Nicknames and Abbreviations of Our Ancestors

There are several great reasons for knowing name abbreviations and nicknames.

One of the great reasons for knowing the various name abbreviations and nicknames is that several of our ancestors, and even current generations, have grown up using nicknames instead of their given names at birth. For this reason, it can sometimes be hard to find information connected to them. Documents can be found using nicknames as well as abbreviations of names. Therefore knowing name abbreviations and nicknames will help in uncovering your ancestors' stories.


When posting on social media about our ancestors we can sometimes be faced with challenges. Twitter is one of the platforms that have a limit on the number of characters that you can use when generating a post. This is a challenge that can benefit from knowing name abbreviations. When trying to write up a query it helps to abbreviate some of the words being used. To learn more about other abbreviations check out my past blog Using Abbreviations on Twitter for Genealogy.

Here is a useful list of the alternative names or abbreviations that I have come across during my years of research.

  • Ada ~ Adelaide

  • Ar ~ Arthur

  • Bertie, Berty ~ Albert, Alberta, Bertha, Herbert, Robert, or Roberta

  • Brid ~ Bridget

  • Bx ~ Beatrix

  • Car ~ Charles

  • Chas ~ Charles

  • Cis, Cissie, Cissy ~ Cecelia

  • Danl, Dan ~ Daniel

  • Dora ~ Dorothea

  • Ebenr ~ Ebenezer

  • Edw, Ed ~ Edward

  • El, Elis, Eliz, Elizth, Eliza, Beth ~ Elizabeth

  • Eli ~ Elijah or Elisha

  • Ell ~ Ellen

  • Ella ~ Eleanor, Elinor, or Isabella

  • Ellie ~ Alice

  • Elnr ~ Eleanor

  • Elsb ~ Elsbeth

  • Elsie ~ Alice, Elisabeth, Elisa, or Elizabeth

  • Eml ~ Emaline, Emeline

  • Ez ~ Ezra or Ezekiel

  • Gail, Abi ~ Abigail

  • Geo, Geo ~ George

  • Gert, Gertie, Trudy ~ Gertrude

  • Gottf ~ Gottfried

  • Gottl ~ Gottlieb

  • Guliel, Gul ~ William

  • Gus ~ Augustus or Gustave

  • Hank ~ Henry

  • Hans ~ Johann or John

  • Hattie ~ Harriett

  • Isa, Isab, Isb ~ Isabel or Isabella

  • Jas, Jas ~ James

  • Jb ~ Jacob or Jakob

  • Jenny, Jennie ~ Jane, Jean, or Jennifer

  • Jer, Jera, Jere, Jerma ~ Jeremiah

  • J, Jb ~ Johann Jacob or Johann Jakob

  • Jos ~ Joseph, Josephine, Josiah

  • Josh ~ Josiah

  • Josie, Josy ~ Josephine

  • Jro ~ Jerome

  • J Rud ~ Johann Rudolf

  • Jud ~ Judith

  • Kit ~ Christopher, Catherine, Katherine, or Katharine

  • Lawr, Laur, Laurie ~ Lawrence or Laurence

  • Leo, Lend ~ Leonard

  • Lk ~ Luke

  • Ma ~ Maria

  • Mab ~ Mabel

  • Madge ~ Margaret

  • Magda ~ Magdalena

  • Mat, Matty, Mattie ~ Martha, Matilda, or Matthew

  • May ~ Maria, Marie, or Mary

  • Meta ~ Margaret

  • Mgy ~ Margery

  • Ph, Phil ~ Phillip

  • Polly ~ Mary

  • Rb, Rob, Robt, Bobby ~ Robert

  • Sal, Sallie, Sally ~ Sarah

  • Thos, Tom ~ Thomas

  • Wm, Will, Willie, Willy ~ William

  • Winnie, Winny ~ Winifred

  • Xper, Xr ~ Christopher

I hope this list will help with finding your ancestors and make posts about your family history on social media a little easier. If you know of other nicknames or abbreviations please share with us in the comments below.


Until next time, take care.