Scotch-Irish-L ArchivesArchiver > Scotch-Irish > 1998-08 > 0902329757
From: linda Merle <>
Subject: Re: Surnames as Middle Names
Date: Wed, 05 Aug 1998 08:09:17 -0700
>Have noticed what appear to be surnames (Ayres, Wallace) given as middle
>names for a number of males amoung my Scotch-Irish relatives. Anyone know
>if this was a common practice when naming sons? If so, was the tradition
>to use surnames of maternal relatives?
I think you are seeing the use of Scots surnames that derive from placenames.
I got no Ayres in Black "Surnames of Scotland" but for Ayr it says See AIR.
It has a lot on the surname including identifying the lands of Ayr in the
of Dunbar in the 1500's. Some magistrate heard the word as plural, perhaps.
Scotch Irish is kinda semi meaningless - it means someone who thinks their
ancestors came from IReland to the USA (not Canada), who was probably
Presbyterian, and thought they were of Scots descent, or at any rate, were
more likely to have ancestors INSIDE Derry in 1690 than outside (in fact
suggesting the latter might start a fight). He might be wrong on any of these
Ulster Scots (people living in Ulster of Scots background and culture -- ie
those who have decided they are Irish learn Irish and dump
Scottish ways with amazing speed and ditto for the reverse <grin> -- this
is assuming there is much difference between the two cultures) tend to
follow Scottish naming patterns which (grossly) was to name the kids
after the parents and grandparents. Very useful!
Mine also have tended to give the mother's surname as middle name to
the children, which REALLY helps. This might be more of a lowlander practice
than highlander -- and maybe even related to class origin. In any case,
chances are if you have a kid named Alison Reid Beatty (as I do)
and you find an Alison Reid of the right age and married to
a father Beatty -- they are the parents of Alison Beatty. I've gotten far
father's Scottish family due to this practice. They also, God bless them,
baptized their children in parishes where the records survive.
All these habits appear to break down in Amerikay except for the descendents
of the Rev John Black, ex United Irishman. He married a Watson and their
kids appear to have Watson as a middle name. Really helps. My family
appears to follow no naming patterns. God help our descendents -- we'll drive