Middle Name Usage prior to 1760 in Colonial America

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This is one of a series of articles on Genealogical Methods, prepared in association with The Tapestry. See Index for a list of related articles.

This article collects examples of the use of a middle name among non-german speakers in British Colonial America prior to 1760.


Intermediate SourceChalkley's Chronicles 3:167

Example 1

The following is an estate settlement of 1777, listing persons indebted to Roger North. The persons listed would have been adults in 1777, so presumed to have been born prior to 1756. SInce the debts were presumably incurred prior to North's death, we can assume that most were born well before that date.

The list includes a single individual, Nathaniel Bell Magruder, identified with a middle name.

Page 334.--29th August, 1777. List of those indebted to the estate of Roger North--Molly Mathews, Michael Diveyer, John Pans, Taylor, Edward Brayton, Mary Dillon, Wm. Collen, Carolina; Rev. Adam Smith, Margaret Mountfield, Hannah Sires, Robt. Jameson, Prince Edward; Andrew Cowen, Holstein; John Adkins, going to Carolina; William Loveley, Sally McGraw, servant to Dr. Watkins; James Bowyer (Taylor), John Anderson, Long Glead, Holstein; Joseph Love, Montgomery; Geo. Berry (son to Francis), James Anderson, son of John, M. River; John Henderson, son to David, So. River, dead; John Brown, son to Widow, N. Mtn.; David Steel (tailor), Wm. Jordan, So. River; Wm. Scott (taylor), John Welsh (tailor), Amos Perkins (blacksmith), Michael McEntosh, James Cooper, Forks of James; Mary Blackwood, married to McCrosky; _____ Crawford, brother to Patrick; Wm. Russell, Buchanan's Mill; Charles Philips, Adam Cribb, Eleanor Craig, M. River; Eleanor Dunn at Elijah McClenachans, Robert Patterson, No. Mountain; Nelly Keenan, James Berry, son to Francis, Holst.; John Woods, M. River; Andrew Anderson, son to John; Andrew Jenkins; Major Scott (dead), Mark Hatton, Andrew Campbell, son to John, So. River; Andrew Wilson, reedmaker; James Anderson, M. River; James Kelly (mason), John Cypher, James Brown (dead), John Votaw, Wm. McNab, No. Mountain; Joseph Right, M. River; James Armstrong, Holstein; Wm. Long, Warm Springs; Jean Rush, Evan Griffith, son of Abel, M. River; James Bott, Alex. Reed, Rockfish; Miss Betsey Hughes, Greenbrier; Henry Black, Dutchman; Hugh Divier. No. River; John Smith, son of Daniel, dead; Gasper Carner, Black's Gap; Daniel Meek, Calfpasture; Mary Cawfield, Jacob Kile, No. Mountain; Wm. Rogers. B. M.; John Campbell, No. River; James Edmonson, taylor; Chas. Syms, attorney at law; Nath. Bell Magruder, James Long, Mid. River; Richard Aldeman, Jno. Ehrhard, laberer; James McManis, Amherst; Jno. Todd, attorney at law; Thos. Bird, labourer; Abraham Savage, Thos. Jones, at the Office; Jacob Meckghew, Pr. Edward; Jno. Heany, Miss Jenny Lewis, Thomas' daughter, Jno. Hughson, Mason.
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