Thursday, 17 August 2017

Acadian Ancestors: Using the Nova Scotia Archives

Source: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flag_of_Acadia



Acadian Day was this week here in Canada. I'm not going to get into the long and complicated history of the Acadians in Canada. Long story short, the Acadians were some of the earliest settlers of Canada, settling in what is now Nova Scotia, New Brunswick, and Prince Edward Island. They would become victims of the war between the French and British for control of Canada. The deportation of the Acadian people by the British is one of the darker periods of our history. For a more complete history of the Acadians you can look at the entries in the Canadian Encyclopedia.

Acadian research has definite advantages and disadvantages. The fact that they were French Catholic means excellent religious records can take you very far back. One of the disadvantages is that due to the conflict that led to their expulsion, the records can be far flung and scattered.

Nova Scotia takes great pride in being the original home of the Acadian people. The Nova Scotia Archives (NSA) has a great collection of Acadian resources both online and on site. Go to the main page of the Archive's website, scroll to the bottom to "Some of Our Topics" and click on "Acadians".

There are 8 collections at the Nova Scotia Archives related to the Acadians:


  • Isaac Deschamps Collection
This collection does not deal exclusively with Acadians. Mr. Deschamps was traded with the Acadians and local First Nations. Later he was connected to Fort Edward. Among this collection is correspondence of his relating to the Acadians, as well as reports listing French prisoners at Fort Edward. It is available on microfilm onsite. Please note that the NSA does not participate in inter library loan. Also in the collection is a virtual exhibit that has 42 images of some of his correspondence. It also has lists of French prisoners at Fort Edward. One image has the names of the heads of family, along with the number of people in each family. Yes, you read that right. Entire families were imprisoned in some cases.


  • An Acadian Parish Reborn
If your Acadian ancestors settled in Argyle, Yarmouth County in the post deportation years, then this collection is for you. Covering the years 1799 to 1849, this searchable database has all the Roman Catholic church entries for this area. This section is subdivided through links on the right side of the page. You can learn about the history of the area, the Acadian familes who settled there, and the churches in the area. At the bottom of the list of links is a name index. Just click on a surname and it will give you all the entries under that particular surname. By clicking on a particular entry, you will get both a transcription and a visual image of the entry. Please note that there is no way to download the image, but you can download a transcript of the whole page.

  • The Port Royal Habitation
This is a virtual exhibit outlining the history of Port Royal. As well, it provides details and insights into the rebuilding of the original settlement.

  • Acadian Heartland: Records of the Deportation
This is a digitized and searchable collection relating to the deportation of the Acadians by the British. The collections is a series of papers documenting the timeline of the Expulsion. It is almost exclusively drawn from British sources, due to the fact that no records from an Acadian point of view has survived. While you probably will not find your ancestor's name in the collection, it is still a good resource. Reading through this collection will help you get a feel for the confusion, mistrust, and semi chaos surrounding this time period.

  • Acadian Heartland: The Records of the British Government
This a sister collection to the one above. This particular collection covers the years from 1713 to the Expulsion. It gives great insight into everyday life in this time period. As well, if you managed to find an ancestor who was part of the British military in this place and time period, you might find mention of them here.

  • This is Our Home: Acadians of Nova Scotia
This virtual exhibit of photographs showcases 150 years of the original Acadians' descendants in Nova Scotia.

  • Acadian Genealogical Sources
This section gives a complete listing of the NSA's Acadian holdings. If you're planning a research trip to the Archives, then this section will help you plan your time there.

  • An Acadian Parish Remembered
This last section is my favourite, and I've used it a lot. This indexed and searchable database contains the registers of St. Jean-Baptiste in Annapolis Royal. It covers the years 1702 to 1755. You use it in the same way as you would the " An Acadian Parish Reborn Collection". Unlike the collection above though, you cannot download either the image itself or the transcription. It is still a great resource though. Just look at the information I got for the baptism of Michel Bastarache, my 6x great grandfather, and one of my favourite ancestors. As an adult he caused a lot of trouble for the British military. You can read about him in the Dictionary of Canadian Biography here

Source: https://novascotia.ca/archives/acadian/archives.asp?ID=1728 

Not in the screenshot is an image of the register itself below. This is handy to confirm the information transcribed. As you know, errors can be made. Please note that the original entries are in French. This particular entry is one of 44 entries that pertain to the Bastarache surname. In all, there are over 3500 entries in these registers.


