The German Godfather
6/12/2014
You've got questions about discovering, preserving and celebrating your family history; our experts have the answers.
Q. When my ancesters from Germany (1700-1850) were named, they took their first names and many times their middle names from their godparents. Were these persons related to the parents? Were they just friends from the neighborhood or the church? Or were they business friends of the father? Is there any rule that was used when naming the children after the godparents?

A: Every one of the possibilities you mention does occur within German naming.