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Hadden – Where Alexander Got His Bean

Alexander Bean Hadden is my 3X great grandfather and I recently was asked by Hadden cousins to share my ‘theory’ on where his middle name of Bean came from, so here is what I think is a reasonable conclusion in the absence of any contradictory evidence.

The odd thing about Alexander is that he was commonly known with a middle name of Bean however, I have found no records in which his name is recorded as Alexander Bean Hadden. Records simply provide his name as Alexander Hadden.

Below is a list of the records in which I have found Alexander:

As can be noted, I have yet to find Alexander in the 1901 Census of Scotland. The hunt for that record is still in progress.

So Alexander in all of those records is simply record by the name Alexander Hadden. No Bean name is recorded nor is there a middle initial of ‘B’ used. So where could Alexander have received the middle name of Bean by which he seems to have become commonly known by, but unrecorded? Evidence that he was known by Alexander Bean Hadden is found, for example, in his daughter Mary, naming her first son, Alexander Bean Hadden Wright,  after him.

My theory is based on Alexander’s baptismal registration from 1836, shown below:

(Note: I apologize for the small size of the image but I’m still getting used to the new blog platform!)

The names of the witnesses to the baptism of the infant Alexander were a man named Alexander Bean and a second man named Alexander Smith. I imagine that Alexander Hadden’s parents James Hadden and Mary Smart chose these men carefully for their first, and as it turns out only known son. So my theory is simple: Alexander Hadden was called Alexander Bean Hadden, his middle name being ‘adopted’ in honour of his godfather Alexander Bean. Further, in Scottish naming tradition, Alexander as the first son would have been named William, after his father James’ father. As it happens William was also the name of Alexander’s mother’s father. But William wasn’t used and instead James and Mary Hadden named their first son after someone who must have been very close to them but as far as I know not related by blood nor marriage.

So that’s my ‘story’ and I’m sticking to it, that is, until evidence presents itself that causes me to have to re-think the issue of ‘Bean.’

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