Name Dropping
12/7/2011
Clues in your ancestors’ given names could help you identify earlier generations. Here’s how.

In today’s America, where children are named after reality-show stars and parents christen their offspring Khaylee and Jaxon, it’s hard to imagine such a thing as naming traditions. But not that long ago, parents routinely followed patterns for passing on given names from generations past. The traditions varied by country, but if you know your cultural heritage, you often can use these patterns to make educated guesses about the brick walls in your past.