Tag Archives: names

Naming Patterns

In the  Blair County Genealogical Society Newsletter, Altoona, PA, Septermber-October-November 1987 issue Vol. 8, No. 3, childrens naming patterns were listed as follows:

English in England

1st son-maternal grandfather

2nd son-paternal grandfather

3rd son-father

1st daughter-paternal grandmother

2nd daughter-maternal grandmother

3rd daughter-mother




Colyer Cemetery

The Colyer Cemetery is in Altoona, Blair County, Pennsylvania. It sits at the top of a steep hill overlooking a large valley. The cemetery is located on private property of a business on Mill Run Road.  It is surrounded by a decorative black iron fence. The main monument is approximately five to six feet tall and bears the names of John Colyer, his wife, Margaret on one side, Susan Colyer and Joseph Colyer on another side and Clara Kelly is on the opposite side of Susan and Joseph.


Susan Colyer, Colyer Cemetery, Altoona, PA

Colyer Cemetery, Altoona, PA


Main monument inscriptions:

John Colyer

Born: April 30, 1803

Died: Oct. 19, 1876

For I know that my Redeemer liveth and that He shall stand at the latter day up on earth and though after my shortcomings destroyths my body yet in my flesh shall I see God.

Margaret Colyer

Wife of John Colyer

Born: June 24, 1808

Died: Jan. 20, 1893

Asleep in Jesus blessed sleep from which no one ever wakes to weep. A calm and undisturbed repose unbroken by the last of foes.

Susan Colyer

Born: Oct. 3, 1839

Died: Aug. 1, 1872

Sitting at the feet of Jesus and clothed in her right mind.

Joseph M. Colyer

Born Jan. 10, 1850

Died July 16, 1859

Suffer the little children to come unto me and forbid them not for of such is the kingdom of Heaven.



Daug of

C.H. & C.E. Kelly

Born May 9, 1873

Died Aug 4, 1873

Budded on earth to bloom in Heaven


The other tombstones in the cemetery are:


Charles H. Kelly

Oct 8, 1849

Apr 21, 1919

Candace E. Kelly

Apr 10, 1847

Apr 16, 1913

John M. Kelley

Son of C.H. & C. E. Kelley


At Rest

Maggie A. Kelley

Wife of S.S. Showalter


A sleep in Jesus

Mary E.

Dau. of C.H. & C. E. Kelley


At home in Heaven

Alex F. Kelley


Solomon Showalter

July 24, 1861-June 18, 1908

(interment per obituary)

Emanuel Duck

Died Dec 23, 1914

(interment per obituary)

Merle Moorhead

Died Aug. 18, 1904

(interment per obituary)


Seven of the above named people are my direct ancestors.

Solomon & Maggie Showalter-great-grandparents

Charles & Candace Kelley-2x great grandparents

John & Margaret Colyer & Alex Kelley-my 3x great-grandparents










Old Naming Pattern

An Old Naming Pattern

First son after the father’s father.

Second son after the mother’s father.

Third son after the father.

Fourth son after the father’s eldest brother.

First daughter after the mother’s mother.

Second daughter after the father’s mother.

Third daughter after the mother.

Fourth daughter after the mother’s eldest sister.

German naming patterns used the middle name as their “everyday” name. If the father’s name was John, they could have had sons named John Daniel or John Henry but would have called them Daniel or Henry. Could be why you see so many names repeat in families.

Also, John the second did not always mean he was the son of John but just the second brother, cousin, uncle or nephew. So don’t assume that John the second is a John Junior.

{source}from Ancestors Unlimited (Contributed by Carol Adams) published in the Blair County Genealogical Society Newsletter, Sept. Oct. Nov. 2015, Vol. 36, No. 3

Name Variations

Here is a short list of spelling variations and abbrevations for given names.

  • Benjamin–Benj
  • James–Jas.
  • Lawrence–Lawr.
  • Robert–Rbt
  • Samuel–Saml., Sam’l
  • Edward–Edw.
  • Thomas–Thos.
  • William–Wm
  • Charles–Chas.
  • John–Jno.
  • Daniel–Danl., Dan’l
  • George–Geo.
  • Joseph–Jos.
  • Richard–Richd.

Please let me know if you have others that can be added to the list.