Tag Archives: Porter

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.

The records are in for William Porter’s WWI Military Career

Porter Family CrestAfter waiting for what seemed forever, I have finally obtained all 69 pages of my Great Grandfather, William Porter’s military Career from Library and Archives Canada.

At quick glance I could review his attestation papers, his transfers from one unit to the next as well as many different hospital visits.

The biggest mystery before getting the papers was whether it was possible for him to have signed up for the war September 15, 1915 and be able to parent twins born in July of 1916. Could William Porter not be the father of my grandmother Margaret and her twin brother Walter?

The answer is “William Porter, you ARE the father!”

Per the records, he arrived in England 7 May 1960. That means he had plenty of time to do what he needed to do with my Great Grandmother Margaret Dryden to become a father again. However, that doesn’t change the fact that at the age of 34 he left his 3 children and his pregnant wife and headed across the ocean to fight in the Great War. No one living is able to tell his motivations but the paperwork confirms he was initially drafted to the 71st ¬†Battalion, was transferred to the 51st within a month of being in England and three weeks later he was transferred for a final time to join up with the 46th Battalion. It was with the 46th he headed to France on September 8th, 1916

All of this was found by reviewing up to the first half of the 5th page. So much history. So much to see. I can’t wait to dive in more and find out more about the battalion’s he belonged to, how long he was in the war and when he came back. Oh yes great-grandfather, I am looking forward to learning more about you over the days and weeks to come.

If you’d like to read more about William Porter, please read my post for¬†12 Months, 12 Ancestors – February.