several families who gave children the same first name even though the first child was still living. This generally happened when the mother of the first set of children died and the father remarried. With all the names in the world, I don't know why they would do this, but I've come across at least three families where this was the case.
The German custom of using "love names"  to protect children from Satan can also cause confusion in that all boys and all girls in a family were given the same first names which was never spoken lest Satan hear it. They believed that Satan had to know a childs first name in order to take the child, so the children were adressed by thier second name which appears to be a middle name in documents.  So it would not be unusual to have a family with 4 boys all named Hans and 4 girls all named Anna, for example.  If a child dies the next one born of the same gender was given a new love name as it was assumed the first name had become compromised.   My grandmother had 7 cousins who were brothers all named Heinrich and she explained this to me when I was young.
I have seen that in a limited way in some of my father's family.  Heinrich Wilhelm and Heinrich Frederich. That makes some sense. Thanks.
Thanks Tom, Debby, Daniel

Love all this information about naming customs, one of the joys of WT never fails to provide food for thought.

When looking at theses siblings if possible comparing who they married my help distinguish, as dobs/dods are not that reliable. However further confusion reigns when as with some people married the sisters/brothers of deceased spouses and then re-used  the names of children with next set of offspring!

I guess when in doubt don't and follow Liz Shiffletts very helpful advice,


1 Answer

+2 votes
if you know this is the case, mark the pair as a rejected match and note this in the bio. (I would note it in both.)

This would be another place where a "reason" text box on a (rejected) match would be useful - see http://www.wikitree.com/g2g/22098/suggestion-add-text-box-to-unmerged-match-option
by Liz Shifflett G2G6 Pilot (579k points)

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