52 Ancestors Week 25 - Same Name

+15 votes

AJC - Were you named after an ancestor or maybe you just happen to have the same name as someone in your family tree? Is there a name that keeps getting repeated? You could also write about how you sorted out an ancestor from someone else with the same name.

in The Tree House by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
I once got mixed up with multiple men named Zophar--had a son listed as his own uncle, I think. Not a name you hear much lately.
25. My most interesting to date is Mozambique President Samora Machel who died in 1986.and yet I find a once off namesake in USA in 1993 with no other appearances that I can find. Is this an honest namesake? or some type of conspiracy??

30 Answers

+12 votes
The one name that was repeated several times in my family was the name of Thomas Fairbairn. It was repeated 4 consecutive times to be precise, but only 3 of them are in my direct line.

Thomas Fairbairn Number 1 is the oldest known that we know of. He was born in 1774 in Fifeshire, Scotland, and he married Jean Lowson. He was my 4x great grandfather



The next Thomas Fairbairn was born in Fifeshire in 1805 and he married Anne Mackie. My 3x Great grandfather



The 3rd Thomas Fairbairn was born in Fife in 1827. He married Betty Simpson. They had 3 children before they got married and after they got married the whole family immigrated to New Zealand. My 2x great grandfather



The 4th and final Thomas Fairbairn was born in New Zealand in 1858 and he married Margaret Lumb. This Thomas was not my ancestor. Instead I am descended from his sister Elizabeth. She was my great grandmother. This man would have been my great great uncle - I think.

by Robynne Lozier G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
edited by Robynne Lozier
+13 votes
Example 1) the Neal surname. It was my grandmother’s maiden name, and seven of her descendants, male and female, carry it, including my daughter.

Example 2) G-g-grandfather was Jacob, his son Jacob Sidney, and that was all she wrote. Some descendants got Jake, and not as a nickname. There three straight generations with Ralph Sidney. Lots of different branches carry these names.

 My mother wanted to name me after her uncle whose birthday I landed in, but dad didn’t like it. Dad wanted John, but his brother beat him to it. My cousin John was born three months before me.
by Pip Sheppard G2G Astronaut (2.6m points)
+15 votes
I was born near Christmas. So, that's the not so secret origin of my first name. My brother and my father are both named James and my dad's grandfather was named Vincenzo. Vincenzo is James in Italian. Don't ask me how. It's complicated.

What's funny is that the names Vincenzo and Marco alternated for centuries in the Ferraiolo line. My grandfather was named Marco. His father was Vincenzo. Vincenzo's father was Marco etc. Usually in Italian families, the firstborn son takes the father's name. Not so much here. It's funny how it alternates like that.

I worked everything out by using the dates the commune office gave me. That was helpful.
by Chris Ferraiolo G2G6 Pilot (711k points)
My half Italian wife had a uncle Vincenzo, call Jim by almost everyone except my sister-in-law. When she was about 4, she answered the door and announced “Uncle Bobby’s here”. Throughout their childhood, my wife and her sister referred to him as Uncle Bobby. Kids say the darnest things.
My dad's been trying to figure out how Vincenzo became James for ages. There was an article about it in an Italian American magazine his cousin had laying around the house. I read it and it didn't have any definitive reason for it.

Every Italian family has an "Uncle Bobby" so this story made me laugh. =D Thanks for sharing!
+13 votes

When I first discovered WikiTree, my gggg grandfather Samuel Sands born in 1744 in Biddeford was conflated with Samuel Sands born in 1723 at Sands Point, New York. It was a journey through several Ephraim and Samuel to figure this all out.

Ephraim Sands b. 1720 lived in what is now Buxton, Maine.

His son Ephraim Sands  was born about 1743 and also lived in Buxton. He married Elizabeth Ayer 11 Aug 1774. Living in Buxton, they had a son Samuel born in 1777 and a son Ephraim born in 1782 in Buxton. This Ephraim was known as the "4th" and married Mary Bradbury in Buxton.

