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19 Jun 2022

Popular name: Week 24 - 52 Ancestors

 A family of Georges

George William Tucker (1856-1924)
Until the late 19th century when parents began using names they liked rather than names that were traditional, there was a regular naming pattern within Anglo-Saxon families.  The oldest son was named after their paternal grandfather, the next son after his father, the next after his maternal grandfather.  Some families also included the maiden surname of their mother or grandmother as a middle name.  As genealogists, we find these middle names very helpful indeed.

Not so helpful is the sparing use of middle names in families.  Cousins will often have the same name and they married women called Mary or Elizabeth or Sarah.  Very frustrating trying to sort out who was who.

In my ancestral lines, the name George appears time and time again, especially in my Tucker (paternal) tree.  From the early 18th century there is a William, then a George with a brother William, then a William with a brother George. The father-in-law was often a George as well.

I suppose the two names common in my family commenced as a tribute to William of Orange - William III - who succeeded to the throne together with his wife Mary of Orange in 1689 and George 1 who succeeded in 1714.  This probably explains the popularity of Mary and Elizabeth as common family names too.

My brother -  the only remaining male Tucker - has George as a third name.  My father was Robert Sydney George and Robert's father was Sydney George Tucker (1882-1919).  Robert's maternal grandfather was also Robert.  Sydney's brother Albert received William as his third name.

Beyond that, my Tucker ancestors did not have a second name - they were:
  • George Tucker (1832-1914) whose younger brother was William
  • George Tucker (1802-1881) whose oldest brother was William
  • William Tucker (1764-1833) whose oldest brother was George
  • William Tucker (1728-1784) who married Mary Goulding.   Her Goulding ancestors were also William and George.  His Tucker ancestors were William and William.  There was a George in the 1600s as well but whether he is a father or uncle, I do not know.
All I know is that I wish my ancestors in Wiltshire and Hampshire had more imagination!

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