Full Names Please

I have a request I'd like to make to my ancestors: could you please, please use a middle initial, or middle name on your documents.  No, really, something that lets me know I'm looking at the right person.  Now, I have plenty of ancestors who did use a middle name or initial on everything: deeds, census info, draft cards, etc and I thank them for this.  But when your name is Thomas Powers a middle initial would be a good thing, same as John Mason. Really guys, come on. Add to that Thomas Powers was born in Ireland, well gee, thanks for narrowing down the field to a few hundred for me.

I realize my ancestors didn't know I was going to come along and start digging in their business, if they had I'm sure they would have left a neatly written autobiography for me, but since I don't have the autobiography a middle name/initial would be great. I will keep digging away at Thomas and I will find something, someday, and the search will have paid off; but that doesn't mean I can't keep wishing that he would drop a clue or two my way.


  1. I think it very nervy of our ancestors not to have considered this for their descendants!! I have a Robert Marshall in every generation, and all except my grandfather are without middle names. It wasn't that they didn't use them, they didn't have one! Robert Marshall is a very, very common name in Scotland.

    I came across another situation with my paternal grandmother. I didn't know her father's name when I first started researching her family. My grandmother's name was Helen Devlin but she was always called Nellie. She was born in 1892 in Auchinleck, Scotland. I thought I had found her in the 1901 Scotland census until I found another Nellie Devlin born in 1892 in Auchinleck, Scotland, but to a different set of parents! Turns out they were cousins, born a month apart - only problem was that I still didn't know which one was my grandmother because I didn't know who her father was!


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