Same Name – Abraham Bates


Ancestor of the Week: Abraham Bates

Prompt of the Week: 52 Ancestors, Week 6 – Same Name

My great-uncle Roy Bates McGhee really disliked his middle name. Bates happened to be his grandfather’s middle name also (Abraham Bates Tower).

A.B. Tower had an uncle who was also named Abraham Bates Tower. The two Abraham Bates Towers lived in the same area of Southern Indiana back in the early 1800s. That led to some confusion for descendants in sorting out documents, dates, and news tidbits. My Abraham Tower married Nancy Angeline Long in 1858. His uncle married Delila Lynch in 1820.

I had to hunt quite a distance back to find where the Bates name entered the family tree. Nabby Bates, daughter of Abraham Bates, married Matthew Tower in Cummington, Massachusetts, on October 27, 1791, when she was 18 years old. It’s not surprising that the name Abraham Bates passed down through the Tower family for generations as a combination.

The First Abraham Bates on My Tree

Abraham Bates is my 5th great-grandfather. He was born on February 29, 1724, in Weymouth, Massachusetts and he married Sarah Tower on January 1, 1749, in that town. He died on August 7, 1806, in Cummington, Massachusetts, having lived a long life of 82 years. They had 12 children in 26 years, one was named Abraham Bates after his father.

1776 map Hingham, Weymouth - library of congress

1776 map showing Weymouth and Hingham, Massachusetts. Courtesy of the Library of Congress

You probably noticed my 5th great-grandmother was a Tower. The Towers and the Bates married into each others’ families quite a bit. It’s likely in small colonial towns you didn’t have a lot of choices when you reached marrying age.

Here’s the line

Abraham Bates 1724-1806
5th great-grandfather
Abigail Nabby Bates 1773-1833
Daughter of Abraham Bates
Jonathan Warren Tower 1809-1884
Son of Abigail Nabby Bates
Abraham Bates Tower 1837-1930
Son of Jonathan Warren Tower
Viola Matilda TOWER 1873-1964
Daughter of Abraham Bates Tower
Clarence Oliver MCGHEE 1895-1973
Son of Viola Matilda TOWER
Gail Lee MCGHEE 1924-2013
Daughter of Clarence Oliver MCGHEE




Amy Johnson Crow challenges genealogy bloggers and non-bloggers alike to think about our ancestors and share a story or photo about them. The challenge is “52 Ancestors in 52 Weeks.” This is week 6 of the 2020 challenge.


One thought on “Same Name – Abraham Bates

  1. Sometimes those passed-down names are great clues, but at other times, just end up causing a ton of grief. I’m working with a situation where a bunch of brothers named their sons after their siblings and themselves, and they all named sons after their father, too! Horrible mess!!!


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.