Were the suffixes Sr. and Jr. ever used when a grandson was named after his grandfather?

+3 votes
I believe, technically, they would be I and II.  But I see them in an Enumeration of Male Voters record (1891, Tennessee) with Sr. and Jr. after their names (I believe it is in relation to each other).  All info I have points to them being grandfather and grandson.

Since this is not a ''legal'' document.  My thinking was, it could be a casual reference to distinguish them from each other for the enumerator.  Or the enumerator used the Sr. and Jr. instead of the I and II in error.  

Also, this record is the only document I have seen with any suffix used at all after these two individuals (no record of middle name for either person).  And no other documentation indicates they may be father and son.  The apparent father of the Jr. is also listed on the record with no suffix (as expected).  

Needless to say, I'd rather conclude that the suffixes were used in error, than conclude that I have to start over.  But I want to be as certain as possible about their relationships!  

Any input?  

Thank you!  

P.S. Still have docs to attach.
WikiTree profile: John Carden
in Requests for Project Volunteers by Mary Cole G2G6 Pilot (101k points)
retagged by Ellen Smith
That happens, not so often, but it's not unusual for a non-direct (and/or out of order) descendant to carry-on the sequence of Jr, III, IV, etc.  I have it a few times in my family.

Okay Vincent, thank you!  I won't place too much importance on the issue, in this case anyway.  I doubt they did! : P 

5 Answers

+3 votes
It seems to be an American practice, as I have never seen it done here in Australia. Britain seems to have followed "the younger". I am sure it is not a legal term in any case, just an assistance in every day life.
by Susan Scarcella G2G6 Mach 6 (69.5k points)
Susan, thank you.  Just to clarify your meaning.  In your opinion...."John Carden Sr. and John Carden Jr." could still be grandfather and grandson.  Is that correct?  

I have only seen it for father and son, but it in families and family history, anything is possible. Especially if grandfather and grandson were alive at the same time and could possibly be mistaken for each other in business.
+4 votes
I have not seen it for Grandfather and grandson BUT I have seen it for father and son.  It is noticeable in Trove (newspapers Australia)  at times to distinguish relationships when discussing family members in Funeral notices etc.  My hubby is a senior and his son a Junior - often just called J R to distinguish the two Ashley's, but the Sr and Jr are not on any legal documents.  My uncle however was always known as Joseph Walton Wray 111.(spoken as 'the third').
by Rionne Brooks G2G6 Mach 5 (58.4k points)
My husband is a third, III. In reality he would have been a fifth, V, if his gt grandfather had the family name.
+2 votes
I've not only seen it for In my Evanses in old PA censuses with a III where there were three David Evanses on the same page.  In this case there was David Evans Sr, his son David Evans Jr and David Evans III or 3rd who was the son of Abraham, the son of David Evans Sr.  This particular David Evans was essentually the same age as his uncle George Washington Evans and David's son Bethuel showed up next door to Washington in Ohio later on which confused me when starting out in genealogy and I had him as Washington's son which you might still find in some trees of the family.
by Dave Dardinger G2G6 Pilot (407k points)
There are actually two sets of John Carden Sr.'s and John Carden Jr.'s on this same record.  I don't yet know the story of the other set.  Hope I'm not in for more surprises.  Right now I am comfortable with keeping them as grandfather and grandson.  I suspect they weren't very concerned with the proper use of suffixes themselves.  

By the way.  This record is great!  I am easily able to distinguish several of my male ancestors in these two districts on record.  It seems quite accurate.  Having them all present on the same page simplifies things.
+4 votes
I was surprised to learn that Sr. and Jr. were used in England c1600s for two unrelated men with the same name.  An older Christopher Smith was called Sr. and the younger, unrelated Christopher Smith was Jr.
by Kitty Smith G2G6 Pilot (536k points)
Hi Kitty ~

Sorry if this is out of context.  But if the two men are not related to each other.  I would assume Smith Sr. was Sr. to a younger family member of the same name.  And Smith Jr. was Jr. to his older family member of the same name.  The suffixes are not in relation to each other at all.  

Or are you stating something you know to have been practiced in England during the 1600's.  I may have misunderstood you.
This was in Stratfod Upon Avon.  It appears that there were a couple of Christopher Smith families in the town and they were referred to as Sr. And Jr. althought they were different families.  I do not know if this was a common occurence, or if it was a one instance to separate a common name in a small town.
I see.  Well that gives me something else to ponder here.


I see this now and then in olden Sweden, two unrelated men in the same village bearing the same name and being noted down as äldre and yngre. Äldre Per Andersson in Björka does not even have to be much older than yngre Per Andersson in Björka. I don't consider this as part of their name. Just a convenience.

Kitty already hit the point I was going to add : that senior and junior do not always mean the people are related, and is just used as a way to disambiguate two people of the same name... Most commonly I see this in city directories. In a way it's similar to how wills will sometimes refer to people as 'cousin' in the wider sense (that we are all related somehow), rather than the narrow sense (child of an uncle or aunt)
+3 votes
I have seen this to distinguish not only grandfather's, but also for uncle's, where text clearly state something like

Joseph Jr., son of Samuel, was called Jr. to distinguish him from his father's brother Joseph of the same town, or called Joseph Jr, to distinguish him from his grandfather Joseph Sr.
by Chris Hoyt G2G6 Pilot (721k points)

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