Are daughters ever named after their mothers?

It’s fairly common for the male gender: John Johnson Sr., John Johnson Jr., John Johnson III, etc. But I’ve never heard of this being done for women.

Is it ever done? Is “Jr.” ever used? Something else?

If not, why not?

Isn’t that weird?

Sure it is. My aunt Mary was named after her mother.

The reason it is not done more often is probably because our society is basically patrilineal, at least as far as names go. A son is seen as carrying on a lineage, so he may be given his father’s name. A daughter is not seen so much as carrying on the lineage of either her father or mother.

My wife has the same first name as her mother, with a different middle name.

It’s not uncommon. But usually, when Jane Doe nee Smith gives birth to her daughter, the daughter is named Jane Smith. And, I have not yet seen a mother named Jane Susan Doe name her daughter Jane Susan Doe, which would be what is required to have a “junior” or a “II”. I suppose it has happened.

John, the son of John Taylor Johnson, would only be John Johnson jr if his middle name was also Taylor.

I suspect that this has to do with women traditionally changing their last name when getting married. Sue Smith becomes Sue Jones and has a daughter named Sue. She would also be Sue Jones, but only until she gets married. So women’s names do not tend to carry on a “family” tradition. I know quite a few women who have teh same name as their mother, but almost always had a different middle name from their mother.

It does happen. My sister has the same first and middle names as our mom. No suffix though.

Nancy Sinatra was named after her mother.

I knew of one such case when I was a kid. Generally hard to stumble across as both tend to use different forms, nicknames, etc. E.g., Marge and Maggie Simpson.

In genealogy, I’ve run across cases where the cultural tradition includes sometimes naming a child after a recently deceased relative. So when you come across a girl with the same name as her mother, it’s usually a downer.

I taught with a woman whose daughter was the same, fairly unusual name - Aleta. I called her Junior. Once, when I called there and got the husband/father, and I asked to speak with her, he yelled for “ALETA!” and they both picked up a phone. I imagine that’s fairly common there.

From my own observations, it’s more common in Latin America than in the US. Living in Ecuador, I knew quite a few girls who were named after their mom. Actually, girls who had the same name as their mom; I couldn’t say whether or not they were specifically named after her. After all, about half of them were named Maria…

My sister, mother, and grandmother all have the same name. My sister and mother don’t have a middle name, not so sure about my grandmother but I think she doesn’t either.

Joan Crawford originally named her adopted daughter Joan Crawford Jr. She later changed her mind and had her name changed to Christina.

I have the same first name as my mother. If I’d had a daughter, I’d have named her after my mother and made it three in a row.

Women don’t use “Jr.” The only exception I’ve ever heard of was Cobina Wright, Jr, who was an early celebutante in the 1930s and 40s.

Lucille Ball’s daughter was named after her. Spelled differently, but named after her.


Growing up I knew a family that gave the fathers first name as a middle name to all their sons and the mothers first name as the middle name to all their daughters. They had 7 or 8 kids last I heard.

My wife is named after her father.

His name is Leslie Dale Suchnsuch (he goes by Dale).

Her name is Leslie Dawn Suchnsuch (she goes be Leslie).

My daughter-in-law was named after her mother, although the elder Siobhan went by Bonnie. I think their middle names were different, though. I’ll have to check.

I’m named after my mother, except for the middle initial. Since I’ve never been married, we still have the same name:

Elizabeth M. Mapp
Elizabeth L. Mapp

Not our real names, but you get the idea. Mom turned 65 this year, and I’ve been getting tons of junk mail about being eligible for Medicare B.

WHAT THEY SAID about patrilineality, but you have to think it all the way through, if you never have before, and if you had you probably would not have posed the question.

Imagine Female Person A is named “Mary Jones” at the time that she gives birth to a baby girl, Female Person B, who receives the name “Mary Jones”.

If “Mary Jones” was Female Person A’s original name, i.e., she did not change her name when she married, (assuming she married at all), then it would make consistent good sense to conceptualize Female Person B as “Mary Smith, Jr”

But the traditional assumption would be that Female Person A normally would be married and probably did change her last name to that of her husband at the time that she married — let’s say her original name was “Mary Smith”. Which means that Female Person B, “Mary Jones”, wasn’t named for Female Person A in the same sense because “Mary Jones” isn’t Female Person A’ name in the same sense at all. Nor, for that matter, is “Mary Smith” Female Person A’s name in quite the same sense either, if we extrapolate our assumptions to include the likelihood that Female Person A’s mother changed her last name from something else to “Smith” when she married. First off, most obviously, naming the baby “Mary Smith” when she herself now goes by “Mary Jones” means the baby has a different name than the one she herself goes by now. But it also means she didn’t even have her original name in the same sense that males in a patrilineal system have theirs:

• The male in a patrilineal system gets his Dad’s last name, which was his Dad’s Dad’s last name, which was his Dad’s Dad’s Dad’s last name, and so on backwards in time ad infinitum. And for all of them, barring the unusual exception, the names they were given were permanent.

• The female in a patrilineal system, whether she herself changes her name at marriage or not, usually gets her Dad’s last name, which was her Dad’s Dad’s last name, etc… not her Mom’s last name, which even if she did would not normally have been her Mom’s Moms, etc … and when she received it it was with the cultural expectation that it was hers only until marriage, at which point she would change it.

• That it’s her Dad’s and not her Mom’s is only relevant because she herself is female: the name she is given (on an assumped temporary basis) is assumed to not be a name that she herself will pass on. It’s not that it’s somehow demeaning to females to be named for their Dads and not their Moms (Dads can be nice people that one might wish to honor, after all). And if parents flipped a coin or named their boys with their Mom’s last name, that’s all it would mean for girls to be named with their Dad’s last names, but as part of the entire pattern it means more.
When you own something, you feel differently about it, and people treat it in relationship to you (and vice versa) differently, than if it’s on loan to you “for the duration”.

Or, as one woman friend succintly put it, “Women don’t own lastnames”

Damn. :frowning:

EDIT, paragraph II:

is:If “Mary Jones” was Female Person A’s original name, i.e., she did not change her name when she married, (assuming she married at all), then it would make consistent good sense to conceptualize Female Person B as “Mary Smith, Jr”

shoulda been:If “Mary Jones” was Female Person A’s original name, i.e., she did not change her name when she married, (assuming she married at all), then it would make consistent good sense to conceptualize Female Person B as “Mary Jones, Jr”

My grandmother and great-grandmother were both named Lillian. They also shared a birthday.