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macorson
28 September 2006, 10:21 PM
I'm in the process of inputting the genealogical work of another family historian. I've run into a few situations where man's name is listed as John Doe Sr., his son's name is listed as Joe Doe, and Joe's son's name is listed John Doe Jr. Is that common in family circles to let the senior-junior relationship span a generational gap like that?

David G. Kanter
29 September 2006, 12:08 AM
. . .I've run into a few situations where man's name is listed as John Doe Sr., his son's name is listed as Joe Doe, and Joe's son's name is listed John Doe Jr. Is that common in family circles to let the senior-junior relationship span a generational gap like that?To my knowledge: No. When there's a generation gap and the younger person's name is identical to the elder's, I believe the correct suffix is "II"--with the elder not having a suffix. The "Jr." is reserved for when a son has the identical name as his father. (And remember that identical name includes each and every part of the name--first name, any and all middle names, and the last name.)

macorson
29 September 2006, 12:18 AM
Good to know. Thanks.

marnen
29 September 2006, 02:03 AM
I've run into a few situations where man's name is listed as John Doe Sr., his son's name is listed as Joe Doe, and Joe's son's name is listed John Doe Jr. Is that common in family circles to let the senior-junior relationship span a generational gap like that?
It depends. It's not modern English-language practice, but if you go back a couple of centuries (for example, to colonial America), you will find that "senior" and "junior" are simply used to distinguish two people of the same name. In these cases, they need not be father and son, or even related at all.

S. Kennedy
29 September 2006, 11:26 AM
It depends. It's not modern English-language practice, but if you go back a couple of centuries (for example, to colonial America), you will find that "senior" and "junior" are simply used to distinguish two people of the same name. In these cases, they need not be father and son, or even related at all.

I receently discovered this in one of my lines in early CT ( not totally proven yet) that has stumped family researchers since at least the 1860s. John, Jr's. father was expected to be named John also but I think was really Charles . The father died while John was a minor and I believe that he was the ward of his mother's uncle named John, hence the Jr. designation. I am still looking for solid proof but the evidence is rather strong.

S. Kennedy

marnen
29 September 2006, 04:46 PM
I think you slightly misunderstood me. I'm not sure about 1860s practice, but a century earlier, John Jr. wouldn't necessarily have been a ward of his uncle John Sr. "Jr." and "Sr." were applied solely for disambiguation, not to imply any familial relationship, just the way we might today refer to two of our friends as "Big John" and "Little John" without implying a relationship. Remember that in colonial English-speaking America, only a few first names were really common, so having (e.g.) two unrelated Richard Smiths in the same village was quite possible. So if you're just going on the "Jr." to believe that your relative was a ward of his uncle, you are probably making an unwarranted assumption.

S. Kennedy
29 September 2006, 06:32 PM
I think you slightly misunderstood me. I'm not sure about 1860s practice, but a century earlier, John Jr. wouldn't necessarily have been a ward of his uncle John Sr. "Jr." and "Sr." were applied solely for disambiguation, not to imply any familial relationship, just the way we might today refer to two of our friends as "Big John" and "Little John" without implying a relationship. Remember that in colonial English-speaking America, only a few first names were really common, so having (e.g.) two unrelated Richard Smiths in the same village was quite possible. So if you're just going on the "Jr." to believe that your relative was a ward of his uncle, you are probably making an unwarranted assumption.

I did understand what you were saying and was simply giving an illustration of how this probably occurred in this one case in the early 1700s. The 1860 reference was simply to the earliest research records that illustrated confusion on the researcher's part. As to the last sentence above, my conclusion was not based on the "Jr." and my point was that the use of Jr. had confused a number of researchers over the years. As a matter of fact, I am a Jr. and was born on my Father's birthday but he never ever used the suffix Sr. for his name. I suspect that this is fairly common.

S. Kennedy