Old-Fashioned Nicknames

When I first started reading U.S. censuses and other vital records, I couldn’t believe some of the names the parents had called their children!  Then, as time passed, these “strange” names became more and more familiar, even comforting.  I mean, what’s not to love being named after a famous general or president or even your favorite adjective?  [Yet, I still cannot help feel a bit sorry for my distant aunt named “Instant Lay”!]

What is an even greater shock to a genealogist just starting out, however, is that the names and nicknames one finds on the vital records, like the censuses, for example, change over time.

For years, I firmly believed a particular family had two girls, one named “Florence,” and one named “Flossie.”  Then, one day, I realized Flossie was just a nickname for Florence!

Had I a list of old-fashioned nicknames, I would have saved hours of confusion and dead ends in my research.

Also, had I realized that just because on the 1900 US census a family listed their daughter as “Hattie” doesn’t mean another daughter was born by the 1910 census now called “Hannah.”  Most likely, these two daughters were one and the same.

I wish I had learned it earlier, but having an old-fashioned nickname web site to refer to is yet another invaluable genealogical tool for one’s research.  I still refer to this web site, and I’m sure I will continue to do so throughout my career.

Happy researching!

-Jen (My nickname.  Seriously.)

Frances Fan, Fanny, Fran (ie), France, Frankie, Franz, Sis
– (m) Francis
Francis Frank – (f) Frances
Franklin Frank
Frederick Derick, Fred, Fredric, Freddie, Frish, Fritz
– (f)Frederica, Rick
Frederica – (m) Frederick
Gabriel Gabe, Gabby – (f) Garbrielle
Gabrielle Ella, Gabbie – (m) Gabriel
Genevieve Gency/Jinsey, Jenny
Geoffrey Jeff, Jeffrey
George Jorge – (f) Georgiana
Georgia Georgiana – (m)George
Gerald Jerry – (f) Geraldine, (m) Gerry
Geraldine Dina, Gerri(e), Jerry, Deannie
– (m) Gerald
Gerhardt Gay
Gertrude Gatty, Gertie, Trudy
Gilbert Bert, Bertie, Gib, Gil, Wilber
Gloria Glory
Governor Govie
Greenberry Berry, Green
Gretchen Margaret
Gregory Greg
Griselda Grissel
Gustavus Gus
Gwendolyn Genny,Gwen, Wendy
Hamilton Ham
Hannah Anna, Hattie,Nan, Nanny, Susannah
Heather Hetty
Herman Harman (Dutch)
Harold Hal, Harry
Harriet Hatty(ie) – (m) Harry
Harry Harold, Henry
Haseltine Hassie
Helen(a) Aileen,Eileen, Elaine,Eleanor,
Heloise Eloise, Lois
Henrietta Etta, Hank, Hetty, Nettie, Retta
– (m) Henry
Henry Hal, Hank, Harry, Hen, Hence
Hepsabah/Hepsabeth/Hepsabel Hepsy
Herbert Bert, Herb
Hester Esther Hessy, Hetty
Hezekiah Hez, Ki, Ky
Honora Honey, Nora, Norah, Norry
Horace Harry, Horatio
Hortense Harty, Tensey
Hosea Hosey, Hosie
Howard Hal, Howie
Hubert Hugh/Hugo, Bert
Ian John

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