Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Jos. A. Banks

The Baltimore Historical Society had in their Fall 2013 newsletter
An article on the search for what was Joseph A. Banks middle name.  Now we know from TV ads etc that Jos A. Banks was a clothier and the company still exist under his name.  The company contacted Michael J. Lisicky to research the middle name as they had no idea what the A stood for.  In the article Mr. Lisicky checked a wide range of sources and eventually by way of a friend found a World War One draft card filled out by Jos A. Banks that listed his middle name as Albert.  Wow, this is typical of the type of information genealogist are asked to come up with.  In my own family tree my great grandfather was named Frazier A. Dickerson.  For years I searched for the middle name and all documents were listed as Frazier A. Dickerson.  Eventually I found in the bible of his daughter, Alice Kate Dickerson, that his middle name was Alice.  Today it is unusual for a man to carry a name of Alice but back a hundred years ago what are viewed as female names today were male names.  Other names used for male names that today can be both male or female are; Nancy, Courtney, Laverne, Evelyn, Dana, Gail, Tracy, Jocelyn, Jayne, Beverly, Mandy, Nikita, Shirley, and Taylor.  Other "female" names that are given to men are based on the country they are from.  Andrea is a man's name in Italy and Greece.  Flo is short for Florian from Germany.  Anne was a man's name in France. 

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