How to Use Jr, Sr, II, III, etc. (with Cartoons)

October 20, 2013 Josiah Schmidt CartoonsTutorial

Ever wondered what qualifies a person to put a “II” or “III” after their name, or what the difference is between a “II” and a “Jr”?  Learn how to use generational suffixes, with a little help from cartoons.  (Who doesn’t love cartoons?)

Rule #1: Parent & Child with Same Name = Sr. + Jr.

This one is pretty easy.  You undoubtedly already know it.  Any parent and child with the exact same legal name can be referred to as “(Name), Sr.” and “(Name), Jr.”  Below, Barnabas Ludwig Johnson named his son Barnabas Ludwig Johnson also, so they can be called Barnabas Ludwig Johnson, Sr., and Barnabas Ludwig Johnson, Jr.


Rule #2: In Order to Use Suffixes, Names Must be EXACTLY the Same

This is a rule that is abused a lot.  Unless the full name of two related individuals is entirely, exactly the same (first name, any and all middle names or lack thereof, and last name), then they cannot correctly use suffixes.  Though the New England blueblood Beavis Winston Purple would like to use suffixes with his and his son’s name, in order to sound more prestigious, he cannot correctly do so, because he gave his son a different middle name than his own middle name.


Rule #3: For More than Two Same-Named Individuals, Use Roman Numeral Suffixes

What if there are more than two same-named individuals in the Johnson family?  Then, they can use Roman numeral (i.e. I, II, III, IV, etc.) suffixes after their name, to designate the order in which they were born.


Rule #4: “Sr.” and “Jr.” Only Apply to LIVING Parents and Children

If a parent and child are using the suffixes “Sr.” and “Jr.”, but the parent dies, then they are referred to merely as “(Name) I” / “(Name), the first” and “(Name) II” / “(Name), the second”.  Should Barnabas Ludwig Johnson Sr. tragically die, his son would now be called Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II, and the deceased father would now be lovingly remembered by the name Barnabas Ludwig Johnson I.  Continuing to call the son “Jr.” (unless “Junior” had simply become his nickname), would create confusion, as it would indicate that his father were still alive.


Rule #5: Roman Numeral Suffixes Are Allowed to Skip Generations

If a person is named after an ancestor such as a grandparent or great grandparent, the Roman numeral suffixes still apply.  The elder can be called “(Name) I” and the younger can be called “(Name) II”.

Let us imagine that a century ago, there was a man named Barnabas Ludwig Johnson, who had a son named Barnabas Astredo Johnson.  They would not be “Sr.” and “Jr.”, or “I” and “II”.  But if Barnbas Astredo Johnson were to name his son Barnabas Ludwig Johnson, after the child’s grandfather, then Barnabas Astredo Johnson’s son would be Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II, and the original Barnabas would become Barnabas Ludwig Johnson I.  And, of course, if Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II has a son of the same name, that son could be called Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III.


Rule #6: “Sr.”/”Jr.” and Roman Numeral Suffixes Can be Used Together

Someone can use both the “Sr.” or “Jr.” suffix and/or a Roman numeral suffix if they so wish.  If our Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II below and his son, Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III, are both still alive, then the former can be called “II” and/or “Sr.”, while the latter can be called “III” and/or “Jr.”


Rule #7: REMINDER: Once Dead, “Sr.” and “Jr.” Suffixes Cannot be Used

If Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II Sr. dies, then his son, Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III Jr., becomes simply Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III.  The son does not stay “Jr.” after the death of the “Sr.”  That way, if Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III grows up and wants to give his son the same name, then Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III can now call himself “Sr.”, and his son, Barnabas Ludwig Johnson IV, could use the suffix “Jr.”


Rule #8: Same-Named Uncles and Nephews Can Use Roman Numeral Suffixes

If someone is named after their uncle, then the uncle and nephew can use Roman numeral suffixes to indicate their same-namedness and their relatedness.  Let us imagine that the old, venerable Barnabas Ludwig Johnson I had two sons: one named Barnabas Astredo Johnson, and one named Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II.  If Barnabas Astredo Johnson has a son named Barnabas Ludwig Johnson, then Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II (aka “crazy uncle Barney”) can proudly declare, from the safety of his padded cell, that his nephew is named Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III.  If Barnabas Ludwig Johnson III has a same-named son, then crazy great uncle Barney can take comfort in knowing that his legacy will be preserved in a Barnabas Ludwig Johnson IV.


Rule #9: Even Cousins Can Use Roman Numeral Suffixes; Numerals Go In Order of Birth

If a man has a nephew named after him, then the uncle gets the first number suffix, and the nephew gets the second number suffix.  But if the uncle then has a child of his own, also of the same exact name, then his own son takes the third number suffix. Or if the uncle first has a same-named son, then they take the first and second numeral suffixes, and if the uncle afterward has a nephew named after him, then the nephew gets the third number suffix.  What matters is birth date.

If, in the Johnson family tree, crazy uncle Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II, has an even crazier son in 1972 and gives him the same name (so that all the relatives know whom to avoid at the family reunions), then the pair become II and III.  If crazy uncle Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II’s saner brother, Barnabas Astredo Johnson, later (in the year 1974, for example) has a son named Barnabas Ludwig Johnson, then that one becomes Barnabas Ludwig Johnson IV.  Chronology is what matters.


Rule #10: REMINDER: Chronology Determines Order of Roman Numeral Suffixes

It is possible that a man can have a grandson named after him (thereby becoming I and II), and then that grandfather can still have another son of his own, who would be called III, despite being the uncle of II.

For instance, let us imagine that the original Barnabas Ludwig Johnson gets a grandson named after him in 1974.  Grandfather and grandson become Barnabas Ludwig Johnson I and Barnabas Ludwig Johnson II.  However, Barnabas Ludwig Johnson I, who has been widowed, gets lonely and decides to remarry to a young and pretty woman, who then bears him one more son in his old age.  This son is born in 1975, but also gets named Barnabas Ludwig Johnson.  In this case, the person in the first generation is I, the person in the next generation is III, and the person in the next generation is II.  Once again, what matters is not the order in which they are situated in the family tree, but rather what order they are born in.


Rule #11: Same-Named Siblings Can Use Roman Numeral Suffixes

Even same-named siblings can use Roman numeral suffixes to indicate their relation to one another.  While it is rare for two siblings to have the exact same name, it might often happen in older days when one child died in infancy, and then the next child to be born was named after their deceased older sibling (this is called a “necronym”).

Let us return to the prestigious Purple family.  Beavis Winston Purple might not be able to use a “II” suffix after his son Beavis Wilford Purple’s name… unless Beavis Wilford Purple had an older brother (either alive or deceased) who was also named Beavis Wilford Purple.  Then, the older brother would be “I” and the younger brother would be “II”.


Rule #12: Females Can Use Suffixes, but Typically Don’t

There is no rule saying that females cannot use suffixes like “Sr.”/”Jr.” and/or Roman numerals, but they usually do not do so, because–at least in Western society–females typically change their last name when they marry.  Therefore, if a woman imparts her legal name to her daughter, the mother and daughter can be called “Sr.” and “Jr.” if they so wish.  Should the daughter marry, and legally change her name however, the mother and daughter would cease to be “Sr.” and “Jr.”, as they no longer have the same exact legal name.

Let us imagine that the wealthy Beavis Winston Purple falls in love with the equally wealthy Angelique Faversham Highsmith.  His wife decides to take his surname, and legally becomes Angelique Faversham Purple.  Beavis and Angelique have a daughter, whom they also name Angelique Faversham Purple.  Mother Angelique can be called “Sr.” and/or “I”, while daughter Angelique can be called “Jr.” and/or “II”.  At least, until the daughter becomes a punk rocker and has her name legally changed to just “Purple”.


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483 Responses to “How to Use Jr, Sr, II, III, etc. (with Cartoons)”

  • Joe says:

    If a child is named exactly after the maternal grandfather, will that child be a II?

    • Yes, indeed! If they have the same first, middle, and last name.

      • Ben says:

        What if the child is named for his maternal grandfather, who is the third of his name, taking his first name, last name as his middle name, and the patrilineal last name: Beavis Winston III (paternal grandfather), Beavis Winston Purple IV (grandson). Is this commo/accepted practice anywhere?

      • Allan Woods says:

        What if you name your son exactly as your father was named

    • Geo. R. Inch says:

      My son disowned us. He had the exact same name as I do and we called him Junior. He’s now changed his name. Actually he’s also now a her. So I seem to not be a Sr. anymore.
      But we have two dogs and a cat and I am going to name them the same as me and our son. I know which dog is older, so following me and my son they are III and IV.
      My question is about the cat. I don’t know his age but he seems mature. Is it okay to name him George R Inch Jr. since my son no longer uses this name but is still alive and acts like he doesn’t even know us?

    • R smith says:

      Naming baby boy after dad…don’t really like Jr…instead can his dad be I and our son be II?

    • Doc says:

      I have a serious question…. the sir with the different middle name amongst the family of Aaron Juan’s, ranging from st to aaron Juan IV, the odd ball out, Aaron John… can we call him Aaron John the only?? Or Aaron John the bastard? Is there an ethical / proper term for this fella?

  • Mark Belfon says:

    my name is Mark Marcus Belfon i have a son that is Mark Marcus Belfon Jr if i have another son can i name him Mark Marcus Belfon and what suffix can be used in this instance. Thank you.

    • If your name is Mark Marcus Belfon and you had two children named Mark Marcus Belfon, then you would become Mark Marcus Belfon I, your first son would be Mark Marcus Belfon II, and your second son would be Mark Marcus Belfon III.

  • Harold Victor Petty says:

    The first son has exactly the same name as his father and therefore would be known as Jr. When the Father is deceased does the son then become Snr or remain known as Jr.
    Logically he should remain as Jr to avoid any misunderstanding.

    • Neither. After his father’s death, he ceases to be a “junior” and becomes II (the second).

      • Raymond Bryant says:

        You state this as if it is a hard and fast rule. I disagree. I am a Jr., and that appears on my birth certificate. Since it is there, it also appears on my driver’s license, my passport, my will, and all other legal documents, even though my father died 23 years ago. In addition, my father never felt the need to designate himself as Sr., so no documents exist that show him that way. My mother’s solution to having two Raymonds was to give me an unrelated nickname – Rickey. I still go by Rick, and will sign letters to friends and family that way, but never on a legal document.

        • Nikki J. says:

          Having “Jr.” as a part of your legal name rather than a generational indicator changes the rules. Indeed, you could arguably not be considered a junior at all, since your legal name is not the same as your father’s legal name (his being “Raymond Lastname” while yours is “Raymond Lastname, Jr.”).

        • LA says:

          It is free to go to your Birth Registrar and claim the title I, II, III,…so on and so forth. It your responsibility to do so. My Maternal Grandfather was a Jr., but claimed the title of Sr. when given his first son his name. It wasn’t until I revealed that my living uncle, whom declared to be a Jr. all of his life, was actually the III; he declared that title.

        • anonamouse says:

          Raymond, the entire article is a ‘generally accepted practice’ and as such a “rule” (in quotes) of convenience. In some places, the law says Sr/Jr is not part of a person’s legal name… a signature leaving off the Sr/Jr is still valid.

        • Whitefield says:

          By law if you are a Jr you must keep it even after your father dies.I am a Jr and by chance Florida dropped of the Jr on my drivers license when I had it renew one year and sice my father had already passed years before I figured it was right and legal but years after I moved to N.C they would not accept my Florida driver\s license for it didnt have the Jr on it to match my Social Security card that did have the Jr on it and had to use my birth certificate and school papers that did have the Jr on it.

      • Eric says:

        He will not become Sr until he has a son and gives him the same name. If he has a son and gives him the same name, he will become II/Sr and his son will be the III/Jr

        • David S. says:

          This fascinates me. I have never seen a Jr or Sr on a birth certificate, which adds a whole new twist. Since Jr is on your birth certificate, then you don’t have the same name as your father. In order for you to be a Sr, you have to legally name your son Jr. Then your would be Raymond Bryant, Jr, Sr and he would be Raymond Bryant Jr, Jr.

  • David DeHoog says:

    Example: My father has the name John James Smith, I have the name John George Smith. Can I put the roman numeral “II” after my mine and then when I have a son name him John Frank Smith III? If the first and last names are the same does the middle really matter that much?