Not listed in the general Acadian search topic is the digitized issues of Le Courier de la Nouvelle Ecosse in the newspapers section. A French language newspaper that is still published today, it is the newspaper of the Acadian culture. The NSA has issues digitized from 1937 to 2002. You will need to have a fairly good grasp of French to read them, but you never know if your more recent ancestor of Acadian descent is going to show up in there. What is neat about this paper is that along with all the usual news items you would normally find, they also have articles discussing Acadian culture and heritage. You can access all the issues available here.

Of course there are many other sources for Acadian research online. But the Nova Scotia Archives is a great place to start delving into your Acadian heritage.

 




Wednesday, 2 August 2017

New Brunswick Ancestors: A Look at the PANB County Guides

The Provincial Archives of New Brunswick (PANB) is one of my favourite websites to use. Compared to other provincial archives' sites, it's very genealogist friendly. But did you know that there is so much more information on it than what you can find under the "Search" tab?

One of the great resources they have is the County Guides. They were developed in 2006, so some of the information is a little dated as far as what's available online. But they still have tremendous value into letting you see what they have in their holdings that isn't online.

To access them, you want to go to the main website page here.

http://archives.gnb.ca/Archives/?culture=en-CA




Next you want to click on where I've circled above on Research Tools, and then click on County Guides. Your next screen will look like this:

http://archives.gnb.ca/ResearchTools/CountyGuides.aspx?culture=en-CA

Next you just click on the county you want. The guide for each county is a PDF that you can view online, download and/or print. Each County guide has been set up the same way:


  • Introduction
A quick explanation of the PANB and the County Guides

  • Research, Interlibrary Loan, and Copy Services
A brief explanation of their policies. One of the great things about PANB is their participation in interlibrary loan for most of their microfilms. Why I say "most" will become clearer later on.

  • Development of the County
This gives a brief history of the County you are looking at, and their Parishes. This history comes in especially handy if your County of research was not one the original  8 Counties. For instance, some of my ancestors settled in Gloucester County. Gloucester was originally part of Northumberland until it became it's own County in 1826. Have an ancestor who lived in Kent County? It didn't become a County until 1826, and was formerly a part of Northumberland as well. In both the Kent and Gloucester guides, it advises you that you should be looking in Northumberland records for your pre 1826 ancestors.

  • Census Returns
This is a handy one. It tells you how complete the census records are for your particular County. For instance, It tells me that Northumberland County in 1851 and 1861 are incomplete. The PANB has census records on microfilm and the guide lists what the microfilm reel numbers are. These are not available for microfilm loan. Thanks to other websites though, you can access these in other ways.

  • Returns of Births, Marriages, and Deaths
This section is one of the ones that is outdated. The introduction gives you an overview of the New Brunswick policy on access to BMD's. |It then outlines what is online and what is not. However, since these were made in 2006, the year ranges will be off. For instance, it says that births are online to 1908, marriages and deaths to 1955. But when you check the online database on the site, births are available as of today up to 1921, marriages and deaths to 1966. It also states that their record set Marriage Bonds (RS551A) is only available on microfilm. It has since been added to their collection of online databases. So, just be sure to double check their online databases to make sure if what you're looking for hasn't been updated since the guides were made.

  • Burial Records
Another outdated section. The online database on the PANB of gravestone transcriptions has grown quite a bit since 2006. Depending on the County, you may also find some other collections. Charlotte County has some miscellaneous cemetery records as well as the H Owen Rigby fonds, concerning the account book of Mr. Rigby's undertaking business.

  • Land Records
This section describes their online indexes for land petitions and grants. These microfilms can be borrowed through interlibrary loan. It also describes their collection of Land Registry Office Records. Each County has a different collection number (i.e. Northumberland is RS91, Gloucester is RS87).
There is a microfilmed index only available at the archives, and the records themselves are not available for loan.
  • Immigration Records
Listed are microfilm numbers for their collections of passenger and crew lists. It does not say whether these are available through interlibrary loan. However, they have since been indexed and digitized and are available through the PANB's Irish Portal Virtual Exhibit here.

