So many with the same name

Did a bit more on the “Robert Strachan Story” today, but kept getting in a bit of a tangle due to the same names occurring over and over again. The Scottish naming pattern can be very useful, but it also causes problems. Robert and Margaret had 9 children, and Robert had another 6 with his second wife, with 11 of his offspring having large families of their own. That means 11 boys named Robert after their grandfather, and at least 6 girls called Margaret.

It’s made me wonder how many of the most popular Strachan names are on my tree, so I’ve done a search and count (which thankfully my tree software has made easy). And the prizes go to:

John Strachan – 28
Jean, Jeanie or Jane Strachan – 24 (these 3 names were interchangeable)
Robert Strachan – 23
Agnes Strachan – 21
Margaret Strachan – 20 (also my middle name, so I no longer think it’s boring!)
Mary Strachan – 20
Janet Strachan – 18
Elizabeth Strachan – 17
Susan or Susannah Strachan – 17
Peter Strachan – 14
Henry Strachan – 13
Thomas Strachan – 13
William Strachan – 13
James Strachan – 11
Joseph Strachan – 10

No doubt the numbers will grow as I find more people who belong on my tree.

I must do this for my three other grandparents’ trees as there are clear regional and family differences.

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4 responses to “So many with the same name

  1. Love reading this, I’m struggling with a lot of George’s, William’s and John’s! Also my mother and her mother had exactly the same name at birth: May Annie Doris Cockett, so confusing to research!!

  2. Ancestors certainly weren’t very imaginative when it came to giving names, were they? And when the rare exception received an unusual name, nobody then knew how to spell it. I finally found an Amelia in the census as Maby. I think that might have been Milly said with a Scottish accent.

  3. Add to that the census transcribers who make mistakes. It’s a wonder you get anywhere!

    • There are some hilarious posts on RootsChat about census mistranscriptions. I’ve come across some corkers myself. Just today I found someone transcribed onto Ancestry as “agslap houseman”. That would be ag lab horseman, then.

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