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Q: Naming a Child ( Answered 5 out of 5 stars,   5 Comments )
Subject: Naming a Child
Category: Relationships and Society > Relationships
Asked by: thatgirl524-ga
List Price: $10.00
Posted: 10 Aug 2004 08:24 PDT
Expires: 09 Sep 2004 08:24 PDT
Question ID: 385889
Hi, there - I just read your response to a question about naming a
child with junior v. III, and I'm curious about one thing.  I
understand the different designations of II and III, depending on for
whom the child is named.  However, what do you do in this instance:

John William Doe (great-grandfather - deceased)
John William Doe, Jr. (grandfather - deceased)
Jason Willian Doe (father)

Would our son be named:
John William Doe, II or just John William Doe?  I would like to use
the "II" but I don't know if that's appropriate since his grandfather
was a junior, which is basically the same thing as a second.  Any help
you can give me would be greatly appreciated.
Subject: Re: Naming a Child
Answered By: pinkfreud-ga on 10 Aug 2004 11:08 PDT
Rated:5 out of 5 stars
The use of "Junior," "II," "III," and so on are matters of personal
choice, of course. Technicalities are less important than family

The old guidelines on this matter have been loosened considerably;
these days you occasionally see "Junior" appended to a child's name
even though the child's middle name is not identical to that of his
father (as when Arthur Joseph Jones names his son Arthur Jacob Jones,
Jr.) The "Junior" appellation is sometimes added to women's names,
which used not to be done.

In the naming conventions used in the United States, you won't
typically find both a "Junior" and a "II" of the same name in a family
line. In the situation you describe, in which a child is named for his
grandfather, who was a "Junior," the best choice (in the old
tradition) would be "III," since the child is the third descendant to
bear this name. However, since the original namesakes (the grandfather
and great-grandfather) are deceased, it would also be entirely
appropriate to name the child just plain John William Doe, without any

A 'junior' always has the same name as his father whereas 'the second'
is not named for his father but does have the same name as an older
relative (grandfather, uncle, cousin, etc.). The 'third' is the third
descendant in a family with the same name in either direct or indirect

Bicknell Home Pages: Relationships

Google search strategy:

Google Web Search: name child father junior ii iii

In conclusion, I urge you to name your son anything that is pleasing
to you and your family. The conventional wisdom would be to append
'III' to the child's name, since he is the third individual in the
family to bear the name; but if you were to choose 'II' instead, no
misunderstanding is likely to occur, since your son will be the only
living member of the family with this name.

I hope this helps. If anything is unclear, please request
clarification; I'll be glad to offer further assistance before you
rate my answer.

Best regards,
thatgirl524-ga rated this answer:5 out of 5 stars and gave an additional tip of: $2.00
Thank you so much - your response has finally provided me with a
definitive answer to a question I've been pondering for months.  I
truly appreciate your quick and well-researched response.

Subject: Re: Naming a Child
From: ac67-ga on 10 Aug 2004 09:04 PDT
It would be John William Doe III, since there are two previous already
in his lineage.
Subject: Re: Naming a Child
From: thatgirl524-ga on 10 Aug 2004 10:10 PDT
Thanks for your comment - that's what I had originally thought, but
then I was told that you could only use the "III" if the father of the
child had the same name.  However, the "III" makes a lot more sense
than the "II."
Subject: Re: Naming a Child
From: pinkfreud-ga on 10 Aug 2004 11:48 PDT
Thank you very much for the five-star rating and the nice tip!

Subject: Re: Naming a Child
From: psychopoet-ga on 10 Aug 2004 19:25 PDT
Wouldn't it be the IV?
Subject: Re: Naming a Child
From: pinkfreud-ga on 10 Aug 2004 19:57 PDT

It would be the IV if the child's father had also had this name. But,
in the example given, the father's name was different:

John William Doe (great-grandfather - deceased)
John William Doe, Jr. (grandfather - deceased)
Jason Willian Doe (father)

So the child, in this case, is the third person in this family line to
be named "John William Doe."

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