Scottish traditional naming

Scottish traditional naming for sons, gives

  1. Firstborn son: named after the paternal grandfather
  2. Second son: named after the maternal grandfather
  3. Third son: named after his father

The equivalent naming also applies for the daughters.

  1. Firstborn daughter: named after the maternal grandmother
  2. Second daughter: named after the paternal grandmother
  3. Third daughter: named after her mother

Subsequent siblings are named after the brothers and sisters of the parents.

This naming convention was adhered to more strongly by some families than others. There was a strong culture of honouring your parents by keeping their names alive. The most extreme example is the family of Rev James Clugston of Glasgow, who also gave his children middle names that preserved the surnames of the grandchildren.

This is a huge help in situations where many of the records have been destroyed. There are some complications, though: both paternal and maternal grandparents may have the same name. Children may die young. If this happens, the name may be reused, and be given to a subsequent child.

An interesting feature of the naming conventions for sons is that it means that names of the heirs alternate. In the case of the Clugstons, one of the wealthiest Scottish lines  alternates William-Alexander-William-Alexander. The Cluxton family of Kildare alternates James-Bailey-James-Bailey.

Other obvious bloodlines includes Hugh and Arthur in County Antrim, Ireland; James in Glasgow; and John and Robert in County Down, Ireland.



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