    • Technically speaking, if a father is John James Smith and a son is John George Smith, they are not Senior and Junior, nor are they I and II. Of course, America is a free country, and you can put “Jr” after your name even if your name is “Bob” and your father’s name is “Splorch”. 🙂 People often incorrectly use the terms “Sr” and “Jr” — for instance, the 43rd US President George Bush is often wrongly referred to as “George Bush, Jr.”, although he and his father have different middle names. According to formal convention, the full name (including the middle name) must be exactly the same as an ancestor for a suffix to be used.

    • Leah says:

      I am naming my son after his father but we hate the idea and the way it sounds with Jr. listed as the suffix. Just to clearify we can choose to omit the use of Sr./Jr. and instead use roman numerals I/II immediately?

  • Gladys Belen says:

    Therefore, my husband who used to be a JUNIOR isn’t a junior at all since his and his father ‘s MIDDLE NAMES are not the same? I had a miscarriage but we wanted our next child to have the same name we gave our departed baby. Will we use te suffix “II” then?

    • Technically, he’s not a junior if his middle name is different, but there’s nothing stopping him from having the nickname “Junior”. Technically, two children (one of them perhaps being deceased) with the same exact name would be “I” and “II”, but there’s no rule that says one must put a “II” behind the second child’s name, unless the parents want to. 🙂

  • Jaclyn says:

    Can my father-in-law and husband still go by Sr. and Jr. if we are naming our son III or do they need to change to I and II?

  • Sio Hdz says:

    I want to name my son after his dad and grandfather, both have the same name but my father-in-law is Deceased could i still use the suffix Jr in his name? Or what suffix should i use?

  • Kevin says:

    If I legally changed my middle name to match my father’s (we already have the same first/last names) could I put “IV” after my name? He is a “III” and I would like to carry on the family naming tradition. In other words, do you have to have the name at birth?

    Whether or not it will offend my mother (who chose my middle name) is another story.

  • Janet says:

    I know of a man who’s name is listed on his birth certificate as John Paul Smith II. He is named after his grandfather.
    What happens when his beloved grandfather dies? Does he remain “II”?

  • John says:

    my name is John A. Smith and my wife is Sarah B. Smith. Our son will get the name B. Smith, of course. I want to name my son after my father who is Jack C. Smith. Should I name my son Jack B. Smith, II ?

  • Robin says:

    What if we wanted to name our son after my husbands grandfather? First, middle and last name? What would he be?? A II or a JR?

  • Alan Saunders says:

    The first Harry Edward was born in 1900.

    The second Harry Edward was his nephew and born in 1920. He never went by Harry Edward II and the families did not stay particularly close.

    The third Harry Edward was the son of the first and born in 1930. They went by Sr and Jr.

    The fourth Harry Edward was the son of the second and born in 1952. They also went by Sr and Jr.

    I was not named after my father (the 4th), but I would like to name my son after him. It seems as if I could go with III (because my grandfather never acknowledged being named after his uncle) or V (because he would literally be the fifth related Harry Edward). I also guess I don’t technically have to give him a suffix because all of the others are deceased. Which would be best?

    • Eventually, in any family, branches of cousins grow so far apart that it is no longer possible to keep track of the Roman numeral suffixes on both sides and each branch must ignore the numbering of the other branch, even though they both share common ancestors. Where families make the cut off is arbitrary. If two cousins of the same name, who were both named after their grandfather (the “I”), both wanted to claim the suffix of “II”, that is up to them. If the first born cousin wanted to claim II and the second born cousin wanted to claim III, that would also be an acceptable naming convention.

    • Luis says:

      I’m encountering some prob.with my ID
      I am working at the airport.My name written on my passport and ss card luis Castro Chanco III but my drivers lic.was Chanco Luis,C III but they won’t change because the the ID was different other 2 req.they said the correct format where the suffix to be placed was correct by the dmv is it true that they cannot change the format to Chanco III Luis, the DMV dept.

  • Oscar Mora says:

    I have the same name as my dad and uncle but they don’t have an middle name but I do, will I be the third

    • If they do not have the same middle name as you then you would not technically be the third. You might call your dad “Oscar the Elder” and yourself “Oscar the Younger” to differentiate though.

  • Matt Brady says:

    So, let’s say a person, Michael Smith IV, whose great-grandfather, grandfather, and father were all Michael Smith Sr., Michael Smith Jr., and Michael Smith III respectively, did not have any sons. But Michael Smith III, his father had only 2 sons, Michael IV and Matthew.
    And maybe his brother, who is also the son of Michael Smith III but named differently (“Matthew Smith”) had a son that he decided to name “Michael Smith” after his previous 3 generations and his brother, would that son of his be “Michael Smith V?”

  • AO says:

    Thank you for a great page with so many examples. They all seem to make perfect sense.

    A question though: are there references for these conventions (dictionaries, etiquette books, etc) or are they what you have found through your own experience? Some people have suggested to me that using the III after anything other than a Jr. Is incorrect and I want to show that that is not the case.

    • Hi AO!

      This suffix naming convention become popular in Western society in the Enlightenment era, when proto-industrialization started introducing some class mobility to Western society. The suffix naming convention had previously only been a trait of monarchs, aristocracy, and popes. As increasing industrialization made it possible for poor people to “strike it rich”, people in lower and lower stations began to try to emulate the elite and one of the ways they emulated the elite was by giving themselves generational suffixes like “II” and “III”. Therefore, our generational suffix conventions are modeled on those of the European royal family and the Roman Catholic popes.

      For instance, although there had been 23 Pope Johns and 6 Pope Pauls by the time that Albino Luciani ascended to the papacy in 1978, when Luciani took the papal name “John Paul”, he became “John Paul I”, because he took a different middle name than his penultimate predecessor, Pope John XXIII.

      This convention is present in aristocracy and royal families as well. For instance, in the House of Habsburg, there was Holy Roman Emperor Charles V, who lived in the early 1500s. In those days, they did not use last names, so Charles’s “legal” name would have been “Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor.” In this instance, “Holy Roman Emperor” would have been something like a surname to him. Even though Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, had 3 descendants with the name Charles, none of them were known as Charles VI, because they all had different legal names. One was “Charles, Prince of Asturias,” another was “Charles, Prince of Spain,” and another was “Charles II, Prince of Spain”. It would not be until the late 1600s, when a great great great grand nephew of Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor, was born, who was Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor.

      The old political and religious elite serve now as the model for us common folk who wish to preserve our family legacy by embodying our lineage in our names.

  • Marie Hunter says:


    We are having a 3rd son and we are naming his 1st name after my husband’s grandpa and his middle after my grandfather. So, the 1st and last name are the same of paternal grandfather, but the middle name is different. Will the new baby be the I (1st) or will be have no suffix? Thank you for such a great site.

  • Susan says:

    Hi! We didn’t realize that our son could be a “ll” (my husband has a different middle name, but we named our son after his grandfather who has the same first, middle & last name)…can he go by “ll” or does it have to be listed that way on his birth certificate?
    Thanks for your help!

    • Yes, since your son has the same legal first, middle, and last name as his grandfather, he could use the “II” suffix if he wanted to. You don’t need legal certification to use “Sr.”, “Jr.”, “I”, “II”, etc.

  • Albert Gostick says:

    I am a programmer and wondering about two items (when displaying/printing names):

    a) is there always a comma between either “Jr.”, “Sr.” or “III” etc

    b) secondly, how is this to be printed when using lastname, firstname format


    {firstname + lastname format):

    William Henry Johnson, Jr.
    William Henry Johnson, III

    {lastname, firstname format):

    Johnson, William Henry, Jr.
    Johnson, William Henry, III

    Just wondering as the debate is “raging” in my office as to how I am to program this. One person thinks that since the “Jr.” is used to disambiguate the two person then the printed output should be like this:

    William, Jr., Henry Johnson
    Johnson, William, Jr., Johnson

    William, III, Henry Johnson
    Johnson, William III Henry

    So is there a definitive answer or is it more that the last set is hard to say (but maybe technically correct) and so by convention we go with:

    William Henry Johnson, Jr.


    • Hi Albert,

      Yes, technically there should always be a comma between the individual’s name and their suffix. I make the mistake sometimes of not putting the comma in, although I am supposed to.

      Your question about where to put the suffix when the name is in “last name, first name” format is a good one. I have always followed both the MLA and the APA guidelines, which dictate that it is to be written like so:

      Johnson, William Henry, Jr.
      Johnson, William Henry, III

  • Lauren Hartmann says:

    My husband wants to name our son after himself he has two middle names one being his mothers maiden name in order for him to be a Jr do we have to use both middle names on his drivers license and ss card it has one middle name?? Or can we name him with one middle name and the 2nd?

    • Technically, the rule is that the entire legal name (including first name, middle names, and surname) need to all be the same, in order to use a suffix. Plenty of people nickname their children “Junior” in spite of the fact that they don’t share their parents’ names, however. There’s no law saying you can’t give your child a slightly different name and still call them “Jr.” It just wouldn’t be correct is all.

      • Kenneth de Groh III says:

        What about a father naming his son his name, but adds a second middle name. Ex. Father A.B.D. And Son A.B.C.D.

      • Bekah says:

        So I think my question may be in the same category. My husband is a jr and wants our son to be a third. Can we add in a second middle name and still keep the third as long as the other three names are represented ?

  • Eeman Wall says:

    hi i named my son after my father’s name. So he is now the II. What is the correct arrangement on his passport since they are basing it on the birth certificate which is for example like this MARIO PAUL WALL II. This is what they put on the passport. Just want to confirm if this is the right arrangement on the passport data. Thanks

    Surename: WALL II
    Forename: MARIO PAUL

    • Typically, in MLA and APA format, the suffix is grouped with the given names. Technically, “Jr”, “II”, etc. are not part of the surname. I’m sure anyone reading the passport will know what it means, however.

  • Frank K says:

    Hi my name has the III in the suffix. We are expecting identical twin boys. I want to carry on the IV name. Do you name the first boy delivered with the IV, and some other name for the second child delivered? Thank you for your time

  • joshua payes says:

    Hi my name is Joshua Payes and I am having a son. I want to name him Joshua Champion Payes. Can he be jr?

  • bob says:

    if i am a junior and my father is still alive can i still be called the second

  • Joe Lopez IV says:

    Hey I had a question I am Joe Lopez IV I named my first born son Andrew 8 years ago. I am now expecting my second boy, can I name him the 5th or did I loose my chance to keep the name going? (V)

  • Andrew says:

    Hi Josiah, is the suffix Jr. or II typically added to the birth certificate or any other legal documents? Thanks!

  • Jan says:

    My husband and his father and his fathers’ father (hubby’s grandfather) have no middle name. They are Clifford Jones, Clifford Jones Jr. and Clifford Jones III. We named our 2nd son Clifford Alexander Jones. Can he be the IV?

  • Dulce says:

    I am naming my son after his father, same first, middle and last names. How should it be written down? Adrian Alexander Smith Jr. or Adrian Alexander Smith II , or none, I’m confused about the proper way to write it on his birth certificate, help!!!!, I am naming my son after his father, same first, middle and last names.

  • Hello, wondering if I name my son after his living father can I call him the second instead of jr.

  • Terri B says:

    Would it be the same for naming a girl after her father as it would be to name a girl after her mother in the matters of Jr, Sr and I, II

    • Yes. For instance, if a man with a gender-ambiguous named Pat Taylor Smith decided to name his daughter Pat Taylor Smith also, she could be called Pat Taylor Smith, Jr. or Pat Taylor Smith II, in order to differentiate her from her father. But, if the daughter later married someone and changed her legal name to Pat Taylor Jones, then she would no longer be a Jr. or II.

  • josh says:

    Hi, we are expect a son and want to give him my name but the mother wants part of her fathers name in there which i have much respect for. If im correct adding a second middle name will void giving him the suffix jr or II, such as joshua dave william johnson. Is this correct?

    • Hi Josh! Yes, technically if your son has one or more different middle names than yourself, he would not be a “Jr” or a “II”. However, you could still call him “Joshua the younger” and yourself “Joshua the elder” to differentiate.

    • Steve S says:

      This is an old post I know but how about you give your son his own name since your house already has a Josh in it. I know, crazy huh?

  • Kanessia Moy says:

    If a man have two children by different women but both women wants to name their child after the father can the first born be a Jr and the second born be a III??

  • Megan Hughes says:

    How do Jr and Sr work on the birth certificate?

  • Maikol says:

    Can those rules be apply in the USA or in Europeans countries only?

  • Linda Jones says:

    If my husband already has a son named after him from someone else and I wanted to also name our child after him, is that possible?

  • Will says:

    Went through the thread and didn’t see this one, though I unfortunately believe I know the answer.

