When doing Scottish genealogy research, you will quickly notice that the Christian names given to the children frequently repeat generation after generation. This can make it hard to keep track but it can also work to help you eliminate families that aren't yours. Here's the pattern that was followed by most Scottish families:
First Born Son named for the paternal grandfather
Second Born Son named for the maternal grandfather
Third Son named for the father - unless he shares a name with one of the
grandfathers. If the father shared one of the first two names, then the paternal great-grandfather's name may have been given to the new child
Fourth and subsequent sons were often named after father or mother's brothers.
First Born Daughter named for the maternal grandmother
Second Born Daughternamed for the paternal grandmother
Third Daughter named for the mother - unless she shares a name with one of the grandmothers. If mother shared one of the first two names, then the maternal great-grandmother's name may have been given to the new baby.
Subsequent daughterswere generally named for mother or father's sisters
In addition, if one of the first three children died, the next baby born of the same sex was given that name so that the name would live on for future generations. This is important because you may often find two children with name and the same parents but the children were be born in different years. If this is the case, then you might want to look for a death of the first child between the time of his recorded birth and the birth of the second child of the same name.
Some alterations to the pattern occurred when a new minister came to the parish. Often the first child born had his name incorporated into their name, either as a first name or a middle name. Similarly, when a newly minted district nurse attended her first birth, that baby would have her name incorporated into theirs. This is where middle names become important in keeping the right Walter lined up with the right parents and siblings. Often, the middle names are surnames: Mother's maiden name, a maiden name of one of the grannies or great grannies. These become the anchor names that assist you in keeping the families correctly aligned.
Tomorrow we look at Scottish marriages