Understanding Maryland Records
Junior & Senior
When a man used Junior or Senior after his name, it meant the younger man and the older man respectively. The terms did not necessarily refer to a son and his father. They could indicate an uncle and nephew or two cousins. In early Maryland, most men did not have a middle name, yet if there were two men of the same name in the same county in the same time period, there needed to be some way to distinguish between each man in records. Sometimes when the one calling himself Senior died, the one who had been Junior became Senior in the records and his son, by this time of age, became Junior.
Other methods were also used to distinguish between men of the same name. The one most often used was to add to the man's name the name of his father. For example, one man might be designated Thomas Jones of Henry, and the other, Thomas Jones of Isaac. Place or tract names were used sometimes. For example, one man might name himself Richard Johns of Angelica, and the other, Richard Johns of Fuller.