    I am having my first and only son in two weeks. My grandfather, father, and I all share the exact same name, William Theodore. I appropriately use the III.

    Here’s my question: I hate my name but love tradition. I want my son to be the IV but would rather call him a different name. So I wanted to name him William Theodre Gabriel, as I want to call him Gabriel and want him to be the IV.

    Can I do this or no? Please help, running out of time here!

    • Hi Will,

      If there is any difference in your son’s name (i.e. he has the extra name of “Gabriel,” which you and your forebears did not have), technically he wouldn’t be a “IV”. But nobody is going to put you in jail if you name him “William Theodore Gabriel” and call him “IV” anyway. It might not be correct, but it is a free country. 🙂

      • Will says:

        Literally refreshed the page and you answered.

        Not what I wanted to hear but kinda knew that was the answer.

        Thank you so much for clarification. This site is fantastic, you have done a wonderful thing helping all of us. Thanks again!!

  • Jolene says:

    Ok, so, my father in law is Michael carlyle dunck sr. My husband is Michael carlyle dunck jr. My son will be born any day now and given the same name. Does that make him the III? Will that mean my father in law (who is alive and well) will be the first and my husband will be called sr. now? Can we refer to my son as jr, or is he just ” the third”?

    • Hi Jolene! Yes, if your son is named Michael Carlyle Dunck, he will be the III. Since there will be three Michael Carlyle Duncks alive at the same time, Michael I and/or Michael II can be referred to as “Sr”, while Michael II and/or Michael III can be referred to as “Jr”. How your family now assigns “Sr” and “Jr” suffixes is entirely up to your family’s discretion. Another option that many families use in this situation would be to refer to Michael III as “Michael the younger,” to refer to Michael II as “Michael the elder,” and to refer to Michael I as “Michael the eldest”.

  • losova says:

    Did any of you actually read the thoroughly explained article before asking your redundant questions?

    • Rusty Tadflish says:

      I know! These people are sooo lazy! Too lazy to think for themselves. Modish has amazing patience, suffering sooo many fools!

  • Pat Jr. says:

    Me and my dad have the same first and last names but our middle names are o’neal and o’neil…i wanna know am i technically a jr. or not?

    • Wm A. Howell III says:

      Technically you should say “my dad and I” and technically your question has been answered a billions times above. Same name

  • Lisa says:

    please settle an argument: when the last name Is the only name being used, as on the back of an athlete’s jersey, is it proper to include “Jr.” Or “III”? My understanding is that the suffix modifies the first, rather than the last, name and therefore does not belong on the jersey.

    • Wm A. Howell III says:

      Are you seriously considering adding III to your son’s football jersey?!? How badly do you want him to get beaten up?

  • Quan says:

    Very helpful and informative, especially with each and every possible combination and suggestions that people would wonder about

  • Thomas jennings says:

    If my grandfather was born Thomas Jennings and used his confirmation name, Patrick, as his middle name then named his son Thomas Patrick Jennings… Is his son a I or a II?

    • Wm A. Howell III says:

      See any of the answers above. If the legal name is the same, add a suffix. If it’s different at all, don’t.
      Asking the same question again doesn’t make the answer any different just because it’s you asking.

  • Matt Brady says:

    So, is it common for people in places in Europe, like England, France, or The Netherlands to use generational name suffixes? What about Australia and New Zealand?

  • John Hazlet says:

    If one is a “IV” and adopts a hyphenated surname upon marriage, does one loose the hyphen? I presume so.

  • Allie DI says:

    Thanks for the article, the comic pictures are great haha! So my Father in Law and husband are a Sr. and Jr., same exact names, on all legal documents. If my child is a boy I plan on naming identically with a III, (all family members noted are living). Am I correct in assuming that this makes my husband a II and he should change his name legally as well on his US license and no longer be a Jr? and all the boys with the same name (i.e. if my son has a son one day will follow with roman numerals?) Thanks so much!

    • Wm A. Howell III says:

      Great that you liked looking at the cartoons.
      Perhaps go back and Read cartoon number four.

  • Sabina says:

    Sortof going with what “Jolene” said… my husband and his father have different middle names but are documented as sr. And jr. I am about to have a baby boy and want to name him after his father, middle name and all. Would my husband than be referred to as sr. And my son as jr? If so how would my husband go about changing his suffix from jr. To sr.?
    Thank u by the way i have been pondering this situation for more this and have asked all family why my husband is a jr. When he and his father do not share a middle name. I am very curious because I really would rather have my son as jr and not the lll because his name is Anthony and I would likehisnickname to be A.J. for Anthony jr.

    • april says:

      how about if the situation is like this …last name-first name-middle name where am i going to put the jr.

    • Wm A. Howell III says:

      Do you see how Josiah has given up answering the same questions over and over and over? You are the fourth (IV) person tornado this. Did you not notice as you scrolled down the page? Or are you hoping that yours is a special case, different Han everyone else and that you’ll get a different answer?
      Seriously, go up and look at the cartoons again and if you still can’t figure it out look at any of Josiah’s many answers above to the same question you are asking here.

  • Mr. Smith says:

    Hi. I am the II, can I still call my son the III if I give him an additional middle name, e.g. Joseph Albert Alexander Smith III when I am Joseph Albert Smith II?

  • Rae says:

    My husband wants to name a son after his father. They are Hispanic and his father’s name includes his maternal last name (first name, middle name, Mora Rivera). Our child would be sane first name middle name Mora) with no Rivera. Could the child be the second?

  • Ellen says:

    Eeeeppp. Okay, my husband’s name is the same, exact name as our son’s. We named him officially “II.” (Just in case he didn’t like “Jr.,” which we call him by anyway. haha) Did we do it ok? hahaha and if so, what SHOULD we refer to my husband as “Sr.?” orrr, “I?” He is the first to have his name. 🙂 Thanks!

  • Sir kindly tell me, I’m not married im 24 years old now i want to registering my self can you tell me what suffix i use? jr?

  • Amber says:

    Does the father have to use SR. or can the son just use jr

  • idalia vela says:

    If my father in law name is Maximo Garcia and my husband’s name is Maximo Garcia jr…than what would my son name b maximo Garcia ||| ?

  • Michell Patterson says:

    Hello, I need a little help. So my husband name is Will A Patterson Jr. and we want to name our first son Will A Patterson Jr II. We don’t want to do Will A Patterson III. Do we have to do it that way or does it make sense to do Will A Patterson Jr II?

  • Antaeus Lewis says:

    My son has my name and my wife and i named him the II, me and my sin are the only with this name, is that ok to call him the II?

  • Comk4ver says:

    My father is Jorge Rene Sr my brother though is George Rene Jr. This is inaccurate correct? But, that’s his legal name. Should it be fixed or left alone until he has kids and informally change it?

  • nisha nedd says:

    Are you suppose to add the jr or sr as part of the legal name.

  • Brian Codilan says:

    How about the McArthurs? They used suffixes even they don’t have the exactly same MIDDLE NAMES– From Arthur McArthur, Sr. to Arthur McArthur, IV. So is this an example of erronous using of the suffixes?

  • Logan says:

    So I’m researching my father’s ancestry and I see him referred to as the III and Jr., and then as I go back in time reading the gossip column of their comings and goings I see references to a sr., a jr., and a grandson, all with the same names, but the grandson, my father, is not referred to as the III. But at the same time a 2nd cousin shared a story and pictures of Sr., which matches up with the story of the Sr. in the newspaper, but Sr. does not share the same middle name as Jr. and III.

    So I’m either to assume Sr. named his son after his father, and the writer of the column (who was the aunt of Jr.’s wife) just didn’t realize they weren’t technically Sr. and Jr. …or… The family was just abusing the rules, not knowing any better.

    I’ll just have to keep digging to see if Sr.’s father comes up as the same or not. If they are following the rules, then it makes it even harder if nephews can be named after uncles or even great uncles. And the older census records are next to useless in this regard because they only list heads of household, and tick marks to indicate number of other males and females in the household.

  • Chrissy says:

    My husband’s name is Franklin Johnnie Miller and his father’s name is William
    Johnnie Miller. My husband’s brother’s name is William Tobias Miller II (named after his father’s father) my father-in-law is deceased and my husband want to name our son William Johnnie Miller II, would that be correct? Should we ask his brother on if he plans on using it or passing on his own name?

  • Hello, my partner wants to name his son after himself and his father.. His father is sr and my partner is jr… How would the child’s name be written on the birth certificate.. Would it be John James smith, Jr III or just John James smith, III thnx

  • Mike Shull says:

    What if the old man were simply named “Barnabus Johnson” with no middle name, and then the son is Barnabus Ludwig Johnson?

  • John Smith says:

    If I am following English naming conventions, ‘IV’ comes at the end of my name. My mother is Portuguese, and according to Portuguese naming conventions, I can choose to add her maiden name just before my English surname. Example:
    English: John Smith IV
    Portuguese: John de Silva e Smith (de = of the family/families, e = and)
    My question is, can I still add the IV at the end of my name if I choose to follow the Portuguese naming convention?

  • Elizabeth A A says:

    Hello, my mother’s name is Sarah Elizabeth and my name is Elizabeth Anne, I have a few questions concerning this topic.
    Firstly, were I to change my name to Sariah Elizabeth (Sariah being an alternative spelling of Sarah), would I be ‘II’?
    Secondly, were I to change my name to Elizabeth Sarah, would I be ‘II’? (second given names and first given names can be used interchangeably and depend on how you write it. For example Miss Dakota Fanning’s name at birth was Hannah Dakota Fanning and her name is now Dakota Hannah Fanning without the need for it to be legally changed)

  • april says:

    what if the situation is like this ….last name – first name- middle name…where am i going to put the jr. ?

  • My great great grandfather’s name was Thomas Grant Everett. He had a son named Earl (my great grandfather). Earl had 13 kids, one of them Marvin (my grandfather) and another Thomas Grant Everett II (my great uncle). Both Thomas Grants are deceased. My wife and I found out recently that we will be welcoming our first boy into the world later this summer and we are considering keeping that family name going and naming our little man Thomas Grant Everett III. Is this an appropriate usage of the III suffix?

  • Robin says:

    My great grandfather was born in 1874. He had a hyphenated last name and was born in England. Who’s last name would be the first one and who’s would be the second? Example: John Bristowe-Badcock. TY

  • M.D. Sanders says:

    I have a Michael Jr. which is the oldest, and my youngest son is SirMichael , if I have another son how do I properly give him the same Name???

  • Angela Rucker says:


    My husbands father is named Anton LaMike Rucker, My husband is Anton LaMike Rucker Jr. His fathers wife ( my husbands step mom ) got pregnant and named their son Anton LaMike Rucker III . I’m pregnant hoping for a boy, if a boy what do I name my son since she took my husbands son name. We’re wanting to carry the whole name along.

  • E. M. says:

    My great grandfather is named Lewis Bryant Davis I. His son, my grandfather, is Lewis Bryant Davis II. My grandfather’s son, my uncle, is Lewis Bryant Davis III. Could I name my child Lewis Bryant Davis IV despite my father not bearing the name?

  • Gavin Lance Phillips, II says:

    Please help settle 2 lifelong name suffix curiosities of my family.

    Of 3 boys, i was the middle child, and my dad, who was the only one of his family named Gavin, chsoe to give me his full name as well. Due to a fear of me getting labeled with the nickname Jr, he opted to use the numerals II on my birth certificate. I’m nearly 30 now, but Some people were confused when I was a child and my name and suffix was involved with something. I got confused looks as if they expected my to be a grown man with a son of my own. I am certain after reading your article but want your confirmation…. My dad used the suffix II in my name correctly right? I assume Jr or II is/was appropriate? And even though we get called Gavin Sr and Jr when needing clarification, I’m just curious if it could be correct to use the numeral I as a suffix for my dad (Gavin the first). Or does that require third same named relative before its useable.
    Something else in my family, which i now believe we were wrong about, is whether my older brothers name would meet the criteria for II as a suffix on his name. My uncle( dads brother), was killed as an adult about 10 years before my brother was born abnd to honor him, my dad name him after his brother (identical names uncle/nephew). We always debated or talked about the accuracy of my name using the II, and just never thought my brother met the criteria to use the suffix II on his name as well. We believed an uncle/nephew wasn’t applicable for any suffix, and thought it had to be direct parental type of lineage to get a suffix. I now know, thanks to you, we were wrong, but I am curious to know whether my uncles death might be some sort of technicality in my brothers situation regarding validity of using the suffix II. Could he have had II on his birth certificate as well or did the death before my brothers change the useage.

