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siblings of same name

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By Stuart Armstrong - Posted on 22 September 2011

Esther ... ,

> Rafael Lopez Ornelas ... oldest male in a family of 13. His
> youngest brother was also named Rafael Lopez Ornelas

I have a surprising number of such instances in my database. And I
would say that in browsing the christening record images I have seen
MANY like this. It causes a lot of problems before you discover that
two siblings had the same name.

There are several scenarios I have seen.

A child is given the same name as an older sibling for no apparent
A child born on the birthday of an older sibling was often given the
same name.
A child born in the same month as an older sibling. Saints days
weren't followed precisely - it seems that families often chose between
favorite saints whose days were close to the birthdate of the child.

Twins were often given the same name.

I have seen records that don't even name each child distinctly - for
example, the record just says "Bacilios", meaning two of them, and
"hijos legitimos" (plural) and in the margin the word gemelos (twins).
To my way of thinking I would somehow feel cheated if the recorder
didn't make a separate record for my birth .

One particularly confusing instance was of a child born exactly 10
years to the day after his older brother, and was given the same name.
Until I discovered the christening records for both of them I thought
it was a typo or copying error.

In still another family I discovered 3 siblings named Francisca. Two
of them were twins, and the other was born exactly 6 years earlier to
the day.

Contrary to what I've often heard, there was no requirement that the
older sibling died young, although that sometimes happened. In the
case of Francisca, the older one and one of the twins both married and
raised families. The other twin died at age 13.

The confusion that often results from same-name siblings can be hard
to reconcile. You sort of get your first clue when the marriages and
parents of the children don't reconcile. You think there are two
spouses, but they overlap, then you dig deeper and discover the
same-named siblings.
Best regards,


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