Living same-name siblings and English historical demography: A final comment

Chris Galley*, Eilidh Garrett, Ros Davies, Alice Reid

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract / Description of output

The article focuses on the existence and extent of living same-name siblings in England. Razzell's position is that there were no, or an insignificant number of, living same-name siblings by the end of the seventeenth century. Consequently, if, in a series of baptisms, a subsequent son or daughter is given the same name as an older sibling, then the older one must have died and its burial has not been recorded. By using more transparent Scottish data, it is possible to show that census- type listings give a relatively poor view of the extent of living, same-name siblings since some siblings may have left home and others may have died before the census was undertaken. Other sources such as probate documents also give a poor guide to levels of sibling same-naming. The Scottish data also suggest that it is not possible to generalize from levels of mortality in same-name families to the rest of the population. This means that even if Razzell is able to establish that there were no living same-name siblings in England, his methodology still needs to be questioned.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)82-83
Number of pages2
JournalLocal Population Studies
Issue number88
Publication statusPublished - Mar 2012


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