Genealogy Software, Naming Practices

Emmet/Emmett as First or Middle Name

One of the things I love about TNG (The Next Generation of Genealogy Sitebuilding) is its powerful search capacity. Once you’ve entered some data into your TNG-based genealogy database, you can quickly and easily perform all kinds of searches based on any number of criteria. Cause of death contains “tuberculosis,” for example, gives me this list (which almost certainly underrepresents the actual number of tuberculosis victims in my database, since I either have not discovered or have not entered the cause of death for many, many individuals). Birth place “Arnprior,” to give another example, produces this list(96 individuals, many of them Cunninghams, Finnertys and Galligans, and with 16 surnames represented overall).

I’ve already written of my family tree’s “Loreto/Loretto as girl’s middle name” mini-trend, which began around 1860 and peaked around 1900 or so.

Here’s another mini-trend in naming practices, and this one for boys:
Emmett as a first or middle name (with TNG-generated list found here). In my family tree database, the first instance of a boy baptized with Emmett as a forename (whether first or middle name) occurs in 1880, and the last in 1920, with the late 1890s/early 1900s representing something of a peak period.
While hasty conclusions based on possibly unfounded assumptions are one of the pitfalls of genealogical research, in this case I have no hesitation in assuming and asserting that these boys were named with reference (and in tribute) to the Irish nationalist Robert Emmet.
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