Great-Great Grandparent Names Bracket

I've been obsessively researching our genealogy lately, and have officially found at least first names for all 32 of my daughter's great-great-great grandparents. So I made my husband play a name bracket game with the names of our great and great-great grandparents. Here are the ones from my side:

Daniel, Paul, Augustus, Charles, Frederick, Walter, Istvan, Charles "Nona", Daniel, Clarence, John, Stephen

Carrie, Sara, Nettie, Clara, Mary, Nellie, Eszter, Gertrude, Mary, Helen, Rachel, Mildred

Can you guess his picks for overall winners? :)


April 11, 2012 11:50 AM

How do we play this version?  Are we supposed to choose First and middle combos or just faves from the list?

April 11, 2012 12:08 PM

I was thinking just faves from the list. But I can break it down for you like I did for him.

So guys' quadrants:

  1. Daniel, Daniel, Paul
  2. Clarence, Augustus, Charles
  3. John, Frederick, Walter
  4. Stephen, Istvan, Charles "Nona"

Pick your fave from each group. Then 1 battles 2, 3 battles 4. Then winner of each of those battle for ultimate "best ancestor name!"

Girls' quadrants:

  1. Carrie, Sara, Mary
  2. Helen, Nettie, Clara
  3. Mary, Rachel, Nellie
  4. Eszter, Mildred, Gertrude

Same deal as the guys' rules. I think my ultimate winners would be Charles and Clara. My husband's were John and Clara.

By hyz
April 11, 2012 12:31 PM

Hmm, my winners from your lists would be Augustus (would have to go by August, though) and Clara, with honorable mention to Charles, Paul, Helen, and Mary.  I'm just impressed that you found so many names.  Sadly, I can only remember one of my great grandparents' names off the top of my head (I feel like I used to know more), and don't have a hope of any great-great grandparents. 

April 11, 2012 4:06 PM

Well, my family tends to live long and marry early - a good combo for genealogy! I knew 1 of my great-great grandmas and 6 of my great-grandparents (and 1 is still living! He's one of the Daniels, who is 96).

I think that's why I'm having so much trouble with my husband's family -- they have kids later and die younger, so a lot of names/family lore gets lost every generation. It's crazy to me that his parents have no idea what their great-grandparents' names were!


April 11, 2012 12:29 PM

Great game! From my experience, I picture a lot of women choosing Clara and Charles (or even Augustus) while men pick Rachel and Daniel.

I do have a soft spot for Istvan, if you have the Hungarian ancestry behind you.

April 11, 2012 4:07 PM

Well Istvan and Eszter make me um, 1/8 Hungarian. So my kid(s) will only have 1/16. I don't think that's enough to use Istvan, people would just think I'm crazy. :D

April 11, 2012 2:25 PM

my picks would be Charles or Daniel for the guys, and Eszter (which I love) for the ladies.

I think my great-grandparents might all be listed on - I'll have to check.  My husband's family probably doesn't know a bunch of his, unfortunately, between immigration and one grandparent who was something of a crook.

April 11, 2012 2:35 PM

My grandparents and great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents (brackets grouping generations):

Guys: [Ivan, Charles,] [Harry, Harry, Charles, Frederick,] [Morris, Louis, Thomas, Edward, Samuel, Hirsh]

Ladies: [Louise, Helen,] [Anna, Pearl, Fanny, Mary,] [Rose, Annie, Caroline, Ida, Jennie, Comfort]

we're missing a few on my mother's side, but still some cool names in there.

April 11, 2012 4:15 PM

Hm, think I'd go with Charles for guys.

And then it's a toss-up between Caroline and Louise for me. I like both of those a lot.

Giggling at my husband's reaction if I suggested "Comfort" as a name. :D

April 12, 2012 1:34 PM

I really like Comfort, actually.  And it pops up several times on that geneology - seems to have been something of a family name.  or maybe just popular back then.  But yeah, my husband would look at me funny too.

April 11, 2012 7:09 PM

First off, congrats for finding so many genealogical connections. I am very into genealogy. I will have to look up all my names and post them later on. As far as best names, I'd have to pick Daniel or Stephen and Sara or Rachel. I do have Gertrude and Nellie in my list too.

April 12, 2012 9:25 AM

Okay, here's my list of Great grandparents.

Natlalia nn Nellie, Julia, Mary, Elizabeth, Viola, {Gertrude, Ruth, Madeleine=great Aunts}

Constantine, Augustus, Frank, Jesse, Leslie, George, Ernest, Anthony

I'm missing a few women's names and the men are numerous due to remarriage. I have lots of names in my files. My favs are Lucian for a boy and Leslie for a girl even though it was given as a boy's name back then. I also named my dd after Natalia.

