THE COMMANDMENTS FOR NAMES
A "Tongue-In-Cheek" Viewpoint of a Family Researcher:
(1). Thou shalt name your male children: James, John, Joseph, Josiah, Abel, Richard, Thomas, William.
(2) Thou shalt name your female children: Elizabeth, Mary, Martha, Maria, Sarah, Ida, Virginia, May.
(3) Thou shalt leave NO trace of your female children.
(4) Thou shalt, after naming your children from the above lists, call them by strange nicknames such as: Ike, Eli, Polly, Dolly, Sukey... making them difficult to trace.
(5) Thou shalt NOT use any middle names on any legal documents or census reports, and only where necessary, you may use only initials on legal documents.
(6) Thou shalt learn to sign all documents illegibly so that your surname can be spelled, or misspelled, in various ways: Hicks, Hix, Hixe, Hucks, Kicks or Robinson, Robertson, Robison, Roberson, Robuson, Robson, Dobson.
(7) Thou shalt, after no more then 3 generations, make sure that all family records are lost, misplaced, burned in a court house fire, or buried so that NO future trace of them can be found.
(8) Thou shalt propagate misleading legends, rumors, and vague innuendo regarding your place origination:
(A) you may have come from : Europe, England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales...
(B) you may have American Indian ancestry of the ______ tribe...
(C) You may have descended from one of three brothers that came over from ______
(9) Thou shalt leave NO cemetery records, or headstones with legible names.
(10) Thou shalt leave NO family Bible with records of birth, marriages, or deaths.
(11) Thou shalt ALWAYS flip thy name around. If born James Albert, thou must make all the rest of thy records in the names of Albert, AJ, JA, AL, Bert, Bart, or Alfred.
(12) Thou must also flip thy parent's names when making reference to them, although "Unknown" or a blank line is an acceptable alternative.
(13) Thou shalt name at least 5 generations of males and dozens of their cousins with identical names in order to totally confuse researchers.
Additions to the original list:
14. You shall read "Unk Friend" (or whatever) as Uncle Friend (or whatever) and cause a new complete and totally unfounded branch (Fanny's your uncle, Robert's your aunt) in thousands of peoples' files. ~ Art Grady
15. Thou shalt take in children from other families and without formally adopting them, change their last name to yours. ~ Ruth Koontz
16. Don't forget Uncle or Aunt STILLBO ('stillbo' is used as abbrev. for child that was stillborn - I had a lady contact me and ask if I had any info on a specific surname for Stillbo). ~ Ruth sprowls
17. Thou shall name a child the same name as a previous deceased child. ~ Dave Fochtman
18. Thou shalt name your child the same name as your brother's child that was born the same year. ~ Karen McCunney
19. Thou shalt marry two women with the same first name. ~ "Soulmate".
20. Thou shalt only marry a man named JONES if your surname is SMITH or vice versa. ~ Karen Hangsleben
21. Immigration officials must change all immigrants names to reflect a spelling more convenient.
And - my favorite
22. For immigration purposes, all countries can be lumped together (i.e. England, Scotland, Wales and both Irelands are simply England). ~ Theresa