Another son (my gggg grandfather) Samuel Sands  was born in 1744 in Buxton. He married (a different) Mary Bradbury 5 Nov 1767. They had a son Samuel Sands who was baptized in 1779 in Buxton. Samuel and Mary also had a son Ephraim Sands born 1767 in Buxton, who married Abigail Ayer 20 Oct 1791. The Ephraim born in 1767 had a son Samuel Sands born 31 Aug 1800 in Buxton and a son Ephraim Sands born 14 Aug 1813 in Buxton.

Did I lose you yet? That is 5 different Ephraim Sands and 3 different Samuel Sands.

The Samuel Sands born in 1744 and his son Ephraim born in 1767 moved from Buxton to near the village of Jordan in the town of Elbridge, Onondaga County, New York in 1817. Ephraim's 6 sons, including Samuel and Ephraim moved with them.

by Kay Knight G2G6 Pilot (563k points)
+11 votes

My 3x Great grandfather Richard Phillpott Phillpott-21 had two sons George Phillpott Phillpott-22 and William Frederick Phillpott Phillpott-20.

George Phillpott had a son named George Phillpott Phillpott-23 and a grandson George Edward Marcus Phillpott Phillpott-24

George's brother William Frederick had a son William John Phillpott Phillpott-18 and a Grandson William Henry John Phillpott Phillpott-17

But the most surprising thing is that Edward Marcus Phillpott and William Henry John Phillpott both had daughters with the same name, born just a few years apart - one is my mum, the other is my 4th cousin's mum...and I discover that my 4th cousin lived in the same town my mum was born (even though his mum was born in a different county). My 4th cousin now lives half way round the world and I live just a couple of miles from where our ancestor Richard Phillpott was born.




by Michelle Wilkes G2G6 Pilot (160k points)
+9 votes
Hard decision. I could do it on the 6 generations named John Ogden. They are not all father and son; but in successive generations (uncle-nephew). A couple of them are sea captains. ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogden-947 ) was my 10-greats uncle. ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogden-588 ) was my 8-greats grandfather. ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogden-855 ) was my 8-greats uncle. ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogden-973 ) was my 7-greats uncle. ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogden-45 ) was my 6-greats uncle.  ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Ogden-186 ) was my cousin 6 times removed.

Instead, I am going to cover the apparently Swiss German tradition of giving all the children same first names (generally that of the mother and father), and calling them by their middle names. The first names are generally dropped, at least in everyday usage.

My 5-greats grandparents, Hans Peter Wampfler ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampfler-5 ), born in France but his parents were from Switzerland) and his wife, Anna Veronica Lung ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Lung-5 ) had at least 9 children. The boys all had the first name Hans: Hans Peter ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampfler-30 ), Hans Michael ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampler-16 ), Hans Adam ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampler-59 ), Hans George ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampfler-1 ). The girls were: Anna Magdalena (https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampler-78 ), Anna Veronica ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampler-104 ), Anna Barbara ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampler-99 ), Anna Elizabeth ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampler-98 ), and Anna Catharina ( https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Wampler-97 ).

Hans Peter (the father) was probably named after his father Johann Christian Wampfler, and Anna Veronica Lung was named after her mother, Anna Elizabetha Wildermuth.

This is not the only example of this in my family, but the ones who did this were all of Swiss or German heritage.

by Alison Gardner G2G6 Mach 7 (78.5k points)
edited by Alison Gardner
+13 votes
Sarah Rice, Sarah Rice, Sarah Rice, Sarah Rice, Sarah Rice, Sarah Rice, Sarah Rice, Sarah Rice …

Yes, this is my name. I was named after my Great-Grandmother who was Sara Agnes Palmer and became a Rice when she married William Rice. William Rice is the most common male name in my Rice family. Sarah Rice is the second most common name right after Mary Rice.

Luckily not all the Sarah Rices were living at the same time! I didn’t count the Sarah’s with different surnames or those Sarahs that went by Sally.

The strangest experience I had with the name Sarah Rice was being in a cemetery and reading my name on the headstone. It felt a bit eerie. It was then I decided that when I die, I am going to get buried next to her just to make people do a double take.

