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First Name Abbreviations

In many historic documents, first names were abbreviated. For example, old street directories and city directories always abbreviated common first names. Parish records often abbreviated familiar Christian names. This was done to save space and paper. In some jurisdictions, census enumerators would also abbreviate common first names when going door to door to save time.

Knowledge of first name abbreviations can be very helpful in tracking down ancestors. For example, knowing that Chas is a short form for Charles, Geo represents George, My means Mary and Hy means Henry opens up many more possibilities when looking through historic ancestral records.

It took us several years to collect and compile a list of common abbreviations for first names. To our knowledge, this is the most exhaustive list available on an important but often overlooked aspect of genealogy.

We recommend going the list below to familiarize yourself with common first name abbreviations and then reference the list as required when searching for specific ancestors.

Please note that when looking at old handwritten letters and records, the best indication of an abbreviation is that the author would usually superscript (raise the lettering of) the last one or two characters of the word. For example, a typed record might show an abbreviation for Joseph as Jos, whereas the handwritten record would usually show it as Jos. Similarly for Elizabeth, it would appear Elizth in typed form and Elizth in handwritten form.

Some authors also showed abbreviations by handwriting a horizontal line above or through the text, as in Dy for Dorothy.

back to school

As part of their school writing lessons, our ancestors were taught how to abbreviate comon first names using superscripts and/or strike lines, as described in the article above. This image is titled Back to School by Miles Whittingham. It is available to purchase as a print, greeting card or phone case.