    • Kelly (mama of IV) says:

      Your “II” on your birth certificate is perfectly valid, just as “Jr.” would have been.

      Your brother is technically a “II” as well. The naming convention is independent of death. Josiah covered this in the necronym section. The only thing your brother would not be is a Jr., since your late uncle was not his father, and Jr. and Sr. pairings are reserved for fathers and sons with the same exact name. Hope this helps!

  • Mike says:

    I understand how suffix and numerals work according to the conventional way. According to the traditional way, but would it not be right to do so this way? I really admire my brother and he has went through alot, he is older then me, we have different fathers, but he was raised in my family, and known by everyone(on fathers side) and well, on the mother’s side, he is actually related to them, we are all close. He was raised by my father as his own(with knowledge of his true father, which he has no memories of) I really admire him and would like to name my son Julian Leonard B****** My brother is Julian Leonard G******, I would like to name my son a II, since he was named after my brother, and he is the second Julian Leonard of all of our family, would it be wrong I understand I can do what I please, but he is THE Second Julian Leonard II.. The last name is a last name, but IT IS our family, and I want it to be known he was named after my brother,

    • Mike says:

      Or theoretically speaking. :-P…. Can it be considered correct, if I name him based on the fact he is Julian Leonard II…. Naming him Julian Leonard, after my brother Julian Leonard…wether the last names or not are the same, I understand the whole name is, but the whole name is the same, except for the family name which he will be Julian Leonard II….his name wouldn’t come into play, it would be on his birth certificate as Julian Leonard Butunoi II… or Julian Leonard II…Butunoi….. An example is, with the King Of the Romanians, the first one…Carol I…. King Carol I, he didn’t have any children and his nephew was king after his death….His nephew named his son Carol II, I think they had the whole name the same but what I’m saying is….It was read as Carol II…I understand he was the second, because their name’s were the same but what if they weren’t:P

      • Mike says:

        Sorry, adding just one last thing….shouldv’e metioned in the previous, but here it is, thank you. The people I have mentioned earlier, the kings of Romania….The first was Carol I….. he was born Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen (Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen being the house..(monarchy) Carol I didn’t have a child who can take the throne, (only one who died in infancy atleast) His nephew King Ferdinand I took the throne, who, in return, was succeeded by his child, King Carol II….He is Carol II…..I can’t find Carol II’s real name but I was saying I’m sure it can’t be Prince Karl of Hohenzollern-Sigmaringen…but on second thought, it possibly could be, so that’s me justifying why I can name my son after my brother and be a II… I don’t know if its any different since they are Kings :-P!!!.as Carol I being the first carol as king….Carol II also had a son named Carol who is not a III? It says he was born PRince Karl of Hohenzollern, but his grandfather FErdinand I forced his parents anulment, in the romanian royal court in the 300-day period…and his name could’ve been registered as the latter with Lambrino somewhere in the name, not making him a III….his is the exact opposite, but I am thinking it could be because he wasn’t king….regardless I would like to name my child Julian Leonard II….:P can you give me any enlightenment on all that i have mentioned

  • Dexter Brown says:

    So just to clarify…my father, whose name is John Francis Brown, named me Joseph Dexter Brown III after his deceased father AND his deceased brother, Joseph Dexter Brown and Joseph Dexter Brown, Jr., respectively. Joseph Dexter Brown, Jr. had no issue. There is no one else in my family named Joseph Dexter Brown. My aunts say that I should be called Joseph Dexter Brown, II. Who is right?

  • Patrick Flynn Jr. says:

    This is soo good! Nice job. The cartoon camily trees really helped. Will need to see if my great grandfather had the same middle name (then I’d also be III)

  • Roddy says:

    My father is Robert Jack Evans II (his father is deceased) so if I name my child Robert Jack Evans, he will be Robert Jack Evans III, correct?

  • Ro says:

    My husband’s name is Jesse which is a unisex name and he is the III. we are expecting a girl and we are entertaining the thought of continuing the tradition and going with Jesse IV. I don’t see anything in the rules for jumping over to another gender but I would assume that this would work the same In this situation, is that correct?

  • Joe says:

    So I read the article and don’t see my exact situation.

    My father is DTS. My half brother who is now deceased was DTS Jr. I am named JWS. If I wanted my son to be named DTS would he be DTS III or would I start over at DTS?

  • marcus kinnon says:

    I’m trying to find out what do I call my twin boys.. what I’m say is when a man has his first son he call him Jr, but what do you do when you have twin boys.. I don’t just wanna name one after me an have the other feel some type of way so what do or can I do?

    • marcus kinnon says:

      Can someone help me out please?

      • harry bartlett, III says:

        It is simple. The first son is Jr. and the second one is III. If any of those sons have boys the the numbers just continue (IV, V, etc).

        • Dee says:

          As Henry above says, you could name one Jr and or II and the other the III. You would then have twins with the same names. Somewhat awkward.
          Your choice seems to be a) give them the same name with different suffixes, b) name one after you and cause the other to feel less important or c) forego naming them after yourself and give them unique or slightly different family names.

      • Clayton O' says:

        The one that was born first is the II and the other is III. It’s cooler to be III antways lol

  • Martha Hunt says:

    My son is the 1st of the 4th generation of William Henry Randolphs. His great grandfather was Jr., his grandfather was III, and his father is IV. If we were in Merry Old England, my son, as the 1st of the 4th generation, would be William Henry Randolph, XIII. However, with each generation here in the U.S., the suffixes begin again after IV so my son is WHR with no suffix. He and his wife are preparing to have a son, also named William Henry Randolph. In keeping with the tradition, he would be WHR, Jr., and his son will be III and his son will be IV and then a new 5th generation will begin. Everyone in our family disagrees with me but this is how it was explained to me by the matriarch of our family when my son was born. Unfortunately, she has passed so cannot verify. I say my son’s son, in keeping with tradition, should be WHR, Jr. Am I correct or not?

  • John holland says:

    If I’m the third and my father found his old birth cert and it says he’s the fourth, how would I go about naming my son the sixth, would I have to change my birth cert to prove it? I was also told it ends at 4, I’m guessing that’s BS

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      You don’t have to prove anything. Name your son the VI. you should also change your name to V and correct the whole mess.

      It doesn’t end with any number.

    • Clayton O' says:

      Yeah you would be V and your son would be VI. To make it formal you could change your birth certificates.

  • Dennis James Dougherty says:

    I just had a son I named him Dennis James Dougherty 3 after me and my father but my dad says he not a third is this true

  • Jody says:

    We would like to name our son after my husband’s brother who is deceased. His brothers name is Brandon Jeremy White. Would we be able to name him Brandon Jeremy White II ? We live in the U.S

  • […] had already a nickname so I guess the most common thing to do was giving me his nickname and adding “the second (II)” to it. Now believe me when I say that nicknames usually will stay around for a pretty long time. […]

  • Debbie says:

    QUESTION: We had a grandparent, son and grandson that was thought to have the exact same name. We recently found out that the grandpa’s middle name was Glen, the son was Glenn and the grandson was Glen. I don’t know if the person that filled out the birth record for the son knew that his father only had 1 N in it or what happened. But they have always called them Sr and Jr then when the grandson was born. I, II and III. My husband’s middle name is Glenn after his grandfather and his son and grandson have middle name of Glenn. My husband’s mother was the son of the above grandfather with 1 N in his middle name. She didn’t even know it had 1 N. No one knew this for sure until I sent for his birth record from 1908 that was a hand written record.

  • jonny says:

    I have two sons.

  • Daphne lee says:

    Question- my husbands first son died at birth, he was a jr. – if we have a son can he be a jr? Or will he need to be III?

  • Aaron Locke says:

    what is the word for the third

  • Patrick says:

    I was born with 2 last names in another country but in my US citizenship papers and social i only have one last name…. Can i give my son my american name and he be a jr or wpuld have to be my 2 last names for him to be a jr

    • Clayton O' says:

      Since your name has been legally changed to that American name then yes. But only if you name him with your exact, full, legal name.

  • james d. marshall says:

    I am naming my son after my grandfather. Neither my father or me is named after him. Does any suffix apply?

  • Luis Relorcasa Jr. says:

    I’m a Luis Jr., my father’s name is Luis Sr. If my baby’s name is Emmanuel Luis or Luis Emmanuel, can I use the suffix III? Me and my father have no Emmanuel in our name. Thanks so much!

  • I have a question my grandfather just died but he had two son one named Elijah and the other elisha my uncle elisha was named after my grandfather my uncle had a son named after him but my cousin is the 3rd I would like to name my son after my grandfather would that make my son the 4th or no

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      II is used when you are named after someone other than your father (Grandfather, Uncle, etc.) Therefore, your son would be II.

      • PennyCross says:

        INCORRECT. You can name your son IV. It is correct in the naming convention.

      • Clayton O' says:

        That would definitely make him the IV because it goes in chronological order and ignores the chain. You are still naming him after your grandfather because it’s like the transitive property, x=y then y=b then b=x, naming him after your cousin is naming him after your grandfather indirectly and also keeps to good etiquette. 🙂 But technically you can ignore the chain with the cousins but not the uncle so he could be a III but it’s not recommended due to confusion.

      • Dee says:

        Per the article, your son becomes the IV.

  • Michael says:

    My grandfathers name was Michael Constantine Potts.

    My fathers older brother has a son ten years older than me, also named Michael Constantine Potts (my older cousin).

    My father named me Michael Constantine Potts, too.

    Am i a II or a III?

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      II is used when you are named after someone other than your father (Grandfather, Uncle, etc.)Therefore you are II, and so is your Cousin.

      • PennyCross says:

        INCORRECT. You are III in your grandfather’s legacy.

      • Clayton O' says:

        You are the III. It goes in chronological order. Or if you want to completely ignore that your older, 1st cousin has the same name as you and call your by the same name then go for it because is sort of correct but not really recommended due to confusion. Also it’s cooler to be the III anyways lol

  • emily says:

    So if my boyfriend and his dad have Same name. His dad is sr and he is Jr. If we have a boy and name him the same as his father and grandfather what would he be?

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      The your son would be III.

      • Clayton O' says:

        Also your boyfriend and his father could pass down the suffixes and your boyfriend’s dad becomes the I and your boyfriend becomes Sr. and your son becomes Jr. Or they could use I, II, and III or even use them all in conjunction.

      • Dee says:

        If you read the article, the dad is Jr and/or II. Your son is III. Jr/Sr is reserved for a living father son and can change. Therefore your boyfriend can choose to go by Sr now and you son can be Jr, but he is still III. The article explains it better.

  • Tracy says:

    My husband is named Walter Ernest IV Perry after his father Walter Ernest III Perry. He wants to name our first son Walter Ernest Perry V to keep his family name going. Do I absolutely have to keep the middle name the same in order for our son to be V?

  • Tracy says:

    My husband is named Walter Ernest IV Perry after his father Walter Ernest III Perry. He wants to name our first son Walter Ernest V Perry to keep his family name going. Do I absolutely have to keep the middle name the same in order for our son to be V?

  • Ashley Thomas says:

    My boyfriend and I were thinking about hyphenating our last names when we get married. However, he is legally a II – it’s on this birth certificate, license, etc. – named after his father. If he was to legally change his name after we got married, would he still be the 2nd? If his last name was no longer Williams but Thomas-Williams?

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      First of all, if he is named after his father then he should be Jr. not II. II is used when you are named after someone other than your father (Grandfather, Uncle, etc.)
      However, if he changes his name to a hyphenated one, then he will have no suffix.

      • Clayton O' says:

        Harry that’s not true again… Jr and II can be used together whether it’s your cousin, dad, or great grwat great grandpa. As long as they are alive and they are the 1st and 2nd. But only father and son or uncle or nephew or cousins can use numerals higher than II with Sr. And Jr. I hope you do your research after this. anyways, that’s correct he won’t have a suffix becuase it will be his own original name.

      • Dee says:

        Harry, per this article he is II AND/OR Jr. I am familiar with the standard you are going by, but this article claims very different. Please read the article.

        And yes, he loses his suffix with the hyphen as the names are no longer identical.

    • PennyCross says:

      Your husband can be II or Jr. If your husband’s father (Sr.) dies, your husband as a Jr. becomes II. However, legally hyphenating names changes the legacy and the surname changes to no suffix.

      If after hyphenating names you choose to name a son with your husband’s new legal (exact) name, your son would become a Jr.

