The Irish Naming Pattern
The Irish Naming Pattern is considered to be a fairly solid way of working with family units you have created, certainly up to the time of the famine (1845 - 50). My own work had already found a similar pattern and after the famine it became harder to use this system but it still works in many cases and should not be ignored. The case for women being named in the same way is less strong but does nevertheless exist in early families. You need to use it because there is precious little connecting one generation to another before 1860/3 and state registration.
My surname is not so common but in one area of Tipperary, its origins Clare and another area of Cork there are hundreds of people with the same surname. I have 5 Patricks born within a 5 year span, within short walking distance of each other. Which is which? Using the naming pattern helps a lot, even if it removes a couple from the equation it helps?
Name Conservation is also useful
Look for repeats of names in a family group. If it is an important name it will be repeated, especially within one family, if an infant dies during the time of the children being born, for both sexes.
Although many names are repeated ad nauseam a pattern can emerge through the generations. I have had good success with names like Denis, Stephen, Richard, Andrew and Hyacinth.... yes, and he called his son Hyacinth too, Hicanthus in Latin. ( the son changes his name to Cent or Saint later - maybe it should have been scent? ).
A second son often introduced a new name - I have a stream of Rodys / Rogers but only from one occurrence as a second child in that line.
Once a name is used in a family, it can repeat but over time but there becomes a divergence. I have two strands with Pat, Tim and James in both sides but other names like William and Denis are only on one side. Recognising the flow of names can help a lot.
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