Scots-Irish Naming Patterns

Scots-Irish naming patterns:  ‚

  1. 2 given names for each child – often listed as initials in records.
  2. Preservation of mother’s identity in the middle names of the children.  ‚
  3. 1st son named for paternal grandfather with mother’s maiden name as middle or second given name.  ‚
  4. 2nd son named for maternal grandfather with grandmother’s maiden name as middle or second given name.  ‚
  5. 3rd son named for father; or, maybe a Saint’s name from the past: Patrick, Michael  ‚
  6. 1st daughter named for maternal grandmother  ‚
  7. 2nd daughter named for paternal grandmother
  8. 3rd daughter named for mother
  9. Second given name for daughters is drawn from grandmothers, aunts, and extended family women to keep their identity alive.
  10. If the lineage is a Huguenot line, the Huguenot surname will be carried down through each generation and may be given to both boys and girls.

For example, study the Bible record of William Berry Taylor:


Major William Taylor born 26th February 1768.

Mrs. Susan Harrison Gibson Taylor born Nov. 26th, 1775.

Ann Berry Gibson Taylor born May 10th, 1798.

Mary Berry Taylor born February 7th, 1800.

Francis Madison Taylor born June 16th, 1804.

William Berry Taylor born Septr. 7th, 1806.

Elizabeth Courts Taylor born 28th January 1802.

John Gibson Taylor born 25th July 1810.

Susan Harrison Gibson Taylor born Novr. 7th, 1812.

Sarah Frances Taylor born April 5th, 1815.

Matilda Catherine Taylor born April 30th, 1820.

William Willett Taylor born 4 March 1823 – d. 17th April 1887.

A.P. Sandford Sr. born 20th Septr. 1795.

L.M. Sandford born 22nd, 1807 (February)

Belle, Sandford born 17th day August 1826.

Lucy M. Sandford born 28th day June 1829.

A.P. Sandford jr. Born July 12th, 1831.

Thos. R. Sandfor_ born 6th Novr. 1842.

E. Berry Sandford 11th March 1847.


W.W. Taylor & S.A. Sandford married Decr. 5th, 1844.

A.P. Sandford & Lucy M. Berry married September 24th 1823.

Major William Taylor and Susan Harrison Gibson married Nov. 26th 1796.

Thomas F. Barbour & Ann Berry Gibson Taylor married August 20th, 1813.

Mary Berry Taylor & William T. Barbour married June 22nd, 1815.

Dr. William G. Willett & Elizabeth C. Taylor married June 22nd, 1870.

My recommendation:  when research naming patterns like these, make an alphabetical list of the surnames in the Bible and watch for the clustering of these name in your searches.  This will ensure that with common names like Taylor and Berry, you are tracing the right clusters.  Your favorite genealogist, Arlene Eakle

PS  I was extensively involved in my own family history this past several days–one granddaughter married with 2 receptions and one granddaughter performing her Sterling Scholar dance.  Great events in my life.  Stay tuned!


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