The coolest thing about being a Sarah Rice is that my brother named my niece after me. She is Sarah Rice too (not 2). When we are together it can create confusion. I took her bowling once and at the counter the clerk asked what names to put on the roster. I said “Sarah”, he says, “What about her?” pointing to my niece. I again said, “Sarah”.  He said, “How about last names?”, I said, “Rice”, he just looked at me like I was lying, and he wasn’t sure what to do. For clarity sake we used middle initials, since they are different.

I have found that all the Sarah Rices that I researched have all been rather strong women. It makes me proud to carry the name.
by Sara Rice G2G6 Mach 1 (13.8k points)
+9 votes

My second great grandmother was Mary Dally (Dolly) Battiscombe (  https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Battiscombe-60 )  1819 - 1881.

  Her Battiscombe ancestors can be traced back to at least the 14th century.  Her father was an alderman, Mayor of Bridport (Dorset), and part owner of the Bridport Brewery (now Palmers).  She was the only surviving child, and inherited a small fortune, a few years before she died.  When she died in 1881 (surviving her husband by a couple of years) her 6 surviving children all benefitted.

Her eldest son, William Cecil Gunn, named one of his sons William Battiscombe Gunn.

Her second son, George, named his first child (my grandfather) Battiscombe George Gunn (know as Jack).

Jack hated the first name Battiscombe, and the resulting nickname "Batty".

None the less, he named his son (my father) John Battiscombe Gunn.  At age 5 he announced he would only respond to "Iain" (or "Ian"), and he was known professionally as J. B. Gunn.  As children we were absolutely forbidden to tell ANYONE what the "B" in "J. B. Gunn" stood for.

In recent times, my sister  named one of her horses Battiscombe.

The other "same name" of note in my family tree is a pair of first cousins named William Stone, born circa 1815.  It was very difficult sorting out which was which, and there were several other William Stone's in the area which further complicated the situation


by Janet Gunn G2G6 Pilot (144k points)

In hindsight, I realize I already told eh Battiscombe story under "Favorite Name".

So instead, I will expand on the William Stones of Mersham, Kent, and the surrounding area.

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William Stone (abt. 1737) Mersham, Kent


His nephew


William Stone (1780), Mersham, Kent


His son


William Stone (1814 - 1895), Mersham, Kent


His cousin


William Stone (1816 - 1824), Aldington, Kent


Another cousin


William Stone (1821), Mersham, Kent


His son


William Stone (1851 - bef. 1903), Mersham, Kent


His son


William George Stone (1887), Kingsnorth, Kent


His second cousin once removed


William Stone (1846), Hackney, Middlesex


Another second cousin once removed


William Stone (1847), Sellinge, Kent


Another second cousin once removed


William Stone (1871 - 1876), Doddington, Kent

+9 votes

In the process of poking around the extended family tree, it seemed most namesakes only carried down about three generations.  However, I did find some “famous” namesakes. There are probably even more as I’m missing a lot of middle names so some of the Georges and Benjamins may have been Washington and Franklin.  Was this a United States 19th Century fad as that is the period they all date from? 

It was fun to see how many I could find. I wonder what inspired the parents to choose some of these names.  I’m sure I missed a few whose fame was fleeting and I didn’t recognize as notables.   

U.S. Presidents:George Washington Wilkinson; George Washington Hiram Hart; Washington Warren Hart and Worthy Washington Hart (brothers); Spencer Washington Stout; John Monroe Holley; Monroe Scougale; Thomas Jefferson Smedley; Martin Van Buren Hart; William Henry Harrison Thorpe; William Harrison Merritt; Harrison Perry; Benjamin Harrison Chapin.

Notable Political/Military:Benjamin Franklin Bly (whose sons were Benjamin Franklin and Winfield Scott Bly); Benjamin Rush Wells; Fremont Holley; Stephen A. Douglas Lane; Dewitt Perry (Probably Dewitt Clinton).

