Archive for the ‘Tips’ Category

What’s in a Name?

Friday, January 30th, 2009


By Whitney McGowan, FamilyLink.com, Inc.

Last night one of my friends had her eighth child (Yes, here in Utah, there are lots of BIG families)! No name had been previously selected for this new 7 pound 3 ounce baby, and as I am writing no name has been selected. However, the seven siblings and proud father have put forth many suggestions for a name. Unfortunately, none have quite fit. So, what’s in a name? Many people select a name for their children based on the etymology and history of the name. For example, the name “Melissa” means “bee” in Greek. This was the name of a nymph that cared for young Zeus in Greek mythology. It is also the name of the fairy who helps Rogero escape from the witch Alcina in Ludovico Ariosto’s poem Orlando Furioso (1516). As an English given name, Melissa has been used since the 18th century. The name “Whitney,” my name, comes from a surname which was originally derived from a place name meaning “white island” in Old English. (I was not named based on the etymology of my name!).

For those of you who are interested in knowing the meaning of your name, or for those of you who want to know the meaning of a possible name for your child, check out BehindTheName.com. This site provides the meaning and history of names from many languages and genres including English, Spanish, French, Arabic, , German, Indian, African, Italian, Irish, mythological, biblical, and more.

What does a name mean when you are searching for your ancestors? There are more than 1.6 million surnames in the United States. To add a little more confusion to the mix, the surname of your ancestor may have several variations. Some of your ancestors may have been known simply by their last name, or they may not have even known how to spell their name correctly!  Plus, believe it or not, surnames didn’t actually exist until about 1,000 years ago. Back then, there weren’t as many people, and first and last names were just not necessary.

In searching for your ancestors, pay attention to naming patterns and situations where the name of the family member has been repeated. For example, your great, great, great grandfather could have been named Samuel, and your great, great grandfather could also have been given the name of Samuel.

An additional help source comes from http://www.suite101.com/article.cfm/genealogy/13006. In this article the author describes a common naming pattern prior to the 20th century.

1st son– father’s father
2nd son– mother’s father
3rd son– father
4th son– father’s oldest brother
5th son– father’s second oldest brother or mother’s oldest brother
1st daughter– mother’s mother
2nd daughter– father’s mother
3rd daughter– mother
4th daughter– mother’s oldest sister
5th daughter– mother’s second oldest sister or father’s oldest sister

Try to discover how your parents, grandparents, and great grandparents received their names. If you have children, take the time to write down the reason you chose the name of your child, and the meaning of the name.

Tips on Searching at WorldVitalRecords.com

Monday, January 5th, 2009

We want searching at WorldVitalRecords.com to be as easy as possible. To help you, this week we will provide a few tips to help you find the content you need.

How do I access the Most Popular Collections at WorldVitalRecords.com?

1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com
2. Click on Record Types
3. Click on Browse by Popular Collection
4. Choose from 26 of our most popular collections. Click on the link to access the specific database.

How do I view all of the databases at WorldVitalRecords.com?

1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com
2. Click on Record Types
3. Click on View All Databases

How do I view only the U.S. Collection?

  1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com.
  2. Click on Places.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on U.S. Databases.

How do I view the World Collection?

  1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com.
  2. Click on Places.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on International Databases.

How do I view a specific Surname?

  1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com.
  2. Click on Places.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on U.S. Databases.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page until you see Family Surnames.
  5. Click on the first letter of the surname you wish to search. Notice that you can choose to search from Top Surnames, and All Surnames.

How do I view the international Country Pages?

  1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com.
  2. Click on Places.
  3. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on International Databases.
  4. Scroll down to the bottom of the page and click on the link that says Click here to view the Nationality pages..

What if I want to search for a specific type of record?

  1. Go to WorldVitalRecords.com.
  2. Click on Record Types.
  3. Click on the type of record you want to search such as, birth, marriage, and death records; census records; military records; immigration records; court; land; and probate records, etc. etc.