  • I’ve researched a lot about naming your child Jr. after the father and most guide lines as long as it has the father’s first middle and last which is our plan but I wanted to add an additional middle name can it still be a Jr.?

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      No. The names must be exactly the same.

    • PennyCross says:

      No, the example of George Herbert Walker Bush (the elder), and George Walker Bush (the younger) was illustrated earlier as an INCORRECT use of senior and junior by the press. They do not have the same name and therefore are not Sr. and Jr.

  • Rosendo Rodriguez says:

    Im having a baby soon i wanted to name him after me im a jr. But my father isnt alive anymore so would my son be a jr and me a snr and would i have to do any changes to my name?

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      Your son will have to be III. When someone dies none of the suffixes change. Think about it logically, if you named you son Jr. he would be confused with you. The reason you have a suffix is to distinguish one person from another. If you start changing them you defeat that purpose.

      • Clayton O' says:

        Well, Harry, that is not exactly true. It’s not really about the documents at all sometimes. Because think about when someone was just the furst person with the name. All documents leading up til he becamw a Sr won’t have that suffix. Same the the Jr because when the Jr looses his father he shoukd change his name to a II to not imply his father is still alive and all documents leading up to his father’s death will say Jr. But to answer your questions Rosendo, yes he coukd be a Jr because there is a rule up above that says that you can use both suffixes together and as long as it is a father or son or like an uncle or nephew or an older cousin and a younger cousin you can call one another Jr. and Sr. but the I, II, and III should always apply.

    • PennyCross says:

      Naming him III is chronologically correct (but you may refer to him as Jr or the younger at your discretion). Refer to Josiah:

      Josiah Schmidt says:
      January 12, 2015 at 11:37 am

      Hi Jolene! Yes, if your son is named Michael Carlyle Dunck, he will be the III. Since there will be three Michael Carlyle Duncks alive at the same time, Michael I and/or Michael II can be referred to as “Sr”, while Michael II and/or Michael III can be referred to as “Jr”. How your family now assigns “Sr” and “Jr” suffixes is entirely up to your family’s discretion. Another option that many families use in this situation would be to refer to Michael III as “Michael the younger,” to refer to Michael II as “Michael the elder,” and to refer to Michael I as “Michael the eldest”.

  • Trey says:

    If I’m the III but I want to name my son after me can he be III JR using 2 suffixes on his name alone? And I become III SR

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      No. He is IV. No double suffixes and no changing suffixes along the way. Once you have a specific suffix it is yours alone forever.
      Think about it logically, if you change suffixes you would be confused with other people. Any legal document regarding one person would apply to the other. The reason you have a suffix is to distinguish one person from another. If you start changing them you defeat that purpose.

    • Clayton O' says:

      There may be laws against this. I’m not sure tho. I do know you can’t put numbers like 1,2, and 3 in your childs name but I don’t exactly know or think there is any about giving your child a name like III but it would either have to hecome his last name soully and your last name become a middle name or they merge and become one last name. But in this case he would not have the same name as you because your legal name is your name without the suffix so he would not be a Jr. Only if he has the exact same name as you would this be true. Also there is no point in this. The only reason there was ever siffixes, anything like patranyms or bynames was because they wanted to be able to identify one another from each other. But what you could do is name your son with your name and give him the suffix IV and use both IV and Jr. and you III Sr. because Jr. and Sr. can be used in conjunction with Roman numeral suffixes as long as it is a father and a son or something similar.

  • Zakiyah says:

    Could I name my son fabien Antiono Zarius Jones ii

  • Zakiyah says:

    Can I name my son Fabien Antiono Zarius Jones ii

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      If the father’s name is Fabien Antiono Zarius Jones then, no. He is the III. If the father’s name is different than Fabien Antiono Zarius Jones, but the Grandfather or an Uncle is named Fabien Antiono Zarius Jones then he would be the II. The suffix II is used when named after a relative other than the father. If you are named after your father then you are Jr, III, IV, V, etc.

      • Clayton O' says:

        Harry, you’re wrong. If the father has that exact name and is not already a II himself then yes, his son would be a II. I have no idea where you’re getting that idea. And Jr. is no different than being a II. They are the same thing and you also can use both or which ever you prefer.

      • Dee says:

        Depends if you want to follow Harry’s naming convention or the authors. 🙂

    • PennyCross says:

      More detais are needed.

  • Sara White says:

    Can I name my son III if his father has died, was a Jr and his father Sr is still living?

    • harry bartlett, III says:

      Yes, you can. When someone dies none of the suffixes change. Think about it logically, if you named you son Jr. he would be confused with his deceased father. Any legal document from the father would apply to the misnamed son. The reason you have a suffix is to distinguish one person from another. If you start changing them you defeat that purpose.

      • PennyCross says:

        Yes, it’s correct in the naming convention.

      • Clayton O' says:

        Ok, so, I have read this several times and hope I have read it right. Ok your son’s father has died but your son’s grandfather is still alive and the grandfather was a Sr. and the father was a Jr. in that case your son was always a III whether his father is alive or not. And the grandfather becomes the I after his son dies to not imply that he is still alive.

  • Layla says:

    If a grandmother was the same first and last name and a granddaughter was the same first and last name, but they both don’t have a middle name, is it considered a II

    • PennyCross says:

      I give up!

    • Clayton O' says:

      Yes, althrough, women don’t usually use these suffixes due to marriages chaging the names. After you get married and it changes your name, you are no longer a junior or II because the name is not exactly the same. Also it doesn’t matter whether you have 1 name or 30 names. As long as they are exactly the same you are a junior or II

  • Eric King (II) says:

    Wow I’ve been arguing with people for 30 plus years that I’m not a Jr I’m a second and have been wrong my whole life. My father is still alive. But 2nd is on my ID so i will continue to be wrong

    • PennyCross says:

      Not necessarily. When a father dies a Jr. becomes II. This differentiates family members on legal documents.

      • PennyCross says:

        Your father may have been thinking ahead. What is his reasoning for naming you II instead of Jr.?

        • Tasha says:

          I have a question if the father of my child I’m pregnant with has a child with a different woman and he is a Jr and the father is a Sr and i want to name my son after the father also will he be a lll? And will theirs change to l and ll? Thanks in advance

    • Clayton O' says:

      You’re not wrong. You can use either one or both. Until your father dies. Then you should always use II

  • Duke Nukem 3D says:

    How come this type of naming doesn’t apply to females? I’m just curious.

    Sarah Smith Jr.
    Sarah Smith I
    Sarah Smith II
    Sarah Smith III

    • PennyCross says:

      It can apply but it is not usually applied.

      Mothers used to pass on their names to their daughters much more frequently but we don’t see it much anymore. It may just be a social occurrence.

    • Daniel Shannon says:

      After Junior comes III, then IV, then V, then VI, and so on.

  • S. Bilal Clinkscale I. says:

    I’m really into generational name suffixes but I’m not a Jr. Because family issues. I have my own name but in the future I plan on naming my son after me because I have a strong name. My name is Sulaiman Bilal Clinkscale. But on all my documents I put S. Bilal Clinkscale, I. instead of Sr. I think the Roman numeral name suffixes sound better on my name. The only name I like is my hero Dr. King, He was named after his father so he was Jr. But I think Jr. Fits his name. Or Our President Full legal name is Barack Hussein Obama, II. instead of Jr. I think his name sounds better with the Roman numeral suffix II. Than the traditional Jr.

    Is it ok that I use the Roman Numeral suffix “I.” on the end of my name even though I haven’t had any children yet? I just love name suffixes.

  • therese says:

    i have a son named Albert II Galido Garzon his father’s name is Albert Garzon Jr.since he named after his late father named Albert Garzon Sr..
    so, is that means my son’s first name is only his name?
    Since i put my middle name to it.And not connected to that I his great grandpa, II his father, nor is that ok to put Albert II?

  • LESLIE says:

    What’s the proper way to write the last name first, first name last and the suffix?

    • PennyCross says:

      I believe Josiah responded to this before:

      Last name, First name Middle name, Suffix (note punctuation)
      Smith, John James, Jr.

      • PennyCross says:

        Only Jr. or Sr. require a comma after the surname.
        John James Smith, Sr.
        John James Smith III

        However the MLA and APA guidelines for last names first…
        Smith, John James, Jr.
        Smith, John James, III

    • Clayton O' says:

      Ex. James Leonard Shores, Jr.
      To write it as LAST, FIRST, SUFFIX it would be….
      Shores, Leonard, Jr.

  • rufino says:

    i just want to ask you guys about my suffix, i was named rufino lipata balanquit Jr of my father rufino cupido balanquit Sr (lipata is my middle name & cupido is my father’s middle name, my lipata middle name was came from my mother maiden surname) were that suffixes valid?

  • Paula Camarena says:

    If my husbands name is Christopher Roger Cuellar-Sampallo, and I would like my son to be a Jr will my son need to have both last names?
    We also have 2 daughters and we only have them the last name of Cuellar.

  • Tere Adams says:

    My name is Tere Matthew Adams if I named my son Tere Mathew Adams would he be considered a jr or no . His Matthew would have one t instead of 2 ts like mine

  • jewell says:

    If my husband father is angel Daniel Diaz St and my husband us angel Daniel Diaz Jr if we name our son angel Daniel Diaz what will his suffix be?
    And we are looking for grandpa because we lost touch but if we find out he’s deceased what will my husband and sons suffix be then?

    • PennyCross says:

      Son= III whether grandpa is alive or dead (assuming exact names apply)
      If grandpa is dead, a Jr. (your husband) becomes II. Your son’s suffix does not change.

    • Clayton O' says:

      If your husband’s Dad is the first to be named Angel Daniel Diaz then your son will be Angel Daniel Diaz III. Your husband and his dad can keep Sr. And Jr. until he passes away, if he hasn’t already. They could also pass the 2 suffixes down, which would probably be the more traditional thing to do, and your husband’s dad will be Angel Daniel Diaz I, your husband will be Angel Daniel Diaz Sr. And your son will be Angel Daniel Diaz Jr. This will also have to happen if he dies because if your husband remains a Jr. it will imply that his father is still alive. Also they could all go by Angel Daniel Diaz I, II, III.

    • Carl Franklin Miller, Jr. says:

      Please read.

  • My coworker is wrong, right? says:

    My coworker is trying to say his name is “John Jacob Smith I” but he ha son children or relatives with the same exact name. Please tell me he is incorrect.

    • PennyCross says:

      More details needed.

    • Clayton O' says:

      Well, I don’t think he is incorrect. He is the 1st if he has no ancestors named like him. I believe it is very informal and pointless. Sounds like he may be insecure about his name or place in life and trying to make himself seem more noble or elite.

  • Amanda says:

    Hi I have a question
    I’m pregnant and I want to name my baby after, his father.
    The father name is Tom Liam Smith Jr. Can I name my son
    Tom Bob Liam Smith 3rd. I want to add Bob, because that’s
    My father name.
    The question is ok to name my baby the 3rd?

    • PennyCross says:

      No Bob–the name must be exact if you want to name him III.
      You can call him Bob or name another child Bob, but it would null a legacy if added.

  • M.Smith says:

    My husband name is Jackson Smith 4 but I want to name our son Jackson Smith 4 jr or Jackson Smith 4 ll can I? I don’t want him the jackson Smith 5.

    • PennyCross says:

      Naming a child IV Jr. or IV II is not in the naming convention. It’s confusing too.
      You may insert a different middle name but that would not be the same legal name and he would then have NO suffix. Why don’t you want V?

  • M.Smith says:

    My husband name is Jackson Smith 4 but I want to name our son Jackson Smith 4 jr or Jackson Smith 4 ll can I? I don’t want him jackson Smith 5.

    • Preston Froelick 11 says:

      Why would you name someone the IV Jr.? That is improper. It is what an uneducated hillbilly would name his pig. Unless you want your son to have a comlex about how stupid his mom was name him the V. Unless you just want to be different at your sons expense. Not a selfish thing to do. Name your kid something that wont embarrass him.

  • Tamala Vanderhoof says:

    My grandson was named after his father (whom is now also deceased he was alive when the child was born. ) John M Smith III.. However, I argued with my daughter on this because her husband is named after his grandfather,(whom is deceased) his mothers father. Not his father. I told her my grandson would be a Jr. No the III.. His mother also argues this point so much as to start arguments because she refuses to understand the correct way to address this. Thank you

    • PennyCross says:

      This description is confusing so I’ll offer 2 scenarios:

      #1. If the husband was named after his MATERNAL grandfather and the names did NOT match EXACTLY he would NOT have a suffix.
      If the husband had no suffix and your grandson’s name matched his father’s name exactly, your grandson would be a Jr. but became II when his father died.


