Tag Archives: Hill family

What’s in a Name? A look at the men in my family tree

Some discussion has come up recently in my family regarding some of the names in my family tree. Most people in the family are intrigued when I tell them about some of the most common names but it’s in the unusual that I usually get the biggest response.

For my own personal amusement, I decided to look at some stats from my own pedigree chart. Here are the most common facts:

  • The first names George, James, John and William appear on all 4 sides of my family tree (Hill, Porter, Hyde and Lovejoy). All names of kings and perhaps proving my families monarchist leanings.
  • Thomas, Robert and Henry appear in 3 of the 4 sides.
  • Looking at common male first names in my entire tree, there are 22 named George, 21 named James, 20 named Henry, John, Robert, Samuel, Thomas and William.

Interesting themes

My ancestors really liked names starting with the letter J. On top of the traditional Jeffrey, John, Jonathan, Joseph and James, there have been Jobus, Jabez, Joshue, Jared, Jacob and even Johann.

At least one side of my family tree turned to the bible for inspiration. Uncommon by today’s standards, ancestors along the Hyde/Marcy/Lovejoy/Young side of my family named their sons Moses, Obadiah, Amos, Abraham, Isaac and even Eleazer.

Oh those crazy American roots

Knowing I have Quaker roots on my Marcy line, it should come as no shock to see the names Calvin and Freeman in my family tree.

Samuel Willson is the most common name on my Lovejoy/Young side. Four generations with the name Samuel Willson were born into my chart starting in 1681. There is speculation online that at least one signed the Declaration of Independance and another was the inspiration for the phrase Uncle Sam.

Love and Marriage

If your name is John on my pedigree chart, you most likely married an Elizabeth. Other than 3 who married a Nancy, Mary and Helen, all of the other John’s married a woman named Elizabeth. Not suprisingly, Elizabeth is the most common female name on my entire tree with 21 Elizabeth’s and 17 Eliza’s!

The End of the Line

The oldest male name on my English Hill side is 7th great grandfather James Alldwin who was born in 1700. It should come as no shock that his wfe was named Elizabeth.

On my Scottish Porter side, my 6th great grandfather Archibald McMaster is the oldest male name. He was born in 1726 on the Isle of Arran off the Scottish coast.

The oldest male name on my Scottish Dryden side is my 7th great grandfather Robert Cairns who was born in 1680.

My 2nd great grandfather Henry Hyde has the oldest male name on my Irish Hyde line. He was born in/around 1839 in Ireland and due to unrest and such I wrote about in this blog, I haven’t been able to trace any further back.

One of the oldest male name in my line comes from the Marcy side. Geoffrey Massey, my 9th great grandfather, was born in 1563 in a place called Knutsford, Cheshire, England. Many of this line came to America and settling in Massachusets (New England). It was here that the family name morphed into the Marcy it is today.

I don’t have birth or death dates but I know my 9th great grandfather Ralfe Wilder married Mary Hazel in 1691. I believe this would make his name the oldest on the Lovejoy line.

And lastly, The oldest male name on my Young family line belongs to my 13th great-grandfather, William Wilson (Willson?). Born in 1542 in Wellsbourne, Lincolnshire, England. He married Isobel Woodhall in the 1570’s and died in Windsor, Berkshire, England in 1615.

How about you? Have you found any interesting names/facts down your family tree lines? Share them in the comments below.

My cousin Anita

My cousin Anita is amazing.

Born in 1939, on oxygen, but still smiling and willing to send me copies of all her family history details.

Anita is the youngest child to my grandfather’s slightly younger sister Lilian. She is the last of her immediate family still with us and until I started doing family history research, I never realized how much of a treasure she was.

Every year at the Hill family reunion, she and her family sit at the very first table by the front door. This could be due to her need for oxygen, or it could be just where they’ve always sat. As a child, I don’t believe I even gave it a second glance.

All that changed a couple years ago when I went to the family reunion and my Dad announced to everyone about my new passion. Many family members came to talk to me to give me details on their family and to make sure I had them on the tree – but everyone told me I needed to talk to Anita.

Short in stature, she told me she wasn’t really up to talking that day but if I gave her my address she would send me some things she had written down.

I had no idea what I’d get but was happy when a few months later I received a Christmas card and an envelope filled with yet more names, dates and details. Sure it isn’t as detailed with locations, but it has the names and birthdates for her siblings and for many of their spouses. She has written down all of the children they have had and in some cases grandchildren. She’s put in death information where she could, even the very sad details about one of her nieces committing suicide and her husband dying a few years later in a car accident – both leaving an 11 year old orphan behind.

She sent me a poem written by one of my other cousins and as many older people are wont to do, a story about the bible compared to a deck of cards.

Her kindness and thoughtfulness was very unexpected and yet so very welcomed. I’m currently going through it all again, trying to put all the pieces into the family tree so that another reunion won’t go by with much of her family missing.

So thank you Anita June (Jennings-Grimwood) Hardy. You sure know how to brighten this family historians day!