Sunday, May 10, 2009

Husband-Wife Names

Some of you have asked a question about the way I have referred to some of my neighbor women by name. I will do my best to explain how we do.

The Amish many times will place the husband's first name in front of the wife's to distinguish which woman by that name to whom she is referring. This is common, because many Amish stick with the same old fashioned family names or biblical names and therefore share the same names.

Some people might think "why not just use the last name?" Well, many last names are the same as well. If the last name isn't as common than it would be fine to say Rebecca Stutzman to differentiate from Rebecca Stuckey. The number one last name where I grew up was Miller, followed by other common sir names such as Yoder, Troyer, Kauffman, etc. A man I know named Sam Miller was one of at least twenty Sam Millers in the county. I also know two Ernie Lambrights and two Lorene Millers in the same extended family.

So, for example, if there is more than one Rebekah/Rebecca, and I wanted to tell you about the one that is married to John and not Marvin, I would say, John-Rebecca came to help me quilt today. Then you would know which Rebecca I am talking about.

Hope this helps.

God Bless,


Ruthykins said...

that did help out. i was lost at first.

okeydokeyifine said...

I added my answer to the previos blog. sorry about that.

Betty said...

I guess it´s a Mennonite thing, ´cause we do it too.

Puphigirl said...

Even for the Non-Amish, there were four and a half pages of Millers in the phone book. Yes, Indiana has a lot of Miller, Yoder, Troyer, Stutzman, Stoltzfus, Gingerich, Kauffman, and Hochstetler (and the variations in spelling of each last name).

Here in Utah, the common surnames are Young, Smith, Allred, Sorenson, Jensen, Christianson, Gardner, Rasmussen and Bangerter.