      #2. If the husband was named after his MATERNAL grandfather and the names matched EXACTLY, the husband would have been a II and your grandson III. This scenario may happen if the husband’s parents were not married at the time and the surname given to him was from the maternal grandfather.
      That said, because the maternal grandfather and husband are deceased, it would not affect your grandson’s suffix of III.

    • Carl Franklin Miller, Jr. says:


  • Tanisha Thomas says:

    I want to name my son after his father but he already has a son named after him can I still name by son after his father and would that make him the lll ?

  • Cali says:

    If the daddy name is spelled Fard and I spell the baby name Fa’rd is he still a JR?

  • Fran says:

    If theres a father “kenny” and he gives his son his exact name he beomes “kenny jr” correct? Then what if “kenny jr ” wants to give his son his exact name what wood he be “kenny. ???” ?

  • RAFA says:

    Hello, so it all makes sense, but for example my husbands father (technically the 1st)
    is Rafael (no middle name) and paternal last name then his maternal last name attached ( no hyphenation just both last names on documents. Now my husband would fall under that same situation, he would be Rafael (no middle name also) same paternal last name then his maternal last name attached which is different from his fathers. We wanted to continue or really start the suffix, since my husbands father never used the 1st after his name, nor my husband the 2nd after his, would this still count for our first son to be a 3rd generation document wise since they both use their maternal names at the end of their names, and both don’t have the suffix at the end ? Can we start now, or yah, help ?? 🙂 Thank you.!!!

  • Heather says:

    My boyfrind is a Jr. His dad William Sr. Pasted away. We are pregnant and I’m waiting to know.. if we have a boy and name him William would it make him a Jr. And Mt bf a Sr. Since his dad is gone?

  • Harvey says:

    If i have the same first name and last name as my grandfather but the middle names are
    different will i be Harvey Chatwin the II

  • Matt says:

    This may be answered above, but there are a ton of comments. Thanks or any help.

    My wife and I would like to name our son after his paternal grandfather (my father). Only thing is that my father is the III. So would my son’s name be Thomas Jackson II, after his grandfather since it skipped a generation, or would it be Thomas Jackson IV? I’ve seen mixed answers. Thanks!

  • Loida C. Lee says:

    Hi, i have a 5month old son. I put the suffix II after his first name. Can i be questioned about it? Or is it okay if that’s the order of his name. His fullname is Downey II A. Lee

    Thanks and more power

  • Crosby says:

    Mr. Schmidt,
    Thank you for the great read. I do not mean to sound as if I’m questioning your credibility when I ask, but what sources do you use for your information? Your breakdown above makes a lot of sense, so I want to be able to explain to others how this works. However it seems like the common understanding of II vs Jr. is that II is reserved for circumstances when a son is named (exactly the same) after someone other than their father, while Jr. is reserved for the one case when a son is given the exact same name as his father. In fact, I can’t find another article online that explains II vs. Jr. the way you have, and instead, it is only the way I have – at least as far as I could find. Could you please direct me to an official source breaking it down the way you have, please? Thank you again for the great article.

  • Daughter in law II says:

    My husbands name is identical to his fathers. He is the 2nd son but has always been referred to as Jr. The firstborn son was not named after his father and he insists the Jr can only apply if the firstborn son is named exactly as his father. He insists the Jr “option” is lost unless you are 1. The firstborn son and 2. Have identical name as the father. I have not read this and suspect it’s more about jealousy than any rule.
    Can you clarify ?

  • Alvin says:

    My dad & I have the same name but middle is spelled different, Tremaine & mines Tremane , can I use jr even though it’s technically II?

  • Derrick Glovrt says:

    My wife and I have been together since high school and she had a baby in high school that was not mine and I still wanted to give him my name so we did .He is my stepson now that my wife and I are married does that make us Sr. And Jr.

  • Jarrad says:

    If a person has the middle name of their parent, are they technically a Jr (or II)?

    Albert Bart Charleston has a song, David Albert Charleston. Because his middle and surname are the name of his father, does that classify as Jr or II?

  • Amber says:

    If my boyfriend is a Jr and his father is a Sr. What would our child’s suffix be?

  • Thalia says:

    My dad is alive and is named Lesly Rosenberg . He had me and called me Lesly Rosenberg Jr.
    I’m having a boy that I will call Lesly Rosenberg . Does that make him the third ??

  • Kelli says:

    Great grandfather and grandfather are James earl Cromartie Sr and James earl Cromartie jr … Son is James Terrell Cromartie and his son is James Terrell Cromartie can that be James I, II, III, IIII ? Or it starts over when the middle name changed ?

  • […] are a tremendous amount of specific rules regarding the giving of a father’s name to a son. This article sums up the rules quite well, with cute cartoons to […]

  • antonio says:

    can i put 2nd name on my sons name? like my name is Antonio B. Macalalag Jr and i want my son to be like Antonio Caleb M. Macalalag III, are suffixes still apply?

  • Wèédboy says:

    Its very helpfull.thank you

  • Amahsia says:

    My Husband Is Named After His Biological Father, He Has No Real Relationship With Him, But My Husband Wants To Name Our Son After Himself Is That Possible Considering The Fact That My Husband Is Already A Jr. And He Wants Our Son To Be A Jr. Also?

  • david says:

    What happens if the JR has a son with the same name?

    Would it be:
    Michael Smith, Sr.
    Michael Smith, Jr.

    If Michael Smith, Jr. has a son, would his son be Michael Smith, III ??? And would Michael Smith, Sr. have to change his name to Michael Smith I? or can Michael Smith, Sr. keep his “Sr.” title?

  • Rebecca says:

    My husband is named Juan Marcos Villa-Martinez his fathers name is Juan Marcos Villa-Sandoval… So if I named my child after his dad could I use Juan Marcos Villa and which suffix would I use?

  • Christie says:

    Can you still classify as a junior if you have the same name but different spelling? Like John Christian Smith Sr. and Jon Christian Smith Jr…?

  • Ricca Salcido says:

    I’m pregnant at the moment & if the baby is a boy I would like to name him
    After his dad. One problem I’m confused on. My bf’s fathers name is Javier A Garza, his first son (my BF) is Javier A Garza ll. Now here’s where I get confused. He had another son with a different woman & they named him Javier A Garza Jr.

    My question is. What number would my son be? Is it the lll or the lV?

    (By the way they all have the same exact middle names)

  • Pete Normand says:

    I read the article, and 99% of it agrees with what I have always practiced. I am a “Jr.,” but that is not on my birth certificate. I don’t believe my state has a place on the birth certificate form for suffixes. However, “Jr.” has always appeared on my drivers license, and on all legal documents. You say that after my father’s death, several decades ago, I should have dropped the “Jr.” But, I did not, and find that keeping the “Jr.” on my name differentiates me from my father in legal documents. As a genealogist, I know my descendants will appreciate this. So, here is my question: You state all these rules as a matter of fact. But, are these practices based in law in all 50 states of the U.S., or are you simply stating what the accepted convention has been in the past?

  • Nakayla Hector says:

    I’m a girl and I want to name my son after my dad would he still be a jr although I’m a girl.

  • Yo says:

    So does “jr” should be written in the birth certificate? Or its just said after the full name?

  • Katie says:

    My boyfriend’s father is Craig David Duncan. They named their first son also Craig David Duncan Jr. but he died shortly after birth. If my boyfriend and I name our son Craig David Duncan will he be the third?? Thanks in advance!

  • Jim says:

    Here’s something that I don’t see addressed.

    If I use your illustrious examples: What if Barnabus Ludwig Johnson, III was a doctor? Would he call himself Dr. Barnabus Ludwig Johnson, III? I would assume so since his legal name does not include the professional title. Is that correct?
    Your site is wonderful- clear, informative, and entertaining.

  • Chris says:

    what if my dad and my grandpa their both still alive what should put under myself? please help

  • John Cleverdon says:

    I’m a junior, but usually only use it for legal things. For over 25 years as an adult I was in the military, so there was no real reason for using it. When I was kid I remembering mentioned to my dad that if I was a junior, it meant he was a senior. He told me that just because I was born didn’t mean that his name changed. He’ll say the same thing to this day. I think I got my name due to pressure from his mother to continue her family name – her maiden name is our middle name.

  • Kyree Garrett says:

    If you’re a junior and you name your son after yourself, does he become a junior and you a senior? Or is it just the Roman numeral?

  • Walter says:

    My name is Walter Filmore IV. If me and my same sex partner, James Creed, get married and he wants to hyphenate, is there a way for me to remain a IV, and could my son still be a V with a hyphenated last name?

  • Preston Froelick 11 says:

    My father and I have exact same names. Except I have roman numeral II and he has no suffix. Shouldn’t he be Sr. And I junior? It has bothered me most my life.Recently I was told my grandfather had affair with my mother. Could that then explain why the II is behind mine and none behind my dads?

  • Elizabeth says:

    I can’t believe Donald trump is the reason I’m learning about this, but it will be a good day for us all when is son finally becomes Donald J Trump II.

  • Todd says:

    My great grandfather’s older brother was named Frank Edward Schilling (deceased). My grand father was named Frank Joesph Schilling (deceased). My dad is named Frank Edward Schilling without a II, actually he was and still is called Frank Jr erroneously in my opinion by many that are not super close friends. My son just born a few days ago is named Frank Edward Schilling. I am trying to figure out if he should be a II or III. I read all the “rules” on this post and thought rules 8-10 would lead toward III, but II also seems correct. Being they wanted this prior to leaving the hospital, went with III. Let me know if this should be changed in your opinion. I probably have a few days to change it before having to go through a larger process to change it later. Thank you.

  • Clayton O' says:

    Hello, I have a few questions. Ok, my Dad had a brother named John Clay, who died very young. He wanted to name me after himself or John Clay, after his brother. He, instead, ended up honoring him still by naming me Clayton Keith. Clayton being from his brother’s middle name and Keith being my dad’s middle name, honoring him too. Well, I figured it would be a great honor to my family, and my late uncle, if I named my son John Clay. You said it can skip generations but can it be the brothers of the grandfather which would be his grand uncle. Would he be John Clay II? Also, if I ended up having another son could I name him after Shaquille O’Neal which has no relation to me what so ever lol and he be a Shaquille O’Neal II? Finally, could I name my son after a fictional character and he be a II?

  • Rachel says:

    My brother Miguel Albert Douglas Fuentes named his son (my nephew) the same and legally added the jr. So, does this make my nephew a true Junior since legally they have different names?

    Also, if he is a true junior, and chooses to name his son the same, what would that make him? A III or a junior?

  • R smith says:

    Can dad be I and son be II INSTEAD OF SR AND JR?

  • Izzy says:

    Legally, both my son and husband share the same first, middle and last name. We chose not to add the Jr on his birth certificate because we didn’t want anyone calling him Junior…it defeats the purpose of giving them a name/s. My husband has always gone by his middle name-to family and close friends, -and my son goes by his first name.
    My question is…for mail purposes and to tell apart bank accounts-would it be ok to add Jr to my sons’ paperwork while he’s living with us and once he leaves the nest, he can choose to drop the Jr if he wants to? We were thinking of legally changing his name to include the Jr, but if it’s something that can be used freely and then not used if no longer wanted to, we rather do that.

  • Paul says:

    My dads father is John —– ——– Sr
    My dads brother is john —– ——- jr
    My dads brother had a son john —- —-3rd

    Now, I am a jr and my first son was named after me. He’s the third. I have another son, named after his great grandfather. I want to name him the 4th after my fathers father.

    Is that ok??

  • James Love says:

    My grandfather was Charles E. Love, Sr and my dad was Charles E. Love Jr. If I name my son after his grandfather – would he be Charles E. Love II?? Thanks James Love

  • Nick says:

    What if some one was named after there father but with a 2 middle names one being the same

  • Elizabeth II Amatong Bautista says:

    Hi my name before iwas a single elizabeth amatong II and now I got married. How should it be written down? Elizabeth Amatong Bautista II or Elizabeth II Amatong Bautista? Im confused about the proper way to write it on, on my legal documents. Pls help.. thank you

  • Kenneth James Turscak says:

    What about cousins, 1st cousins, 2nd cousins with the same exact name.
    Mine is Kenneth James Turscak
    My second cousin shares the same name, as well as my third and fourth cousin.
    This makes it kind of confusing. Would I be able to use I desig, my second cousin II, my third cousin III, and my fourth cousin IV.
    Just saying.

