Naming conventions

From: Michael Cooley <>
Date: Tue, 6 Dec 2011 17:29:08 -0800

I've had a lot of correspondence through the years with researchers in
several of my lines about trying to get clues to ancestries from the names
found in a family. My experience with that, though, is that I can't find
sense in any of that until -after- the connections are made. Looking at
Edward Cooley's family, it does become evident where the names of his
children came from.

Edward's daughters, Joanna and Elizabeth, were probably named for his
sisters. His sons, in order of birth: Reuben, named for Edward's "baby"
brother; John, for his father and brother; Thomas, for his father-in-law
Thomas Raper; Edward, for himself; Stephen, probably for his
brother-in-law Stephen Fountain (named in Thomas Raper's will).

Edward had an eighth child that has remained unidentified. Some
researchers suggest that his name was William. I've always discounted it
because I've find absolutely no evidence for it and no one had ever
revealed why the name appears as a possible child. I had also never found
any "sense" in him naming a child William. It seems that I now need to
reconsider that now that we know William Matthews Cooley was related.

I've also speculated that Edward's eight child might have been the David
Cooley who appears in Stokes county deeds in 1805, 1808, 1813, 1814 and
1815. A child of Edward's could well have come of age in 1805. Nothing has
appeared, however, to back that up and I've not been able to trace David
out of Stokes county.

We've not yet been able to make "sense" for the names for John's
children--except, of course, for his son John. It's always been assumed
that one of his daughters was named for his wife but Edward and Martha
didn't name a child Martha (unless she was the eighth child)--and we have
some evidence that she might have been Sarah Matthews. (I'm still waiting
for a copy of the 1967 book.)

The names Perrin and Rice haven't panned out as possible maiden names for
John's wife. And for whom might he have named Reuben and Cornelius? What
ancestry, in-laws and friends might have accounted for those names?

And what of the names for WMC's children? Jonathan could have been for his
father as John does appear in one record (only) as Jonathan S(?) Cooley.
Joel actually stands out a bit because of the presence of Joel Halbert in
Surry/Stokes county. A Joel is also found among the Hills, who
intermarried with the Halberts.

I've just started a new section on allied families in hopes that some
clues will be found: . They're not well
developed and have -very- few notes.

Received on Tue Dec 06 2011 - 18:29:08 MST

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