NJHUDSON-L ArchivesArchiver > NJHUDSON > 2010-07 > 1280191250
From: Maureen <>
Subject: Re: [NJHUDSON] question re birth names
Date: Mon, 26 Jul 2010 17:40:50 -0700 (PDT)
My German Protestants in Hudson county were all called by their THIRD name.
For example, Johann Heinrich Friedrich Surname -- He used the formal English name Frederick on things like marriage and death certificates and was called "Fritz" by everyone in life, even in some of the city directories.
He was Fritz and his first son -- baptized just the same in the USA -- was also formally Frederick in English but was called "Fred" ..... even in city directories .... my mother's Uncle Fred.
It's not weird .... it's just a custom brought from their homeland that they wished to continue .... they weren't trying to be devious, weren't stupid, weren't dishonest, but were simply honoring people or Saints they wanted to honor. A lovely custom!
And most were deeply religious. Among one family of my German Catholic immigrants in Hudson County, every female had the first name Anna, honoring the mother of the Blessed Virgin. Every family named a son Hubert -- for St. Hubert, the patron Saint of their village of birth in Germany. Once you learn the history and culture of the people, it's all beautiful.
In my Irish-American friend Sheila's mother-in-law's GERMAN-AMERICAN family, every girl for many generations had the first name Mary, to honor the Blessed Mother. Anything else was unheard of and considered a sacrilege. The mother-in-law was horrified -- became physically ill with the shame and dishonor -- when my friend (of Irish heritage) named her first daughter Elizabeth Anne.
Let's learn our CULTURAL heritage right along with all those names and dates -- and honor the faith and sacrifice of those who made our own lives possible. They were truly brave and courageous people. They also believed the Baptismal record was the REAL one, the one that COUNTED! So we must do our best to get BOTH birth and Baptismal records.
From: ldenders <>
Sent: Mon, Jul 26, 2010 2:33 pm
Subject: [NJHUDSON] question re birth names
I've found that a number children in my grand mother's family have names on
heir birth certificates different from what they were known as.