  • Tatianna Lawrence says:

    Hello I have a question. My son name is Chukwuma Mianzi Saye Jr and his father name is Mianzi Chukwuma Saye . I want to know is my son still consider a jr even though his first and middle name is switched around?

  • Sy says:

    Thanks for all the info but I am a little confused still. My father was Jr., my grandfather was Sr. and I am the III (We all have the same first, middle and last name). Both my grandfather and father have died now. Am I still a III and if I had a son would he be the IV? Or would I now be considered a Sr. or Jr.? So confused lol. Thank you for any clarity.

  • Devonya says:

    If my boyfriend is a Jr. and his father is dead. What would my son be? II or III

  • Dawna says:

    I know a family that has five generations of the same first and last name but all have different middle names (they all go by they’re middle names). Amy grandma is convinced that that’d mean the youngest would be a V.
    but since they aren’t all the same with first, middle and last names, I’d assume that they would not have suffixes. who is correct?

  • Carl Franklin Miller, Jr. says:

    IMPORTANT: ERROR! THE USE OF “JUNIOR” AND “II” (SECOND) ARE NOT INTERCHANGABLE​!! With due respect for his efforts, Josiah Schmidt is WRONG in regards to this matter. I am surprised that Wm. A Howell III, whose obtuse replies–after picking up where Schmidt left in frustration–gave me a good chuckle, did not clarify.

  • Carl Franklin Miller, Jr. says:

    Schmidt asserts that father and son–O.E.N. (Of EXACT name–can use “Sr” and “Jr” as well as “I” and “II”–WRONG… CORRUPTIBLE…ARBITRARY. Howell III poignantly relates how this subject is a “tasteless affectation of the lower classes.” (5/8/15)…And for good reason–after that commentary, a year of redundant and repetitive questions from the ignoramuses who failed reading comprehension left the commentary to “April”–“Yoy!”

  • Carl Franklin Miller, Jr. says:

    HERE IS HOW IT IS: John Quincy Public names ANY son John Quincy Public, and thus, becomes “Sr.” and his son, “Jr.”. John Quincy Public, Jr. names his son, John Quincy Public… who is, correctly, named John Quincy Public, II (second)! There is the exact reasoning and logic involved here which countermands that which, seemingly, alludes Schmidt and Howell. Just as a prince does not receive and declare rank and title until the death of the king or queen, neither does a Cardinal ascend to the papacy until the death of the Pope. The scenario is: ORIGINAL–STOP–RESTART–STOP–RESTART–STOP…forever, and ever, amen.

  • Carl Franklin Miller, Jr. says:

    It’s Jesus, not God, Jr…. It’s Pope John “Paul” I and John XXIV…Those are incorruptible and unabridgable nomenclatures…and are only given AFTER DEATH. (see Schmidt commentary 1/12/15). In reply to Adam (12/6/14), Schmidt comments on these usages in regards to legal documents and makes his pervasive error in not qualifying his answers as either parts of written or spoken language. That error–and sadly for you who took his advice (and this is why governments​ made numbers of us all) and put “II” instead of “Jr.”–means you’ve, unfortunately, labeled your boy as descendants of the “tasteless lower classes”. Schmidt asserts that once the a grandfather died, the a son becomes “Sr.” and his son (III) a becomes “Jr.” That could never be perpetuated beyond the true “III” (third) just as conversely, you wouldn’t see “the elder” on a driver’s license! Adrian Alexander Smith should have received the title “Jr.” NOT “II”.(12/25/14). Why anyone would want to be Anton “LaMike”?? Anything is beyond me–but that’s why this incessant sentimentality has been perpetuated by, and through, the insipid and “tasteless affectation(s) of [us] lower classes.”…And incorrectly at that.

  • Carl Franklin Miller, Jr. says:

    To try to intertwine the delineation between the spoken and written–and how we “commoners” think and make use of them–I offer the following: I am my father’s FIRST-born son…And am lovingly named “Junior (Jr.)…or as Grandma called me…”Junebug”. The use of “Jr.” becomes fact when entered on my birth certificate. I can…and could change it “LEGALLY”–by the book and for the record, for all debts public and private…But I’d still be known as “Junebug” to family and friends. Are you catching my draft? Now…I don’t give any of my sons my exact name. My son, however, names his son Carl Franklin Miller. That boy becomes the SECOND son born “Of The Original Man.”. Later on, my grandson–my Dad’s Great-grandson–decides to carry on this “tasteless affectation” and give his boy the exact same name. The third time to “use the name in the FAMILY”. Are you feeling the breeze? ORIGINAL–STOP(by death or choice)–RESTART(regardless of death)–STOP–RESTART–STOP. ​ It’s incorruptible and unabridgable by both linguistics and documentary evidence.

  • Bharat Madhaparia says:

    yes you can, however there are some rules, if they are not named after the father, then they would simply have I and II after there names to show chronological order, however if they are also named after their father the oldest twin would be junior and the youngest would have III after his name the father would be senior, however when the father passes away both twins become I and II respectively…….. eg dad john smith has twins and names them both robert smith so the oldest would be Robert smith I and the youngest twin would be robert smith III…if father robert smith called both of his twins robert smith, the father would become robert smith senior, the oldest sone would be robert smith junior and the younger twin would be robert smith III until their father passes away then they would become robert smith I and II respectively…..Hope that makes sense it does to me and if it doesn’t read it again and again till it does 🙂 thank you

  • Metz says:

    Can I use V after the 1st name? Eg John V the. Last name?

  • Lisa rosado says:

    How would know what is the symbol for a girl when you do your job application

  • Benjamin Jr. says:

    So my dad has the same name as me and im called a junior, but can I also be called Benjamin the Younger? Just wondering…

  • Celestine Saunders says:

    I am Celestine Saunders and my great grandmother is Celestine Wallace and i am namesaked for her does that me Celestine II and her Celestine I?? even tho we have different last names

  • Manuel DeLa Garza says:

    My name is Manuel DeLa Garza IV if i have a son and name him Manuel Anselmo DeLa Garza will he still be “V” even thou i dont have a middle name?

  • Sandra says:

    Is nobody reading the explanation above? It even has stick figures to show how this works! Stop asking the same question over and over!

  • Andrea says:

    If your husbands name is Kevin Louis Adell jr. (the 2nd). And we name our kid Kevin Louis Adell will the baby be called jr. or the third or both.

  • Yeveta K Norris says:

    My son is named after his father who is deceased Terry Ray Norris, my son is Terry Ray Norris Jr.if my son has a son in what order would his son name becomes.

  • Kenneth Christie says:

    Hello Josiah ! My name is Kenneth ! I have quick question.. So my dad’s name is my first and last name… But my first brother who was born has my father’s first middle and last name… But my middle name is different… So doesn’t it go by Sr,Jr..etc. What is the suffix at the end of my name… All together my dad has four boys.. I was born after my two older brother’s… People always get confuse between who is who..Thanks Josiah

  • rickey says:

    I a junior but I don’t like it I commented on it but just would like like to let go it

  • t phillips says:

    True story A new father wanted to name his son after himself. He would have been John Smith, Jr. When asked at the hospital what the baby was to be named, so hospital could register birth, the father excitedly said that the baby would be John Junior. Legal name on b/c is John Junior Smith.

  • Jag Undrar says:

    My name is Sven Bertil Anderson. My baby son’s name is Sven Oscar Anderson. Sven is the first name. How would you suggest we address us among family and friends? If we both have the same first name, confusions will arise.

  • Dan's Friend says:

    Hypothetically, if my friend’s legal name is Dan Dan Dan I, would he have to name is son Dan Dan Dan I II?

  • Aslan's Friend says:

    Hypothetically, if my friend’s legal name is Aslan Aslan Aslan I, would he have to name is son Aslan Aslan Aslan I II?

  • Marjorie says:

    My cousin just had a baby. His father is Richard Francis Sr. his son (my cousin is Richard Francis Jr. he had named his son Liam Richard Francis III his wife explained that you can add a first name and the baby can be called a III? Is this true?

  • John says:

    My grandfather was Sr. and my uncle was Jr. I am the second. Would my son be the 3rd or 4th?

    • John Stefanzo says:

      Now I actualy have a son on the way and need to know!!

      After reading this article again… I’m thinking I was actually supposed to be named the 3rd :-/

  • Paul says:

    My grandfathers name was Paul A. Smith. My father is Mark A. Smith. My name is Paul A. Smith. I want to name my son Paul A. Smith after my garndfather. Would he be the II or the III?

  • Jake says:

    Super clear! Thank you. One question – what if you don’t know the rest of the genealogy for the indirect lines going through great-great-however many-uncles and their children, etc. For example: William Thomas Vary born 1733 had a son William Thomas Vary born 1799. Of course my records do not show they were either a I or a II. No big deal. For all all purposes they were in-fact the I and II. If I were to have a son today and named him William Thomas Vary III (which is fine to do) what if I were to find out that William Thomas Vary I had a different son who had a son who named him William Thomas Vary III (or otherwise omitted the III) and later in life I discovered this (or any number of William Thomas Vary’s throughout the generations and only due to further ancestry work do I discover these other William Thomas Vary’s. Do I change my son’s name to William Thomas Vary IV (or whatever it may be), legally? If it were later in life I would assume it’d have to go through my son of course to ensure he wanted that, though explaining the importance of the correcting his name’s heritage. Thanks.

  • Mary says:

    Im naming my son after his father but i just want to add on one more middle name to it will he still be a jr? He will still have his dad first name and his middle name and last name i just went to add one more name

  • Mary says:

    If my husband’s father and grandfather were both William Harris and are both deceased, is it still correct to name my son William Harris III? My husband is William Robert so he broke the original chain.

  • Pete Szerszen says:

    Okay, but what about this: Carl’s, Jr. came about as a more streamlined version of the original Carl’s Drive-In Barbecue restaurant. Carl’s Drive-In is deceased, it no longer exists. Shouldn’t it be called Carl’s II?

  • Deano Zorh says:

    I want to know if JR is only refer to to first born

  • tania gallegos says:

    can i still name my son a jr if i want to add my last name at the end.
    Eric Raymond Miller is his dads full name.
    so can i name my son ?
    Eric Raymond Jr Miller Gallegos

  • Melissa Rizio says:

    what if you add a name to the original? such as caleb john m. smith iv and fathers name is john m smith iii

  • Saul says:

    My name is solomon. My father name is jothi basu. What should i add to my name?

  • Saul says:

    My name is solomon. My dad name is Jothi Basu. I want to add something like jr or sr to my name. But I don’t know what to use. What should i do?? somebody help me

  • Ang says:

    If the child’s first name has the beginning letter different from the fathers name like xavier and Javier but the same middle name and last name is the son considered a junior?

  • David R Coleman says:

    I’m having a son and i want to name him after me what would his suffix be and will mines change? It started with my great grandfather.
    David McCarthy Coleman Sr – great grandpa
    David McCarthy Coleman Jr- grandpa
    David Ronald Coleman Sr- Dad
    David Ronald Coleman Jr- me
    David Ronald Coleman (?) soon to be

    So wouldn’t I become the 2nd and my soon to be son would become the 3rd ?

  • Anthony Salazar says:

    So, my grandpa’s name is Jose Valle Salazar and so is my dad’s but mine is Anthony James Salazar since my dad left my mom at an early age of mine, could I change my name to Jose Valle Salazar and be an III or does it no work that way? Another question, Would a be a Jr. as well since my dad is still alive, but so is my grandpa.
    Thanks for the help.

  • Sebastian says:

    The family reunion for the Ludwig’s is probably the worst… very informative though.

  • Joseph says:

    1. If the Son is named after the Father, but was illegitimate (parents not married), should the son use Jr./II suffixes?
    2. If I will have twin babies and I name them the same like my Eldest son, Could they use II and III suffixes? and the eldest becomes the I? ( John Smith I, John Smith II, John Smith II) note, my first name is different with them.
    3. Do we have a legal reference for this like a book?

    Thanks in Advance!

  • David says:

    If my Great-grandfather’s name was David Jackson, Sr. (Deceased), and my Paternal Grandfather’s name is David Jackson, Jr. (Living), and if I have a son (Since I have a middle name and both of them don’t) would he be named David Jackson III?

  • lillian drozda says:

    My boyfriend is a junior so does that mean our son will be a jr II or a JR III ?

