In German society there was a first name and a calling name, so John Jacob would have that name on church records, deeds, etc., but for anything else, he would be known as Jacob.
There was a naming order for families. This was observed especially with the Mennonites.
This naming order started to go out in the 1840's.
Nicknames can also cause confusion. These are some among the Pennsylvania Germans.
|Bernhare, Bernd, and Barnet||Bernard|
|Elizabeth||Eliz, Eliza, or Lis|
|Johannans||Hans or Hannes|
|Magdalena||Matti, Matta, Lena, or Molly|
|Maria||Mary with the nickname of Polly or Molly|
|Nicholas (Nicholaus)||Nickel or Claus|
|Anna or Ann||Nancy or Nan|
|Catharina||Kate or Katie|
|Christoph (Christopher)||Stoffell and was confused with Christian whose nickname was Christ or Christli|
|Gottfried (Godfrey, Geofrey)||In English, was confused with Frederick and the nickname of Fritz|
|Margretha||Peggy or Maggie|
|Ludwig||Luwick or Lewis|
Page content reviewed and/or updated by the Advisory Board 2022 Dec
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