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Scottish Naming

Is It a Clue?

One of my brick walls is James Crawford. Unfortunately, James is a common name and there seems to be multiple James Crawford families wherever my ancestor moves. Even though I’ve worked hard to separate the various families, I still haven’t been able to figure out how all of these James Crawfords might be related. Nor, have I been able to identify parents for my James Crawford.

Thus, I’m going back thru my research looking for clues that might help me make a breakthrough. One of those clues is the given name of Nelson.

To make sure I found all of the Nelsons, I ran a descendancy report for five generations and then searched for Nelson.

I also ran reports for James and Martha (Knight) Crawford, James and Rebecca (Anderson) Crawford and Alexander and Mary (McPheeters) Crawford. I did not find any Nelson Crawfords in those reports.

Thus, I’m wondering whether the name, Nelson, is a clue!

Using the Scottish naming convention, the given name might help me find the father of James.

  • The first son is named after the father’s father;
  • The second son is named after the mother’s father;
  • The third son is named after the father.
  • The first daughter is named after the mother’s mother;
  • The second daughter is named after the father’s mother
  • The third daughter is named after the mother.

If James Crawford followed the convention, then his father could be named Nelson.

So, is this a clue worth pursuing?





5 thoughts on “Scottish Naming

    • Yes, Nelson appears to be the only son of James. Unfortunately, if they did follow the convention, it seems to break down around the late 1800s.

  1. Always trust your gut–it sounds like you have the answer already! I also didn’t know about the Scottish naming convention–that’s really interesting, thanks for sharing!

    • Thanks for the response. It’s just a hunch. Unfortunately, all I’ve been able to find in regards to a potential father named Nelson Crawford is that the Nelson Crawford died unmarried. I guess I’ll just have to keep digging.

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