April 12, 2012 10:29 AM

I'd go with Julia and I guess Anthony. I don't really love any of those guy names though. Maybe George?

April 13, 2012 2:00 PM

Those would be my picks as well, zoerhenne. Not a big surprise! I also love Paul

April 11, 2012 8:32 PM

It would have to be Augustus followed by Charles or Clarence for the boys then Clara followed by Nellie and Gertrude for me.

April 12, 2012 10:29 AM

Ooh, or to match zoerhenne's other game - you could have Clara and Clarence! :D

By Guest (not verified)
April 12, 2012 11:48 AM

Ooh, a game combining my two favorite interests: onomastics and genealogy!

But I'm re-writing the rules: instead of choosing from yours, I'm giving my daughter's list:

great-grand:     Imre, Lajos, Gyula József, Károly;
        Erzsébet Livia (Lili), Edit, Erzsébet Gizella, Júlia
great-great:     Imre, Miksa, Lajos, Vilmos, József, Árpád, István, János;
        Mária, Johanna, Irma, Melánia, Teréz, Zsuzsanna, Julianna, Julianna

I've given middle names where I know of any. (Most of these people didn't have them.)

I only have half of my husband's great-greats: Imre, Sámuel, Móritz, Jozef; Borbála, Mária, Adelheid, Betti. Mine there's just one gggrandmother missing: Josef, János, Sándor, János, Dániel, István, András, János; Johanna, Teréz, Borbála, Mária, Eszter, Anna, Zsuzsanna.

They represent a pretty broad chronological spread: 1784 to 1914 for (known) birth years. Most of them spoke the same language (which should be a pretty easy guess!), but there are a few outliers (any guesses of the languages?).

April 12, 2012 5:51 PM

Well obviously there's lots of Hungarian. Maybe some Polish too? Or German or Danish? (Betti and Adelheid stand out to me).

By Guest (not verified)
April 12, 2012 8:06 PM

Betti and Adelheid happen to be the Jewish side; given the time and place, they were probably multilingual: German, Yiddish, Hungarian, possibly some Hebrew (at least for the guys). I don't have any helpful notes on them like I do for Johanna, who I know was not only illiterate, but also spoke only German (in a town that's today in Austria, but a hundred years ago was in Hungary).

Oh, and my list got so long that I forgot the whole bracket/choice part of the game. My daughter is named Jul1anna, so the feminine side is done. (It may help to know that there's a Julia in every intervening generation.) For the men, I end up with some version or other of Joseph no matter how I try grouping them.

April 12, 2012 12:58 PM

Ok--I had to go look them up, but I have most of the Great-Great-Great Grandparents for my kiddos too--many of them with first and middle names. :-) My husband's side isn't quite complete due to long generations and a lack of interest on one side of the family for preserving these treasures:


Herschel Johnson, James Insley, Dorwin William, LeRoy (original on birth certificate was Lee Roy), Harriette Pearson (although his first wife was Luella), Anita Lillian, Marjorie May, & Mary Margaret


George Melancthon, Thomas Joseph, Arthur Bronston, Armond (no middle name), Ray Roy, Edward/Edwin (some debate here) William, Milton Stanley, Alexander Calderwood, Vashti Gertrude, Linnie Adeline, Macrina Susanna, Lillian (no middle name), Esther Elizabeth, Daisy Ethel, Katherine McCorquodale, & Arley Roena


David John, James Insley (they skipped a generation for some reason), Pierre, _____ (missing name), George Appling, John C. (only have initial), Patrick, William Sanders, Walter David, Andrew Obed, William (Jr.), Duncan, Joseph Goble, John William, Joseph David, Lawrence (Sr.), Emaline, Emma Jane, Marie, _____ (missing name), Sarah Ann, Parthenia A. (I'm dying to know her middle name), Felicia, Sarah Emily, Hattie Elender, Viola Mae, Margaret, Mary, Malissa Ann, Rosellia, Gertrude Elizabeth/Estelle (some debate there), and Elizabeth Suzanne.

I can go back one more generation in most of those, but the list gets *really* long.


April 12, 2012 5:49 PM

sharalyn-If she lived in this country and has a few supporting details I'd love to help you out to look up her mn. Genealogy is second hobby to this one. Email me at this name on AOL if you like. Make sure the subject says genealogy baby names or something.

April 12, 2012 5:07 PM

I LOVE this. Thanks for posting this. It is a lot of fun.

