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Guest Blog Series: Use Nicknames in Newspaper Research

In many genealogically related documents (especially newspapers and census records), nicknames were frequently used, as those names were more often used than the “formal” given name of the person.

Your search index database is not smart enough, for example, to interpret ‘Sadie” for the formal given name of “Sarah”. Thus, you will need to use both names separately in your search criteria.

So, when developing your search criteria for both genealogy and newspaper searches, you need to include nicknames in your repertoire.

Here are some articles that list common and old-time nicknames that you should employ in your search criteria:

Below is a list of about 60 common names and nicknames.

NameNickname
Abigail, TabithaAbbie, Abby
AbrahamAbe, Abra
AlexanderAlec, Alex
AlexanderSandy
AliceAllie
AliceElsie
Antoinette, HenriettaNettie
ArchibaldArch, Archie
AugustGus
AugustusAugie
BartholomewBart, Bat
C/KatherineKitty
CarolineCallie, Carrie
CharlotteLollie, Lottie
ChristopherKit
Clarissa, ClarindaClara
CorneliusCon
CyrusCy
DorothyDolly, Dot
EdithEdie
Edwin, EdwardNed
Eleanor, Ellen, HelenNellie
ElizabethBess, Betsey
FlorenceFlora, Flossie
FrancesFanny, Frankie
HamiltonHam
Harold, HenryHal
HarrietHatty
Henrietta, LouettaEtta
HenryHank
HenryHarry
HiramHy
IsaacIke
Jackson, JohnJack
JacobJake
Janet, VirginiaJenny
JedidiahJed
Josiah, CyrusSi, Cy
Katherine, KathleenKate, Kay
Malachi, MalcolmMal
MargaretMeg, Maggie
MargaretPeggy
Margaret, MargeryMadge
MarthaMattie
MarthaPatsy
Martha, Mary, AmeliaMollie
Martha, PatiencePatty
MaryMamie
MaryPolly
Mary, WilhelminaMinnie
Mindwell, WilhelminaMina
NathanielNat, Nate
NewtonNewt
OliverOllie
PatrickPaddy
PhineasFinney
RichardDick
SarahSadie, Sally
ThaddeusTad
VirgilVirg
Wiley, WilliamWillie, Bill
Winifred, EdwinaWinnie

 

Use nicknames in your search criteria. You’ll be glad you did!

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