How can Peggy be short for Margaret….

Often the names of our ancestors recorded on census returns or other papers never seem to line up with their given names. I’ve been struggling to find the ‘real’ name of an ancestor recorded on documents as Minnie.
Is she Mary or Martha?
There were oodles of females named as Mary and also Martha in this family.
And to complicate matters I can’t find documents with either name for the time period I’m looking at so I can pinpoint which name she was given.

In another line I’ve got a Kathleen known as Kitty and a Mary known as May.
John was Jack and Charles was Chuck, oh and James was Jim

Nicknames- the bane of a genealogist’s life

If you’ve ever wondered how they came about you might be interested
in these (safe) links.
They are all similar but fun to read and could supply the answer
As to why your Aunt Margaret was often called Daisy

Fun Friday – the day you forget the worries of the week
I think we all deserve a smile at the moment 😊

14 Replies to “How can Peggy be short for Margaret….”

  1. As a matter of fact, I do have two friends named Margaret. One goes by Meg. The other goes by Peggy. I never could understand the Peggy. Thank you for the answer.


  2. I also have a couple of friends that their names are Margaret but they call themselves
    Peggy so I guess it is popular. Stay safe.


  3. In my family up until my brother decided his eldest wouldn’t have xyz as his name, everyone inherited – first girl or boy – parents names.

    Said brother inherited Ingleby – and of course gran said “he can’t have that mouth full, he looks like a Billy.” He remained Billy until he was an adult and then he shortened it to Bill.

    Some years later he was at one of those events where everyone had to tell “something you don’t know about me…” and he said “my real name isn’t Bill, it’s….” and up piped the know alls who said “we know that, it means you’ve William” … “if you had just let me finish before you all interrupted – I’m Ingleby” and with a flourish he produced a letter from some official place with Mr I.T. Miller.

    There of course was a stunned silence!

    My eldest and now very elderly sister inherited Mary – and of course Gran again said “she can’t …she will be know as Molly”

    I didn’t even know for many years she wasn’t truly Molly – and I still have a great deal of difficulty with Mary. But her betrothed insisted that as her real name was Mary, she should be known only as Mary. I found a decade or two back that she actually preferred Molly!

    The rest of had given names that wouldn’t cause issues – next sister/Sally now dec’d and me Catherine – I only just returned after changing my name to Cathy in the late 1960s to be Catherine again. Bill is also dec’d…


  4. Just to say that Minnie is not necessarily short for something. My mum had an Auntie Minnie and that is what was on her birth certificate.


  5. Growing up I went to school with a Fiona. Her parents chose the name because it could not be abbreviated. Her brother struggled to pronounce Fiona and she became Fen. To every one.
    I associate use of my full name with being in trouble – to the extent that I never use it and went to some trouble to get my passport used in the abbreviated version.


  6. My grandmother’s name was Mary, called Maime. My father’s name was John, called Jack. I must look into your nickname sources.


  7. My brother’s name was Richard and as kids he was always called Ricky but when he went to work he was known as Dick. My grandson confided to me one day that he really liked, “Uncle Dick but he’s got a very rude name!”


  8. I am not sure why blogmate Margaret has the name Janice. I never thought about nicknames being difficult for family research, but yes, they would be. Interesting links to explainers.


  9. It does make it a problem to search ones genealogy. My husband on his SS (Social Security) USA retirement income. Is Bob and not Robert, why would his parents let that stay like that on such an important document assigned a number at birth.


  10. F’s parents worked really hard to name F and her siblings with names that don’t have standard derivatives (and avoid passing on any family names that might honour some and not all who feel they ought to be recognized) – and then proceeded to call their firstborn FRED – which bears no resemblance or connection to the registered name so carefully chosen and recorded on her birth certificate. There is no explaining parents.

    Liked by 1 person

  11. I had an Aunt Margaret who to my knowledge was always known as Margaret but my grandfather John was Jack, my Uncles Edward were both Ted and my next door neighbour Mary was Molly. We don’t seem to do any of this these days. People call me Kyles and I accept it as a term of endearment but it’s a brutally unsophisticated way to give a person a nick name

    Liked by 1 person

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