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It can appear as if the names in a family have not been chosen at random, and the question we ask is 'Have they followed a particular Naming Convention, and if so, what is it?'.

One explanation can be that some families choose from the same small pool of names from generation to generation. They may be meticulous: 'the first son is always named Alexander, the second, William...' and so on; or in no discernible order, with abundant Roberts, Johns and Samuels.

At times we come across a child with a middle name that is a surname, or the mother's maiden name. Many families have used a forebear's maiden name as a middle name for their children, but this is personal preference, not convention. Nor is it by any means guaranteed to be a family member's name. So while assuming that David John HALLAM's mother was someone HALLAM may occasionally be true, to always assume so would be a mistake. It may be the surname of a previous benefactor the parents wish to honour, or someone they simply admire or respect. Although certain families may choose and follow their own naming conventions, there are no prevailing naming patterns for most of the UK. However there is one convention strongly followed in Scotland and by families elsewhere, usually those with some Scottish ancestry. This standard convention named the:

  • First son
                    after the Father's Father

  • Second son
                    after the Mother's Father

  • Third son
                    after the Father

  • First daughter
                    after the Mother's Mother

  • Second daughter
                    after the Father's Mother

  • Third daughter
                    after the Mother
 
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