  • Court Records
The PANB has collections of both Probate Court and Court of Equity records. Microfilms for Probate Court are available through interlibrary loan, though not all have been microfilmed. Court of Equity records are not microfilmed and can only be viewed at the PANB.

  • Education Records
If you have an ancestor that was a teacher, then you might want to consult their collection Teachers' Petitions and Licenses (RS655). This province wide collection's records are not online. However, they have a searchable online index that will give you the microfilm number you need to consult. It does not say whether the records are available for interlibrary loan. I'm assuming that since they do not emphasize a restriction, that they are available to loan.

There is also the collection Teachers' and Trustees' Returns (RS657). You will find the school, teacher's name, and student lists by year. Each county guide lists the particular microfilm numbers needed to consult for that particular area. Again, it does not say whether these are available through interlibrary loan.

Lastly, each guide also lists miscellaneous education records that involve your particular County, and their microfilm numbers.

  • Directories
These have the microfilm numbers of the directories in their holdings for your particular County of interest and the corresponding microfilm numbers.

  • City Council Records
What's available differs for each particular County. As well, some have microfilm numbers listed, while others state "Numbers on Request". In King's County, you can find records from the Road's Commission, while in Restigouche, there are County Jail Records.

  • Newspapers
Another helpful section. Listed in each guide are the newspapers circulating in that area. Some have microfilm numbers attached, while others do not. They do say to consult the Archives for the microfilm number you need. You need to let the staff know what newspaper and date you are looking for to get the right microfilm number. These are available through loan.

  • New Brunswick Museum Vertical Files
These are files that "...contain genealogical, biographical, and historical research information for all of New Brunswick...". There is a microfilmed index on roll F11077.

  • Church Records
This one is worth the guide all on its own. Each guide lists the churches in that county, what years are microfilmed, and microfilm numbers. Take note though that if the microfilm you want says "(RESTRICTED)", then you will need to obtain written permission from that particular church to see those records. 

If you have Catholic ancestors, as I do, then chances are you are probably going to find what you need elsewhere on the internet through the Drouin. But check anyway. You might find something that you didn't know was missing from another site's record set. For instance, in the Drouin Collection on Ancestry, records for Burnt Church in Northumberland County are available from 1891-1899. However, at the PANB they also have 2 other sets from there: 1844-1890, and 1959-1972 (this one is labelled as restricted).

Now if you are trying to get a hold of non Catholic records, then what's available will make you do a dance. Among the guides I looked at, you could find Anglican, United, Presbyterian, Methodist, Baptist, Lutheran, Congregational, and Jewish records. Of course, this will vary County by County.

  • Other Institutions to Contact or Visit
Each County guide has a list of institutions, museums, societies and/or archives that have information on that particular area. Postal addresses are included. I'm sure a google search of the individual places will give you email contact information an/or telephone numbers as well.




While you're on the PANB's website, check out the other Research Tools and online exhibits they have. You'll be pleasantly surprised at what they have to offer.








Tuesday, 25 July 2017

Research Your Ancestors in the Canada Gazette

When I did my series of blog posts on Divorce, I mentioned the Canada Gazette. This is a fantastic but not well known resource. It is the official newspaper of the Canadian government, and will be celebrating its 166th birthday this coming October. That's right, it has been in existence since before Confederation.

A Brief History 
The Union Act of 1840 took effect in February 1841, uniting Upper Canada and Lower Canada. Both has Gazettes of their own, and in October of 1841 the Canada Gazette became the government's official newspaper. The Upper Canada Gazette and the Quebec Gazette both continued to be published until 1849, when an Act of Parliament made the Canada Gazette the only recognized publication for the Canadian Government. Originally only published in English, slowly it became a bilingual publication.

It has many taken many forms over the last 160 plus years, but today it is published in three parts. Part I is dedicated to the general business of Government. Part II is dedicated to the regulations and statutes of the Government of Canada. Part III is announcements of public acts.

For a more detailed explanation and timeline of the Canada Gazette take a look at the publication celebrating the 160th anniversary here. Also note there was also a publication made last year for the 165th anniversary. The link to it can be seen on the link above. Both are free to view.

