?Should we Remove the middle name from Maj. Gen. Israel Putnam?

+4 votes
When I started working on cleaning up the family of General Israel Putnam, several of his unmerged profiles had the middle name Thomas. Gut feeling was to disagree with the middle name, but I left it for the moment. I now have a definite reason to remove. I'd like to open some discussion. I've added the following to the end of his profile.

=== Middle Name? Thomas ? ===

In the early 1700's people rarely had middle names. Why and where did Israel acquire his middle name. It's not on his birth or death record or on any, located, contemporary documents, and yet here in the 21st century it exists.

Go to Eben Putnam's History of the Putnam Family pg 89 [http://books.google.com/books/reader?id=YN4UAAAAYAAJ&printsec=frontcover&output=reader&source=gbs_atb_hover&pg=GBS.PA89 at Google books] or at Archive.org. What's there at the top of the page (and on other pages in the section on Israel)? ''' "Israel (Thomas) Putnam" ''' Eureka! EXCEPT, Thomas is in parentheses and refers to the fact that his second generation Putnam ancestor was Thomas. Eben Putnam used it as a way of keeping track of the family. If you look at other pages you will see similar headings always with the second generation ancestor listed in parentheses. Someone, sometime, thought it was his middle name, used it as such, and it has clung ever since.

Conclusion: Major General Israel Putnam did not have a middle name.
WikiTree profile: Israel Putnam
asked in Genealogy Help by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1m points)
Good job, Anne, negative documentation is valid.

1 Answer

+2 votes
Best answer
Go with your Gut feeling.  The extensive research you have done on him, is valid as documented proof.  Add this synopsis as a note on his biography and take the middle name off of his name.
answered by Mary H. G2G6 Mach 7 (78.2k points)
selected by Anne B
My grandmother was Florence Gertrude Putnam.  I have the family traced back to 1048.  I also have a few other publications for the Putnam family.  I have found many new cousins.  If I can be of any assistance, please email me at daclayton@dtccom.net.

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