    • Bradley says:

      Depends on how many relatives before your boy friend had the same name. If there are grand or great or great great relatives the number could be more than III.

  • Debra says:

    I’m confused about the four Joseph P. Kennedys. The father was obviously Joseph P. Kennedy I. While his son was alive, they were known as Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. and Jr. His son predeceased him and they are both now dead. Joseph P. Kennedy I’s grandson (son of Bobby Kennedy) is known as Joseph P. Kennedy Ii. His son is known as Joseph P. Kennedy III. This doesn’t seem to be correct according to the naming conventions you described. Can you explain?

    • Yes, technically it is incorrect. The Joseph Kennedy who gave the response to the SOTU the other night was technically the fourth Joseph P. Kennedy in the family and should be called Joseph P. Kennedy IV.

  • BKR says:

    Why is Representative Joseph P. Kennedy III of Rhode Island not designated IV, since his great-grandfather, his great uncle and his father had the same name?

    • The family is incorrectly using “III” when they should be using “IV”. Similar to how George W. Bush is incorrectly called “Jr.”, even though his father is George H. W. Bush. People make mistakes sometimes–even politicians–and when the mistake continues long enough, it might be too much trouble to change it.

  • Daniel Shannon says:

    What if there were four people with the same full name if the first one died, then the second one would be “senior” and the third one would be “junior”, and what would the fourth one be called.

  • Daniel Shannon says:

    If there are four people with the same full name and the first one died, then the second one would be II, the third one would be III, and the fourth one would be IV.

  • Daniel Shannon says:

    Senior and junior only works when there are two people with the same full name.

  • Abraham says:

    So, if my far back ancestor was James Buford(Fake Name), either no middle name or if he had one it is unknown, and I am named James Philip Buford(Again Fake Name), am I then James Philip Buford II?

    • Bradley says:

      No. Your names are not the same.

    • Dustin Sr says:

      No. You’re your own name. You’re not The II or not a Jr neither. Also surnames have to be recorded on the birth certificate. If you don’t have the “The II” on your birth certificate, (regardless if you technically were” you are NOT a II. Did you even read the above mentionined information? I assume you didn’t lol. If you want a II, you’d have to find out your ancestors actual legal name and then name him after that ancestor and put down The II on the birth certificate.

      So to answer your question, even if you were named after your ancestor, if it doesn’t say “II” on your birth certificate, then sorry to say you are not. Even if you had a son and named him after you, it would be Jr on his birth certificate. If he had a son and named his son after both of your names, that son of his will be “III”, but only if documented on the birth certificate.

      Have a good day

  • Candy Pearl Charles says:

    If my father is a Sr and I’m a Jr what would my son be?

  • Billy says:

    society always makes stuff dificult

  • Jose says:

    I’m in a bit of a mixup here. My father, (José Cordova) named me as José JR Cordova. If I wanted my child to be a III, do I have to change my middle name to a suffix? Thanks!


  • Gerard Schafhautle says:

    My fathher is missing a middle name, where as I have Frank. Not Junior or II, granted. That said, my searches found NOTHING about adopted children. I AM adopted, and if I were the same, would I count? I have only had my current legal name; Do changes count by adoption? My actual search results? Law firms, adoption agencies, articles on Russia, etc. Nothing about the issue, finite in nature. Does no definitive answer demand one’s creation, or exclusion?
    The lack of information on this, but Robson how to place a comma, was astounding.

  • Shannon says:

    I have a question if i want to make my son a third but want to put it before the last name not after how would i right it on his birth certificate? Example jon (the third) warren

  • Robert J Aprato Sr says:

    I have a question that doesn’t seem to be answered here. I had a son name Robert J Aprato Jr. Unfortunately, he passed away over a year ago at the age of 39. What is the proper thing to do with my suffix of Sr?

    Thank you,


  • Steven juarez says:

    My name is Steven Juarez I just had a newborn son I want to name him using the suffix ” || ” how can I name him
    Steven Juarez || ?

  • Danielle Spigner says:

    What if the dad has no middle name ex. John Smith jr.
    Can i name my child with him Cody john smith 2nd. ..

  • Cat says:

    What if the relative isn’t a blood relative? What if it’s me and my husband and my husband “adopted” this other guy into our family (we’re all like siblings now). And we want to name our son after his “brother”. Would this brother be close enough to a relative he + my son could receive one of these titles?

  • Andres says:

    What if a father and son share the same name, but one name has an accent over it? Would it be considered different names since they are not exactly the same?
    Example: Father-José

  • Amelia says:

    Let’s see if this works. Names changed for privacy.

    My grandfather’s name was Adam James Sellers, Jr.
    My father’s name is Gregory Linus Sellers.
    I am a woman. My name is Amelia Jane Sellers.
    I have a son who I want to name for my grandfather listed above.

    Can my son be named Adam James Sellers III, since his great-grandfather is no longer alive?

  • Brandon says:

    The biggest point of confusion is if the suffix is part of their legal birth name (or legal name if changed later in life, whatever is on their birth certificate) or if it is the right to use a legal TITLE as a result of having an identical birth (certificate) name as another family member.

    This article assumes the latter.

    An elder John Wayne Smith and a younger John Wayne Smith with those three names and NOTHING else in the Name blanks and part of the same family tree have the right to use the Roman Numeral suffixes as titles: the elder being I and the younger II. They also have the option to use Sr. for the elder and Jr. for the younger (until the elder passes away).

    Now…if the elder John Wayne Smith’s son (or brother, grandson, cousin, whatever) has a legal name of John Wayne Smith Jr., then the elder CANNOT use the title Sr., as the younger John Wayne Smith Jr. does not have the exact same legal name (Jr. as a birth name is not the same as Jr. as a distinguishing title).

  • Fredrick C Nauska ???? says:

    So I am named after my father who was named after his uncle. Am I a Jr. or a III?

  • Lemuel Doronio says:

    What if my name is Joey and my spouse’s name is also Joey. When we named my son Joey who will be the Sr.?

  • Juan says:

    I have the same First, Middle, and Last name as my father, grandfather.

    I am the (III)
    Father (II)
    Grandfather (I)

    If my grandfather dies, does it change?
    For example, I am no longer (III) but now (II)?

  • Shax says:

    Can anyone give us instances and examples of people where the grandfather and grandson shared the same names and the grandfather was Sr. and the grandson a Jr.?

    Yes, I (do) understand that to do so would have been erroneous / wrong in light of the discussions above but I am pretty sure there were / are cases where this has happened whether deliberately or due to ignorance.

  • Lukas Kudelka says:

    What about same named twins?

  • Dustin Sr says:

    I don’t care what “proper etiquette” says, I’ll go with my own choosing. My Grandfatger’s name was George (no middle name). His Son, my Uncle’s name was George as well (but my Uncle had a middle name). So technically if I have a son & named him George as well, regardless what these rules say, I’m naming my son George The III just based off the fact that my son will be the 3rd George born in my family tree. Years from now after I’m long gone & my son George The III has children and carries on the George name, nobody will ever really know that I was out of chronological order since I can name my kid whatever I please on any given birth certificate lol! I mean I could really up & decide to name my kid George The VIII if I please & they’ll keep it going in the future lol! Question; how far has any surnames went before to you all’s knowledge? I’ve heard of Henry The VIII in history books, but that’s as far as I’ve heard a surname go. I like surnames! It shows strong family legacy within geneologies in my opinion. In real life, I think I’ve met a few The II’s and a few The III’s, but that’s it.

  • T. says:

    If the Sr.(grandpa) has passed away and the Jr. (the dad) is still alive, neither one of them have a middle name.. if I give my son a middle name would he still be considered the 3rd?

  • Eduin Perez Castellanos Jr. says:

    I am a jr even though I have a different name than my parents or other family members and I have two last names not hyphenated. My question is why am I a Jr. then?

  • Bernadette says:

    If the father of my child is the 2nd then he had a kid with someone
    Esle then had a son with me ?? What generation will my son fall under???

  • V m Ordaz says:

    My father is V M Ordaz, Sr. and I am V M Ordaz Jr., that would make my son V M Ordaz?

  • Robert Miller says:

    If a woman marry’s a man with the exact same name as her father, will the father-in-law be considered a Sr. and the husband a Jr. or will they be I and II? Lol this is me having fun, just want to see the replies.

  • levi says:

    If a father-in-law has the same name as his son-in-law, does the father-in-law become Sr. and the son-in-law Jr. or will they be I and II? Just want to see the replies.

  • Sam says:

    How does II, III, and so on work for siblings if they come out if the womb at the same time?

  • Jack Hannula says:

    Is one LEGALLY obligated to use a suffix (Sr., Jr., II)? If one used a suffix at one time, could one drop it? If one used II could one simply (and legally) drop it and use Jr.? In other words, what is the relationship between genealogy and legality?

  • Rudy Dobrev says:

    Here is a good one for everyone on this blog. I need help.
    My husband is Anthony Redmond Lipp III and we are married as legal partners in California. My last name is Dobrev. We are about i have a kid. As gay parents I want to name my child Anthony Redmond Lipp IV BUT I desperately want to insert my last name as well somewhere? Can our son be Anthony Redmond Dobrev-Lipp IV ? I have nine months to figure it out. I sure hope I can win the argument :((((
    Thank you. I welcome all suggestions

  • 123fendas says:

    Very helpful guide. However, maybe you should’ve noted that a living parent and offspring who have the exact same name don’t need to be Junior and Senior; they can also be I and II.

  • Michele says:

    If a father and son are Sr and Jr is it possible for another son (different name)
    To name his son after his father (the Sr) and that child be the III?

  • Deserie says:

    What if the mother of the girl and her aunt has the same name therefore they are the ‘I’ and the ‘II’. Can her mother (which is the ‘II’) name her the ‘III’?

  • Deserie says:

    What if a girl’s mother has the same name with her sister(the mother’s sister) and they are the ‘I’ and the ‘II’. Can the girl’s mother name her the ‘III’?

  • G Carpenter says:

    Hello, my husband is named after his father but they never put junior on his birth certificate. Does this mean it isn’t legal? Or can he still be considered a junior since they do have the exact name? Also, my brother recently found out that his dad has a middle name when my brother was never given one and on his birth certificate, he was always written as a junior. So does that mean he isn’t legally allowed to use Junior? Or does it not matter? I know the names have to match exactly so I was confused about it.

  • Harold Hairbrush says:

    So, if I go back in my family history and find 25 of my direct ancestors with the same name, I should call myself Harold Hairbrush XXV? Also, people have to remember to put the word “the” between the name and number and not say Harold Hairbrush 25? And another thing, I don think the average American has knowledge of Roman numerals past III, I am seeing quite a number of NBA players using this form up to III. It will be interesting to see what happens next.

  • Leah A. Kiokee says:

    We will be in naming our son after his father but both do not like the idea of using Junior with the name sounds. So just to clarify we can choose to omit the use of senior Junior and instead immediately use the Roman numerals I and II correct?

  • Jeff the Jet says:

    Hello i want to name my son after my father.
    So this is our genealogy:

    Cipriano Sr. (RIP, my grandpa)
    Cipriano Jr. (my dad)
    -none of my siblings named after our dad-
    Cipriano III (my soon to be born son, does this count?) what rules apply ? Im confused.

  • Matt says:

    If you name a son after his great grandfather who is the II, would he be the III or since it has skipped generations, would you start over?

  • Beth says:

    2 questions: for research and genealogical purposes, are such names called “generational names” or something else?
    What is the oldest *documented* of these names in the world? Not “there’s always been a Jebadiah in our family”; but a full, legal name. I’m guessing that it’s Cristabol Colón XXIII (a.k.a.Christopher Columbus XXIII. Yes, THAT Christopher Columbus).
    I’m writing a historical fiction series and am creating the oldest documented “generational name” in the (probably Western) world, that originated around the time of the Battle of Hastings (it’s a profession designation that evolved into a surname, as so many do) . It will have been sometimes passed to nephews and occasionally been born by women
    Helpful thoughts?

  • Michelle says:

    My husband name is Bernard Escullar and I want to name our son Martinus Antoineux Bernard Escullar, can i put suffix II (the second) on our son’s name?

  • Shirley Sheffield says:

    Is this correct 1st child of the same name is John Doe jr second son is jonn Doe the 1st second son is the 11nd and the third is 111

  • Harley says:

    What if my father in law is Edgard Evangelista Sr and my husband is Edgard Evangelista Jr, then my husband wants our son to be named after them.can I add another name and add III.for example is Edgard Jayden Evangelista III

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