What You'll Find
For the first years it concentrated on Government Acts and Regulations. Through subsequent years you will find notices for divorce, bankruptcy, corporate notices, Government Appointments, and so much more. Here's a sample page from 9 July 1904 that lists "Appointments, Promotions and Retirements" from the Canadian Militia:

Source: Internet Archive
https://archive.org/stream/canadagazettelag3811cana#page/n67/mode/1up

Here's an example of the Government issuing "letters patent" incorporating Companies from 14 January 1893. One of the notices gives the names of "...Frederick Fairman, merchant, Dugald Graham, gentleman, Samuel Carsley, merchant, Robert Murdoch Liddick, merchant, Edward Alfred Small, merchant, John Cameron McLaughlin, manufacturer, Edmond Arthur Robert, manufacturer, Simon S. Silverman, merchant, James McBride, merchant, Robert McKay, merchant, George Bishop, engraver, Charles Morton, manager, all of the city of Montreal, Province of Quebec...". The notice is incorporating the company called The Dominion Blanket and Fibre Company (Ltd.):

Source: Internet Archive
https://archive.org/stream/canadagazettelag2621cana#page/1312/mode/2up

This example from 29 August 1846 shows notices on bankruptcies. Listed are Richard Barrett (Port Hope), Richard Bates Parr (Whitby), Jared Stocking (Town of Niagara), Joseph Milner (Township of Kingston), Christopher G. Cramer (City of Kingston), and John Bennett (City of Toronto):

Source: Collections Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/canada-gazette/093/001060-119.01-e.php?image_id_nbr=51&document_id_nbr=1597&f=g&PHPSESSID=j9qq885k7890hpbinhv7voc7a7
This example from 7 January 1888 lists people from across the country who passed civil servant's exams:
Source: Internet Archive
https://archive.org/stream/canadagazettelag2121cana#page/n30/mode/1up

 And finally, here's an interesting one about Alexis Gosselin. It states that he is able "...to exact and receive the tolls or dues for passing on the Bridge erected by the said Alexis Gosselin, over the River Boyer, in the Parish of St. Vallier, County of Bellechasse...". It goes on to list the toll fees, and is dated 8 November 1842:
Source: Collections Canada
http://www.collectionscanada.gc.ca/databases/canada-gazette/093/001060-119.01-e.php?document_id_nbr=1756&image_id_nbr=1489&f=g&PHPSESSID=rd5u3qnq25mg5ffoqm4f4ejkk0

Where to Find Publications 
From 1841 to 1998 the Canada Gazette was solely in print form. From 1998 to 2014 it was both in printed and digital form. From 2014 on wards it has become a digital only publication.

A quick search of provincial archives shows that some have copies in their holdings on microfilm. But the best place to search is on the archived Library and Archives Canada website here. They have digitized the majority of the issues from 1841-1997. You can download them in either GIF or PDF form. They are searchable, so at least you won't have to browse page by page. However, keep in mind that the search function looks for the keywords on the whole page, not by notice. So, if you type in "Smith bankruptcy", your result may show a page that has both a notice that contains the word "Smith", and a completely different notice on the same page that contains "bankruptcy".

If your looking for something from 1998 to 2011, you can look it up on the Canada Gazette website here. These are in PDF form. They are NOT searchable by keyword. However, the file names have the publication dates, so if you know the approximate time period, you will only have to do a minimum of browsing.

You can access publications from 2012 on wards here. The format is the same as above. They are PDFs and are NOT searchable by keyword.

They are various editions editions digitized on Internet Archive here. Using keywords "Canada Gazette" gave me 716 results.

A final word of warning: This is one of those resources where you'll have to be careful not to go down a "rabbit hole" as I like to call it. You can get so caught up looking at the notices that you WILL lose track of time. Try and stay focused, and you'll be surprised at what you may find.




Exploring Canada: The NWT Legislative Building

On our visit to the Northwest Territories, a lovely lady named Vi at the 60th Parallel Visitor Information Centre told us that the NWT Legislative Building is a must see. It is conveniently located just down the street from the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre. As luck would have, we arrived just as they were starting a tour, so we joined in. The tour was led by a summer student by the name of Marlisa. She is fantastic at the job. Very knowledgeable, articulate, and if she was reciting from a script you couldn't tell.

