Humanities › History & Culture Matching up Nicknames With Given Names How to Research Nicknames in Your Family Tree Share Flipboard Email Print Steven Puetzer/Getty Images History & Culture Genealogy Surnames Basics Genealogy Fun Vital Records Around the World American History African American History African History Ancient History and Culture Asian History European History Inventions Latin American History Medieval & Renaissance History Military History The 20th Century Women's History View More by Kimberly Powell Kimberly Powell, professional genealogist, author and educator, is the author of The Everything Guide to Online Genealogy. Updated July 12, 2018 It can be hard enough to find great-grandma Jenny, without having to figure out if she could also be Jane, Janet, Jeanette, Jennett, Jennifer, or Virginia. But it is common in many genealogical records, especially more informal records such as census records and obituaries, to find your ancestors listed under names you might not expect. In many cases these names may have been the nicknames that they were known by to their family, friends and business associates—no different for our ancestors than it is today. How to Match up Nicknames With First Names Nicknames can sometimes be difficult to catch, however. "Kim" as a nickname for "Kimberly" is fairly straightforward, but "Polly" as a nickname for "Mary" and "Peggy" as a nickname for "Margaret" have tripped up many researchers. Sometimes nicknames were formed by adding a "y" or "ey" to the end of a name or part of a name—i.e. "Johnny" for "John" or "Penny" for "Penelope." Other times the name was shortened in some manner—i.e. "Kate" for "Katherine." But sometimes it is just a matter of knowing which nicknames were commonly used in a particular time and place. That's why it is important, as a genealogist, to familiarize yourself with commonly used nicknames and their corresponding given names. Do not forget, however, that what appears to be a nickname isn't always—many nicknames became so popular that they later came to be bestowed as given names. My father's name is Larry—which is not short for Lawrence as many might assume. And my great-grandmother really was baptized as "Effie," not Euphemia or Evelyn. Scroll down to explore this list of common nicknames associated with popular given names to determine the various ways in which your ancestor might appear in genealogical records (these are just some of the most common possible given name/nickname variations, but certainly not all). While researching, keep in mind that the same nickname might be associated with different given names, and the same individual might show up with different nicknames in different records. Nickames Given Names Bell, Bella, Belle Arabelle, Anabelle, Belinda, Elizabeth, Isabel, Isabella, Mirabel, Rosabel Belle Mabel, Sybil Bess, Bessie, Bessy, Beth, Bette, Bettie, Bettie, Betsy, Betsey, Bitsy Elizabeth, Elisabeth Bird, Birdie Alberta, Albertine, Roberta Bob, Bobby Robert Bobbi, Bobbie Roberta Boots Bertha Bridey, Brie Bridget Carrie, Carry Caroline, Carolina, Charlotte Cindy, Cindie Cynthia, Cinthia, Lucinda Daisy Margaret Dan, Danny Daniel, Sheridan Dee Audrey, Deanne, Deanna, Denise Delia Adelia, Adele, Cordelia Dell, Della, Delly Adelaide, Adela, Cordelia, Deliverance, Delores Dick Richard Dobbin, Dobby, Dob Robert Dode, Dody Dorothy, Theodore Dora Dorothy, Eudora, Theodora Dot, Dotty, Dottie Dorothy Ed, Eddie, Eddy Edgar, Edmund, Edward, Edwin, Edwina Effie, Effy Euphemia, Evelyn Eliza Elizabeth, Elisabeth Ella, Ellie Eleanor, Elenora Erma Emaline, Emily Fannie, Fanny Frances Frankie Frances (female), Francis (male), Franklin Genie Eugenia Ginger, Ginny Virginia Greta Margaret, Margaretha Hal Harold, Henry Hank, Harry Henry Hattie Harriet, Harriett Hettie Esther, Henrietta, Hester Jack John Jamie James, Jameson Jenny Jane, Janet, Jeanette, Jennett, Virginia Jim, Jimmy James Jock, Johnnie, Johnny John Kate, Katy, Katie, Kay, Kit, Kitty, Kittie Katherine Lena Angelina, Caroline, Helena, Magdalena, Paulina, Selena, etc. Lisa, Lise, Liz, Lizzie Elizabeth, Elisabeth Lucy Lucinda Madge, Maggie, Midge Margaret Mamie Mary Marty, Martie, Mattie Martha May Mary Meg, Megan Margaret Millie, Milly Amelia, Mildred Moll, Mollie, Molly Mary Nell, Nellie, Nelly Eleanor, Elenora, Ellen, Helen, Helena Nora Eleanor, Elenora, Honora, Honoria Ollie Olive, Olivia, Oliver Pat, Patsy, Patty, Pattie Martha, Matilda, Patricia, Patience Peg, Peggy Margaret Penny Penelope Polly, Pollie Mary, Paula Rich, Richy, Rick Richard Rob, Robbie, Robby Robert (Male), Roberta (Female) Robin Robert, Roberta Ron Aaron, Ronald Ronnie Aaron, Ronald, Veronica Sadie, Sally, Sallie Sarah Sam, Sammy, Sammie Samuel, Samson, Samantha Sukie, Suchie, Suchy Susan, Susanna, Susannah Tad Theodore Ted, Teddy Edward, Theodore Terry, Tess, Tessie, Tessa, Tracy Theresa, Teresa Theo Theodore Tilly Temperance Tillie Matilda, Mathilda Tina Christina Trina Catherine, Katherine Virgie Virginia Winnie Winefred, Winifred Continue Reading 8 Rules to Properly Record Names in Genealogy ABBOTT - Surname Meaning and Family History Database Search Strategies for Locating Hard to Find Ancestors Hypocorism: Pet Names for People 5 First Steps for Finding Your Family History How to Find Your Ancestors in the Social Security Death Index State Nicknames: Where Do Buckeyes and Nutmeggers Reside? 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