Ab Abraham
Abig Abigail
Abr Abraham
Abra Abraham
Ad Adelard
Adr Adrian, Adrien, Adrienne
Agn Agnes
Alb Albert, Albina
Albt Albert
Alc Alice
Alex Alexander, Alexandre, Alexandrine
Ale Alethea
Alf Alfred
Alfd Alfred
Alph Alphonse, Alphonsine
Am Amanda
Amb Ambrose
And Andrew, André
Andw Andrew
Ang Angeline, Angelique
An Anne, Anna
Ani Annie
Ant Antoine, Antoinette
Anth Anthony
Anthy Anthony
Arch Archibald
Archd Archibald
Arth Arthur, Arthemise
Aud Audrey
Aug August, Auguste, Augustin, Augustine
Balt Balthazar
Barb Barbara
Bart Bartholomew
Barth Barthelemy
Bea Beatrice
Ben Benjamin
Bern Bernard, Bernadette
Brid Bridget, Bridgette
Car Caroline
Cath Catherine
Cathne Catherine
Charlt Charlotte
Chals Charles
Chas Charles
Chs Charles
Chris Christopher
Clem Clement, Clementine
Clif Clifford
Clifd Clifford
Cons Constance
Const Constance
Corn Cornelius
Cor’us Cornelius
Cuthbt Cuthbert
Dan Daniel
Danl Daniel
Dav David
Deb Deborah
Delbt Delbert
Den Dennis
Dom Dominique
Don Donald
Dor Dorothy
Doug Douglas
Dy Dorothy
Eben Ebenezer
Ed Edward, Edouard, Edmund
Edm Edmond, Edmund
Edw Edward
Elis Elisabeth
Eliz Elizabeth
Eliza Elizabeth
Elizh Elizabeth
Elizth Elizabeth
Elnr Eleanor
Em Emmanuel, Emma, Emily
Eml Emily
Ern Ernest, Ernestine
Esth Esther
Etne Etienne
Euc Euclide
Eug Eugene, Eugenie
Eugne Eugene
Eus Eustace
Ezek Ezekiel
Fel Felicite
Ferd Ferdinand
Fern Fernand, Fernande
Flo Florence
Flor Florence
Fra Francis (male)
Fran Frances (female)
Fred Frederick, Frédéric
Fredk Frederick
Fs Francis (male)
Frs Francis (male), Frances (female), François, Françoise
Frs. X François-Xavier
Gab Gabrielle
Gen Genevieve
Geo George, Georges, Georgette, Georgina, Georgiana
Geof Geoffrey
Ger Gerald, Geraldine, Gerard
Germ Germaine
Gert Gertrude
Gilbt Gilbert
Godf Godfrey
Graz Graziella
Grif Griffith
Gul William (in Latin Gulielmus)
Guliel William (in Latin Gulielmus)
Han Hannah
Har Harold
Hel Helen, Hellene
Hen Henry
Henr Henriette
Hep Hephzibah
Herb Herbert
Herbt Herbert
Hest Hester
Hon Honour
Hub Hubert
Hubt Hubert
Hum Humphrey
Humy Humphrey
Hy Henry
Ioh John (in Latin)
Ir Irene
Isab Isabel, Isabelle
Isb Isabel, Isabelle
Ja James
Jabus James (in Latin Jacobus)
Jac James (in Latin Jacobus)
Jacq Jacques, Jacquelline
J. Bte Jean-Baptiste
Jas James
Jean Jean, Jeannette
Jer Jeremiah
Jere Jeremiah
Jerh Jeremiah
Jermh Jeremiah
Jn John, Jean
Jne Jeanne
Jno John
Jnthn Jonathan
Jon Jonathan
Jone Joan (sometimes misspelt)
Jos Joseph, Joséphat
Josh Joshua, Josiah
Jro Jerome
Jsph Joseph
Jud Judith
Jul Julian, Juliette
Kath Katherine
Ken Kenneth
Lan Lancelot
Lau Laurence
Lawr Lawrence
Len Leonard
Leo Leopold
Leon Leonard
Let Letitia, Lettice
Ls Louis
Lse Louise
Luc Lucian, Lucien, Lucienne
Lyd Lydia
Mad Madeleine
Marc Marcelline
Marg Margaret, Marguerite
Margt Margaret
Mart Martha
Margt Margaret
Margy Margery
Marm Marmaduke
Mat Matthias, Mathias, Matthew, Mathieu
Math Mathias, Mathilde
Mathw Mathew
Matt Mathew
Mau Maurice
Mgt Margaret
Mic Michael
Mich Michael, Miche
Michl Michael
Mill Millicent
My Mary
Nap Napoleon
Nar Narcisse
Nath Nathaniel
Nathl Nathaniel
Naz Nazaire
Neh Nehemiah
Nic Nicholas, Nicole
Nich Nicholas
Nicho Nicholas
Nichs Nicholas
Ns Nicholas
Oct Octave
Ol Oliver, Olivier
Pama Pamelia
Pat Patrick, Patrice, Patricia
Patk Patrick
Pen Penelope
Pet Peter
Ph Phillip, Philippe
Phil Phillip, Philippe
Phin Phineas
Phyl Phyllis
Pre Pierre
Prisc Priscilla
Pru Prudence
Rach Rachel
Ray Raymond
Rayd Raymond
Reb Rebecca
Reba Rebecca
Reg Reginald
Regd Reginald
Ric Richard
Rich Richard
Richd Richard
Richdus Richardus (Richard in Latin)
Robt Robert
Rodk Roderick
Rog Roger
Rol Roland
Ron Ronald
Rowl Rowland
Rph Ralph
Sam Samuel
Saml Samuel
Sar Sarah
Sid Sidney
Silv Sylvester
Sim Simon
Sol Solomon
Stan Stanley
Steph Stephen
Sus Susan, Susanna
Susna Susanna, Susannah
Suz Suzanne
Syd Sydney
Tam Thomasin, Tamsin
Teles Telesphore
Theo Theodore
Ther Therese
Tho Thomas
Thos Thomas
Ths Thomas
Tim Timothy
Tous Toussaint
Tristm Tristram
Urs Ursala
Val Valentine
Vic Victor
Vinc Vincent
Virg Virginia
Walt Walther
Wilf Wilfred, Wilfrid
Wilfd Wilfred
Wm William
Xpher Christopher (in Latin)
Xpr Christopher (in Latin)
Xtianus Christian (in Latin)
Xtopherus Christopher (in Latin)
Zach Zachariah

Further Resources

City Directory Abbreviations

List of Occupation Abbreviations

Genealogy Word Dictionary

Genealogy Latin Dictionary