The building is beautiful. Compared to other buildings of it's kind in the country, it's brand spanking new. Built in 1993, it is the first permanent building for the NWT Legislature. Before then, the Legislature traveled around the Territory to perform their duties. One of the advantages of it being so new is that it was designed to incorporate as much of the natural landscape as possible. It was built using Zinc to endure the climate, and also because it is one of the minerals mined in the Territory. The interior was designed to include images and artifacts from all regions of the Northwest Territories. In fact two of the architects were from the Northwest Territories, and worked with an architect firm from Vancouver.

Unlike other areas of Canada, the Northwest Territories do not use the party system for the Territorial Government. Each of the 19 members of the Assembly run as an independent. The Assembly then elects the seven cabinet members and Speaker. The remaining members form the official opposition.
Another unique facet of the government is that they govern by consensus.

The Caucus Room

The Chamber


Pride of place as soon as you walk in the building are the old and new mace. The new mace was made in 1999, when the Northwest Territories was divided into the NWT and Nunavut. The mace is 1.5 meters in length and weighs 12 kilograms. It is filled with relief carvings of symbolic images reflecting the culture of the people. At the top is a diamond mined from Canada's first diamond mine, snowflakes, and an orb representing the "land of the midnight sun". The crosspiece on which the orb and diamond sit is a crosspiece that represents the ulu (a native cutting tool), a teepee, and a house. It is a nod to not only the Inuvialuit and Dene/Metis cultures, but also to the non Aboriginal people who have made the Northwest Territories their home. Written on the mace is the phrase "One land, many voices". It is written in 10 of the 11 official languages: Cree, Chipewyan, French, English, Dogrib, Gwich'in, North Slavey, South Slavey, Inuvialuktun, and Inuinnaqtun. It also has bead work and porcupine quillwork. The shaft is a bronze cast of a narwhal tusk.




Throughout the building is artwork that reflects the culture of the native groups, as well as gifts of artwork from the other provinces and territories. A collection of AY Jackson from the Group of Seven assembled in one place sits in the caucus room. It depicts images of the NWT landscape. Two hallways have painted portraits of the NWT premiers, and the Speakers. What is unique about them is that the sitter chose what kind of portrait they would have and the artist. Some are traditional looking, while others have images of their particular constituency in the background.

This tapestry was a gift from Nova Scotia


To find out more about the NWT Legislature and the Legislative Building, you can look at their website here.

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Focus on an Archive: Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre, NWT

On my recent trip to the Northwest Territories, I made sure I made a visit to the Prince of Wales Northern Heritage Centre (PWNHC). I'm very lucky in that my significant other is a history buff like me. He was all for taking a look with me. We made a point of planning our trip in such a way that we would be able to have lots of time to spend there.

Built in 1979, it is the Territorial Government's archive and museum.Now, unlike some of the Government Archives around the country, the PWNHC does not hold those usual records that we as genealogists crave, such as BMD's and land records. The reason for this is that these records are just too new to be publicly available. They are still held in the custody of the particular government department they belong to. Older records that don't fall under privacy legislation are most likely held in the Archives in the Prairie Provinces, all of which used to be part of the Northwest Territories.

The PWNHC instead focuses on a general history of the Territories. They do have some government records that relate more to the running of the Territory. They also have private collections of records from both individuals and businesses. There's an extensive photo collection, audio and visual files, and maps. You can also take a look at their collection of publications on the history of the Territory. For a more detailed explanation of their holdings, you can check their website here.

The jewel in the crown though is the museum. We spent a long time going through the building. I was very impressed with how interactive all the displays were. They have dioramas of all the various arctic animals. In front of each animal was a information stand, with statistics on the animal's size, habitat, etc. Many of them had pelts attached that you could touch. In a glass case beside each diorama were example of all the products that were made from that animal and tools. At the bottom of each case was the name of the animal in English, French, and several of the indigenous languages. You can also listen to audio files, some with elders talking about their experiences




There are also displays telling the history of the many different Native groups, and a general history of the Northwest Territories. There are displays of clothing, furniture, and an absolutely huge mooseskin boat. I learned a great deal in just a couple of hours.




Along with their permanent displays, the PWNHC have travelling exhibits available for NWT communities to display. They also have virtual exhibits online here.

The museum is open daily from 1030 a.m.-5 p.m. and until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. There's a cafe onsite that is open the same hours. The archive is open Monday to Friday 9 a.m.-12 noon and 1 p.m. to 430 p.m. If you have mobility problems, both levels are designed to accommodate.

Tuesday, 11 July 2017

I'm on holidays!