Religion:Charles Wesley Chapin; Melancthon LeMunyon, Martin Luther Matthews; Billings O. Plympton Wright (apparently well-known at the time minister in Ohio area, but didn’t rate Wikipedia).

Other:Charles Darwin Lehman; John Milton Perry; William Emerson Richardson; Lafayette Thompson and Claudius Thompson (brothers); Israel Putnam Heisler Wilmerton.

I’m going with Billings O. Plympton Wright as the “official” ancestor for this week (I will be adding him).  I’ve found some places his name is recorded as “B.O.P. Wright” and finally at least one where it was all spelled out.  I had spent some time looking for Plympton family connections until I found the entire name and some information about Rev. Plympton as Mr. Wright seems to have used Plympton as his given name not Billings. 

by Jill Perry G2G6 Mach 4 (43.1k points)
Added BOP's profile, plan to do additional editing when I get time.  And, maybe some more research since time has passed since I last worked with him.
Wow! That's a lot of luminaries! lol Maybe it was a trend at the time.
I have a bunch of George Washingtons also, among my distant cousins and in-laws: George Washington Eggleston, G. W. Goble, G. W. Ott, G. W. Painter, G. W. Rivir, and G. W. Tuttle. And an Andrew Jackson Winebrenner, Thomas Jefferson Kilgore, and Benjamin Franklin Edsall. All in the 1800's. Must have been a fad.
+8 votes

I remembered from a while ago adding an ancestor named Thomas Jefferson Marr, and wondering what that was about. He was from a Loyalist family. His father was raised in Markham, Ontario and his immediate relatives were a major military branch of the tree, They fought against the Americans in the War of 1812. Well, what a depressing little journey this week was! He ended up dying as a prisoner in Andersonville, Georgia. I'd heard about this place from watching Finding Your Roots, I think. It literally turns the stomach to think how awful it was for these poor young boys. So sad. Anywho, here's my blog post  for the week! :)http://www.libbyonthelabel.ca/2018/06/52-ancestors-week-24-same-name_22.html#.Wy3G_NVtVEw.link

by Libby Park G2G6 Mach 1 (17.9k points)
+8 votes
Aris Woodham was a popular old family name.  I have two great uncles and five cousins several times removed with that name. The oldest of the bunch was Aris Woodham Sr who was born in 1771 in North Carolina.  He was the brother of my direct ancestor, Edward Harley Woodham Sr.

by Carolyn Martin G2G6 Pilot (266k points)
+8 votes
When I started doing my own research instead of just copying what was out there already, I was at the Daughters of the Utah Pioneers museum in Salt Lake City. If you are a member, back then you could go into the back where they have histories they could bring out for you to read. I asked for a 2nd great grandfather's file and was brought out a manila envelope. One of the items enclosed was for a history of Sarah Evaline Prince Hall, my great grandmother. Unfortunately it was not her history. I was for a Sarah Evaline Prince that lived in another county and also married a Hall. I pointed out to the librarian that this was not the correct file for this history and then had to research how she was related to me. They were cousins and born about nine months apart. In the years since, I have visited her grave site and in just the last few weeks found a dna match that is her grand daughter. I wrote her to warn her about the two Sarahs. :)
by Regina Hall G2G6 Mach 2 (25.6k points)
+5 votes

Well, I've gotten a bit(!) behind on my 52 Ancestors posts - the last one I did was Week 13! I had to decide whether to keep numbering them sequentially, or to stick to the week numbers of the challenge. I’ve decided on the latter, so I've now done Ancestor #25, and I'll try to fill in the gaps before the end of the challenge (I've got some vacation time coming up, so that should help!)

So, for this week's prompt, I went with my 3g grandfather, William Lockhart. This fits the prompt in two ways - firstly, he had the same name as my father (well, at least as my father's given names - my dad was William Lockhart Cooper), and secondly, the parents that most people have attributed to him had another son of the same name. While that's not uncommon, it's usually because one of them died. In this case, they both lived until adulthood.

