Tuesday, June 5, 2018

Clues into Military Names, Ranks and Naming Children

Clues into Military Names, Ranks and Naming Children

Georgia Rifles 1861Family Legends are interesting, but they rarely provide accurate information. I have a friend who insisted that he was related to "General Robert E. Lee." However, the proper genealogical research into census and county records revealed that to be impossible. However, he did have a Lee ancestor born in North Carolina in 1787 by the name of "Jeneral" Lee. Firt names such as "Majer" and "Jeneral" were commonly used to name children in some regions of the country. However, these names had nothing to do with rank. Yet, the title of "Colonel" was frequently used, probably by residents who served in local militias and achieved some sort rank. A senior resident, for example, who may have earned the rank of Captain or Major in the Militia, might be respectfully addressed as "Colonel." Although the percularity of names might present some issues to the researcher, it best serves as clues of generations past. State Archives catalog the names of persons who served in the militia and this source should be exhausted in order to clarify who held rank and where they served.

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