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NICKNAMES


Nickname

Given name

Abe

Abraham

Abby

Abigail, Tabitha

Addie

Adeline

Alec

Alexander

Andy

Anderson

Ann

Nancy

Becky

Rebecca

Betsy or Betty , Eliza or Liza

Elizabeth

Biddy

Obedience

Billy

William

Briney

Sybrina or Sabrina

Cager

Micah

Donia

Fredonia

Delphia

Philadelphia

Ellen

Eleanor or Elinamifia

Eppa or Eppy

Epaproditus

Etta

Loretta

Fanny

Frances

Fate

Lafayette

Finny

Fineas or Phineas

Fred

Frederick or Winfred

Fronie

Saphronia

Gen or Jennie

Neva / Genevieve

Izzie

Isabelle or Isabella

Jack

Jackson

Jenny

Virginia or Sarah Jane

Jerry

Jeremiah

Lottie

Charlotte

Lou

Louette, Louisa

Mac or Mack

Malcolm or an of the Mc/Mac Clans

Maggie

Margaret or Magdalena

Mattie

Martha

Mollie

Martha, Mary Elizabeth

Nannie

Nancy

Patsy

Martha

Patty

Martha, Parthenia

Peggy

Margaret

Polly

Mary

Pru

Prudence

Puss

Prudence, Philadelphia

Quill

Aquilla

Rilla

Sabrilla

Rye

Zachariah

Sandy

Alexander

Sally

Sarah

Si

Josiah, Cyrus, Cyril

Tabby

Tabitha

Vergie

Virginia

Willie

Wiley, William, Willis, Willard

Zach

Zachariah

 

 


So many of our ancestors were named after people from the Bible, whose names were difficult to spell and pronounce. I can understand why they would have opted to use shorter, easier to pronounce nicknames.

Sometimes nicknames were acquired because of personal or physical characteristics of the individual, just as they are today.

A redhead might be called Rusty or Red. I have an uncle who's called Hot. He is red-complected, so maybe that is why. His name is Hollis, so the young'uns in the family may not have been able to pronounce his name correctly when they were little, and the name just stuck. I don't know.A "Rhodes" or "Rhoades" might be called Dusty.

The nickname may have come about because of their surname rather than their given name.

I'm sure you all know someone for whom there is no rhyme nor reason why they have they nickname they do. We have a personal friend whose given name is Charles David. His nickname is Jerry. Go figure!
I had a student whose name was Charles - - -. His nickname was "Trey,"
because he was was Charles "whatever", III.

The woman who presented this workshop listed a number of references.
Made in America, by Bill Bryson; Ancestry's Guide to Research, by Johni Cerny and Arlene Eakle;The Researcher's Guide to American Genealogy, by Val D. Greenwood; Family History for Fun and Profit, Vincent L. Jones, Arlene H. Eakle, and Mildred H. Christensen; When Your Ox Is In The Ditch, by Vera McDowell;
Nicknames Past and Present, by Christine Rose; Genealogical Evidence, by Noel C. Stevenson; Applied Genealogy, Eugene A. Stratton; Colonial Homes, "Colonial Naming Customs"; Webster's Seventh New Collegiate Dictionary.

Information furnished by Pam Oxford Joiner



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