Here's my blog post:


by Leanne Cooper G2G6 Mach 3 (36.8k points)
Good to see you back in action, Leanne.
+5 votes
My ancestor James Gould, Gould-2742, married Sophia Payne, whose family came from Connecticut.

Their son William Gould married Sophia Magdelena Boutilier, whose family came from Etoben, France.

Two Sophia Goulds, from different families.  An unusual mix.
by Janine Barber G2G6 Pilot (216k points)
+5 votes
I’m named for my father, and Robert is my youngest son’s middle name. My wife thought 2 Bob’s was enough, then my youngest sister married a Robert. There are several names that repeat but usually only for 3 or 4 generations. Warren is one of them. My 2g-gu, Warren was discharged from the Union Army due to disease, and died shortly after. Several of his brothers named sons for him, and a number of later sons had it as a middle name.
by Bob Keniston G2G6 Pilot (249k points)
edited by Bob Keniston
+7 votes

One of my favorite names that repeats in the Mix family is "Titus"

Saint Paul, who wrote all those letters (epistles) in the Bible wrote one to Titus, who was organizing the church in Crete.

Titus Mixes on Wikitree.

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
+6 votes
The Harlan's have Thomas, James, George, Michael, and William  throughout the line. My father, grandfather, brother and nephew's given names are James. My brother's other son's name is Michael. I have a great-uncle William. The funny thing is, no one knew anything about our ancestors when naming their children. Maybe it is encoded in their DNA? :)
by Lori Harlan G2G6 Mach 1 (15.3k points)
+5 votes

Not only am I behind, but I'm blogging about Ancestor's and not checking if it's a topic on the list. Had to go back and edit my last blog to include the #52Ancestors tag, and going back to check any of the others. 

This blog: "The Which Hannah Billings is It Triangle" deals with how I started with two Hannah Billings that became two Hannah (Williams) Billings and the real Hannah Billings.

The original Hannah Billings, Hannah (Williams) Putnam aka Billings, and Hannah (Williams) Billings.

by T Counce G2G6 Mach 6 (68.9k points)
+4 votes

I have a number of Penny (Penney or Pennie)  men with the same names for generations.  This includes Alexander (12), James (25), John (20), and William.(29).  However I spent years working to untangle which John Penny was the father of William born in 1842 to John Penny and Susan Dunn.  In fact, a team of Penny line researchers spanning several countries and continents over a period of over 10 years worked on untangling this line. These included: Katherine Blake now deceased, Allana Inglis, Betty Mathers of New Zealand, Isabelle Thompson who is also a Family History Center Volunteer in Australia, Bob Marquis, Kate Wheeler, Maureen Burr, Angus Aitken, Sally Walton, David Wass, Randi Harrow, Ann Ritchie now deceased, DeLories R. Vaughn, Ella Kerr McElroy of Canada, Marjorie Pennie now deceased, Ruth Pennie Tonkin now deceased, Elizabeth Crawford, and members of the rootsweb Aberdeenshire Scotland list.

Many thought it was the John married to Mary Trail as William gave two of his children the middle name of Trail.  But we eventually found his mother, Susan Dunn.  Susan is listed as a servant aged 15 on the 1841 census of Rathen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. John is also listed as age 15 in 1841. This would have made them 15 or 16 at the time of William's birth and it appear it was illigitemate. The census has them living at a farm called Hallmoss in Rathen, Aberdeenshire, Scotland. The IGI has him at 19 but we know birth for this time period for census can be off by 5 years or so. Sheena shows Susan married William Trail and she shows up in a Census 1881 with William's daughter living with her so we know this is the right Susan ,Trail now instead of Dunn. William Penny's daughter, Susan A Penny is living with her. The birth years and location matches. At this time Susan Dunn Trail is living at 80 High Street, Fraserburgh, Scotland. Susan A(nn) Penny is listed as a general servant on this census. Susan has 4 men boarding there, all listed as Coopers...2 Urquharts, 1 Clark, and 1 McGregor.

So we were able to prove that the correct John was the son of the farmer Susan worked for.  So https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Penny-995 is the father of William.

by Laura Bozzay G2G6 Pilot (789k points)

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