Our son is not a namesake. We just liked his name, but I did it with our family and actually my final four are all names on our list for furture baby #2. I have two missing in the Great-great-great generation, but here are our family names:

G-G-G-grandparents: Filomenia, Vincenzo (known as James), Guiseppa (known as Josephine), Diego, Assunta (known as Susan), Giuseppe, Saveria, Alfonso, Caroline, Frank, Elizabeth, Andrew, Edward, Martha, David, Mary, Ricardo, Carmen, Anabelle, Oscar, Solomon, Geneva, John, Mary, Michael, Joanna, Georgianie, Jacques, Charles and Lucinda

From this generation my final four were Charles, Andrew, Elizabeth and Josephine and those were all on our short list for baby #2.

G-G-grandparents: Agnes, Anthony, Mary, Anthony, Edward, Isabelle, Robert, Bertha, Pedro, Juanita, Arnold, Evanell, John, Mary Florence (known as Mollie), Mary Josephine and Millard

G-grandparents: Alice, Melville, Josephine, Alphonse, Antonio, Shirley, Pearl and Edward.

After looking at this I love that there were so many names that really reflect our background (Italian, Spanish, French, and been here since just after the Mayflower).

April 12, 2012 5:49 PM

My picks would be Joanna and Edward! You have some great names there though.

April 12, 2012 5:35 PM

So many great lists! (pun intended)

Guest-I'd pick Samuel and Johanna and guess Ukrainian.

 Sharalyn-I'd pick Alexander Calder (dropping the wood part), and maybe Malissa. You have many usable names there.

Mamajaybee-I'd change Evanell to just Evan and for a girl pick Caroline. Again, many usable names.

The thing with my relatives great aunts, uncles, cousins, and all is that we have a lot of Mary's and John's. I did not want those names. I also did not want to follow the tradition of my husbands family in recombining names. They do things like have the dad be named Michael Anthony and the son Anthony Michael, then the next son Michael Edward. Meanwhile the uncle Edward Micheal has named his boys Anthony Michael or Michael Edward or something. So with my husbands "not-at-all-current-trending" name we decided to not name after anyone. It hopefully will be a lot less confusing for the next generation.

April 12, 2012 5:49 PM

Oh my family does that too! Every other person is named James, either as a middle or a first.

April 13, 2012 9:22 AM

Actually two of my favorite family names are Geneva (which is my middle name) and Evanell (who was my great-grandmother who I loved very much). And Evanell, Nell or Evan would be near the top of my list if my spouse liked it and if my sister's boyfriend wasn't named Evan.

April 13, 2012 12:22 PM

Hee hee--My son is Alex@nder J@mes. :-)

I wanted to use Emaline for a girl, but my SIL grabbed it first. :-)

April 13, 2012 2:07 PM

Hey Sharalyns, I have a son with the same name. Awesome!

April 13, 2012 5:18 PM

It's a great name! :-)

April 12, 2012 5:55 PM

And here's my husband's side!

Herbert, Noil [it was pronounced Noel. My husband Noel is named after him.], Harrison, Samuel, James, Nathaniel, Dudley, Ned, John, George, Thomas, Henry, Thomas, John.

Eloise, Marilyn, Sarah Ann, Corda Mae, Dollie, Ethel, Newcarious, Mandy, Nancy, Rose, Martha, Martha Etter, Mary, Margaret.

We almost used Eloise, before settling on Eleanor. And about six of those guys have the middle name Douglas, so that'll definitely be used if we ever have a son. But I can tell you right now that Newcarious will never be used. :)

Incidentally, Newcarious also shows up on various census records as Newcaress, Nucharious, Nucars, Neucarryous, etc. Apparently no one knew what do with that name.

April 12, 2012 7:18 PM

That's a great story about Newcarious. I can't say I've ever come across that one when looking up census records. Oh and I wouldn't use Dudley anytime soon either. That's a name whose time has come and gone with no hope of returning. 

By Guest (not verified)
April 14, 2012 12:19 AM

oh this is a fun one. My list would be:


Female: Cynthia, Anne, Bette, Maureen, Emma, Alice, Avril, May, Harriet

Male: William, Frank, William, Robert, Frank, James, Lyle, William, Walker


I don't have as much info on my husband's side since they don't seem to care about such things as much.

We didn't really think of using any of those names, although some of them are popular now (Emma, Alice, May) and I do like Avril, Harriet and Walker.


and yes, my parents broke the trend of three generations of Williams and named my brother something else. (Michael.) 



April 15, 2012 10:19 PM

My brackets aren't complete as I'm not sure of the names on some of these.  I'm starting with my grandparents, then to my great-grandparent, then great-great grandparents, then a couple great-great-great-grandparents. 


