Re: [S-R] Child-naming
- It was common to put an "+" with the child's name if they had died.
Sent: Saturday, September 26, 2009 5:54 PM
Subject: [S-R] Child-naming
"The naming of children," writes historian Daniel Scott Smith, "is culturally never a trivial act."
Indeed there exists onomastics - the study of the origin and history of proper names, names which designate a particular being or thing, are not normally preceded by an article or limiting modifier, and are usually capitalized.
An onomastic custom in old Austria/Hungary (as well as colonial New England) was the use of necronyms. When a child died, its name was usually given to the next-born baby of the same sex.
In my own family my grandmother had a twin infant, Margarita, die shortly after her birth. The next baby girl was named Margarita. When this child died, the next girl born was named Margarita. The name was used three times!
When searching church records, if the baby's death is noted - always look for the next one with the same name.
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