Just a heads up that there will be no regular weekly blog post this week. I am in beautiful British Columbia at the moment, and will be leaving for a road trip today to the Northwest Territories. Internet and cell service will be sketchy. But rest assured I will be back next week!

Wednesday, 5 July 2017

What's in a Name? A Look at Naming Patterns




Our ancestors seemed to have loved reusing names. For us, many many years later, it can be enough to yank your hair out to have discovered that you've traced back to yet another John, James, Mary, or Margaret. Middle names become very important. My own two middle names are from one paternal great grandmother, and one maternal great grandmother.

If you have a strong heritage to a particular country, your family may have followed a long standing naming tradition for first names. On the surface it may seem frustrating, but there are some great clues in these traditions that can help you establish another generation back.

French Canadian Naming Patterns
These can be confusing, without throwing in "dit" names. That's a whole blog post in itself. Usually a child would have three names


  • First name: Joseph or Marie, depending on the sex of the child
  • Second name: name of Godfather or Godmother, depending on the sex of the child
  • Third name: the name they were generally known by
On my maternal side, this has occurred right up until my mother's generation. The only deviation in my mom and her siblings is that there were only two names. It is their middle name that they go by. 


Scottish Naming Patterns
According to FindMyPast's blog post, they were actually two different traditional naming patterns people followed. They caution that not everyone used the naming traditions.

The first pattern for boys was:

  • First son: father's father
  • Second son: mother's father
  • Third son: father
  • Fourth son: father's eldest brother, or father's paternal grandfather
  • Fifth son: mother's eldest brother, or mother's paternal grandfather
For girls:
  • First daughter: mother's mother
  • Second daughter: father's mother
  • Third daughter: mother
  • Fourth daughter: mother's eldest sister, or mother's maternal grandmother
  • Fifth daughter: named after father's eldest sister, or father's maternal grandmother
See the link above for details on the second naming tradition.

English and Irish Naming Patterns
The traditional naming pattern of England is very similar to the Scottish. 

Boys:
  • First son: father's father
  • Second son: mother's father
  • Third son: father
  • Fourth son: father's eldest brother
  • Fifth son: father's second eldest brother, or mother's eldest brother
Girls:
  • First daughter: mother's mother
  • Second daughter: father's mother
  • Third daughter: mother
  • Fourth daughter: mother's eldest sister
  • Fifth daughter: mother's second eldest sister, or father's eldest sister
The British also tended to use maiden names as middle names. This can be extremely helpful with tracing your female ancestors. I once had a friend ask me to find out where the middle name "Steel" came from in her family line. It was a long standing tradition to give the first born son this as a middle name. It turned out it was the maiden name of her 3x great grandmother. It had traveled down through 5 generations of sons as a middle name. 

German Naming Patterns
Similar to French Canadians, Germans traditionally used a religious name first, and the name they went by was second. In my Lunenburg ancestors, I have a lot of "Johann" and "Anna" as first names. For the commonly used name, they usually followed the following pattern:

For boys:
  • First son: father's father
  • Second son: mother's father
  • Third son: father
  • Fourth son: father's paternal grandfather
  • Fifth son: mother's paternal grandfather
  • Sixth son: father's maternal grandfather
  • Seventh son: mother's maternal grandfather
For girls:
  • First daughter: mother's mother
  • Second daughter: father's mother
  • Third daughter: mother
  • Fourth daughter: father's paternal grandmother
  • Fifth daughter: mother's paternal grandmother
  • Sixth daughter: father's maternal grandmother
  • Seventh daughter: mother's maternal grandmother
Ukranian Naming Patterns
The Canadian West in particular has strong Ukranian roots. A traditional Ukranian name would follow the following:

For boys:
  • First name: name they are called by
  • Middle name: (father's name) with the suffix "ovych" or "yovych"
For girls:
  • First name: name they are called by
  • Middle name: (father's name) with the suffix "ivna" or "yivna" 
So if the father's name was Ivan, then the son's middle name would be "Ivanovich". His daughter's middle name would be "Ivanivna".



Now keep in mind that not everyone stuck to ethnic naming patterns. Some families tended to have their own unique versions. I've seen traditions where a son's middle name was a father's first name. But if you're lucky enough to see a pattern develop, it can give you some great clues on getting another generation back.