[Elias, Timothy][Edward, Otto, Oscar, William][Charles, Frederick, Elias, Joseph, Frank][Giles, Frederick]


[Linilda, Catherine][Laura, Theresa, Elizabeth, Ida][Catherine, Mary, Fannie, Harriet, Sarah][Amanda, Polly]


For the guys I think Giles is super cool but no way dh would go for it.  I considered using Elias last time around since it's on the tree twice (and a third time as a middle name) but the Eli names are so hot now.  It doesn't feel as timeless as it actually is.  And I had forgotten that Otto's middle name was Marie.

For the gals I obviously love Laura and Theresa.  I actually like Amanda a lot too but even though she was born in the 1820s it's way too 1980s to use.   I also think it's super cool that my grandmother had essentially a made up name (Linilda) way back in 1900.

Also looking back over the tree, I saw the Laura I was named after had the maiden name Gray.  We've never used surnames as middle names but maybe we should have.  I really like that one.

April 17, 2012 2:07 PM

I also love Giles! But ditto no way that husband would approve. :)

By Coll
April 27, 2012 5:08 PM

I only know one of my great-great grandparents' names (Maurice!), but I'll see how I can do with my son's great and great-great grand parents (thanks for the fun game prompt). Can you guess my and my husband's religious/ethnic backgrounds?


My side: George, William, Hildy, Johanna, Thomas, Bridgid, Geraldine, John, Molly, Elizabeth, [x], [x]

Husband's side: Irving, Rae, Edith, Arthur, Henrietta, Charles, Sadie, Samuel, Abraham, [x], [x], [x]

By hyz
May 4, 2012 12:17 AM

Coll, I'd venture to guess you're mostly Irish and German, and your husband is Jewish.  Yes?

By Coll
May 6, 2012 9:14 PM

You got it! More Irish than German on my side-- Johanna was Brighid and Thomas's daughter.

By hyz
May 6, 2012 11:32 PM

Yay!  I recognize a lot of those German and Irish flavor names from my own tree, too.

May 3, 2012 8:21 PM

I choose Frederick and Clara. 


my children's grands and great grands:

My side:  Dwight, Robert, Maurice, Philip, Frank, Barbara, Mary, Florence, Clara, Mable

His Side:  Leo, David, Earl, Walter, Jessica, Lela, Carolyn, Mary 

By hyz
May 4, 2012 12:18 AM

Ok, I've done some research since this thread started, and I now have all my grands and great-grands, and many great-great-grands (and more!).  So fun.  So here goes (middles included where known):

[Charles Leo, Joseph] [Charles, Thomas Joseph, Frank (changed at immigration, may have been Frantisek), Joseph Pius] [Frederick, Abraham, John, Thomas Alexander, William, ?, ?, ?]

[Margaret, Virginia Margaret] [Sophia, Ada, Anna, Rosaline] [Frances, Francesca, Catherine, Nancy Anna, Margaret, ?, ?, ?]

For those keeping score at home, that's:

Joseph x3

Margaret x3

Some form of Frank x3

Thomas x2

Charles x2

Anna x2

So, not much creativity going on here, but lots of lovely classics.  I could be quite happy picking from this list.  Going back one more generation with the names I know, a few more interesting options are added:

Adam, Heinrich, Nepomuck, Ludwig, Abraham, Henry, Samuel, John, and

Catherina, Anna, Maria Agatha, Mary Magdeline, Esther (or Easter?), Phoebe, Susan. 

By hyz
May 6, 2012 2:01 PM

That's what I said.  The only place I ever heard that name otherwise was a couple years ago when we visited the Czech Republic and learned of St. John of Nepomuk (  But this ancestor was supposed to have been born in southwest Germany, so I'm not sure what the connection would be.  Maybe it's just a very Catholic thing, and they picked a saint they liked for some reason?  He's the last in that line I could find, and his daughter was Francesca, so he didn't continue the unusual naming trend.

May 27, 2012 7:26 PM

I would pick Frederick and Clara from your list.


So my grandparents, great, and great great-grandparents, I'll even include my great great great-grands where I know them:

Malcolm Frederick, Eugene, William Roderick, Herman, Andrew (he was Greek, so probably actually Andreas or something like that), Srulik, Davis Wasgatt Clark, William Henry

Aurora Dorothy, Shirley Zita, Yolanda, Rose (who I'm named after), Adelaide, Gladys, Mary Adelaide, Josephine Dobbs (her maiden name)


I would probably pick either Frederick or William and Aurora or Adelaide

July 17, 2014 10:49 AM

My list - great grandparents - Leela, Marian, Anna , Mary, - Wallace, Preston, John , William

Grandparents - Allen Louise (Allie), Mahala, Harry, Harley

Husband's Grandparents - Marie, Pierce, Mary, Irving

September 25, 2015 5:38 PM

Charles "Charlie", Daniel

Sara, Carrie, Clara