In my research both North and South of the border I have found two naming traditions and both slightly different – the Scottish tradition being the stronger.
My Riach family were a follower of this tradition and certainly did follow in the ‘naming traditions’ into quite modern times.
If you are John and your father was John and guess what ? So was your grandfather and greatgrandfather, please tell me how you are supposed to know which John married who. As a result of this tradition, in my family tree I have over 40 John’s born within a 10 year period with John being the father. The majority of these John’s are descendants of a John.
So, you know that a Janet Grant for example, married a John Riach, son of John but which John Riach. I know a place is also a good help when trying to eliminate the wheat from the chaf but when the family are in such a close proximity to the other Riach lot – all related, you tend, well I tend to have a lot of John Riach’s with either no wife attached or a lot of notes saying ‘possible wife’.
In many cases a certificate is not always going to help as the fathers name is only listed, and a baptismal/christening entry in the Parish Registers may help a little by giving the mothers name. But here we go again, as a lot of the mothers names are the same.
I seem to remember saying to one of my ladies on a help desk ‘it’s easy when you know how’ – I lied, big time!!
But, saying all this and moaning at the number of people with the same name born within a very short time of each other – cousins, 2nd cousins and so on, sometimes it does help – I promise.
To have a look at the Scottish Naming Traditions click here
To look at the English Naming Traditions click here