How to Use Sequence Post-Nominals
How to Use Sr., Jr., II, III, etc.
Sequence How to Use Post-Nominal Abbreviations
Do You Use Jr., II, III, etc. Forever?
My son is Walter C. Wentz IV. His father and grandfather are deceased. What is the proper designation for him now? What is the proper sequence post-nominal designation for the son he is expecting next month?
——————––- Audrey Parker How to Use Post-Nominal Abbreviations
Dear Ms. Parker:
Continued use of sequence post nominals is a matter of clarity.
First it is useful to define two types of names:
—-A) Your legal name – which is what on your birth certificate and likely your most important legal documents. Your legal names doesn’t change unless you have it legally changed.
—-B) Your ‘Go-by Name’ – which is what you use in less formal circumstances. This would be what your known by most people.
Here are some situations which arise:
—-#1) Some keep the sequence post-nominals in the ‘Go-By Names’ if their father was well-known … or if they work together … they socialize in the same circles …. or they think the friends/clients/customers will find the post nominals useful.
—-#2) Some never include their sequence post nominals in their ‘Go-by name’. They use a nick name or a simplified version nearly everywhere.
—-#3) Some drop the sequence post-nominals from their ‘Go-by name’ … Jr., II, or III … when their father dies.
—-#4) One might keep the sequence post-nominals because it matters within the family. E.g., his mother is Mrs. Walter C. Wentz III and his wife is Mrs. Walter C. Wentz IV.
An example is Microsoft’s Bill Gates, who is really William H. Gates, Jr., but never used the ‘Jr.‘ His father, born William H. Gates uses William H. Gates, Sr. He added the Sr. to his ‘Go-by Name’ to clarify that he is not his much more famous son. He probably did not change his legal name in court. The change is informal and unofficial.
So, if your son names his son Walter C. Wentz V, he’s clearly interested in tradition. He will probably keep using Walter C. Wentz IV as his ‘go-by name’.
If he gives his son a different name …. E.g., Zachery … there is no need for the sequence post nominals.
– Robert Hickey—- How to Use Post-Nominal Abbreviations
Is a Second Son Named After a ‘Senior’ – the ‘III’?
I have a son named him after his Dad. The Dad already has an older son and he named ‘Jr.’. So, we named my son ‘lll’ and Dad now uses ‘Sr.’ Did we do this right?
The key thing is to give each son a unique legal name. You gave your son a unique name and that’s a good thing!
I understand that heavy-weight boxing champion George Foreman named five his sons:
——–George Foreman Jr.
——–George Foreman, III
——–George Foreman, IV
——–George Foreman, V
——–George Foreman, VI
Typically, III, IV, V, etc./ are used in subsequent generations, but the way you did makes sense to me. Some might say that II is better, but I see a conflict with Junior.
– Robert Hickey sequence
Robert Hickey author of "Honor & Respect"
When the Husband is a Jr., II, III, IV or V – How Do You Address His Wife?
If the husband is Mr. William Terry, Jr. when does the Junior go with a wife’s name?
————-– Donna Terry
Dear Ms. Terry:
—-A wife using Mrs. and his full name would use his sequence post nominal:
—-—-Mrs. (Husband’s Full Name)
——-—-Mrs. William Terry, Jr.
—-A wife who uses does not use his full name does not use his sequence post nominal:
—-—–Mrs. (Woman’s Name)
——–—-Mrs. Donna Terry
—-—–Mrs. (Surname only)
—-—-Mrs. Donna Terry, Jr.
—-—-Mrs. Terry, Jr.
– Robert Hickey
When He’s a Jr. II, III, etc. How to Write a Couple’s Name?
What is the proper way our name when he is a ‘II’?
We are Wesley P. Ames II and Patricia D. Ames
How do I write their names?
–—Wesley P. II and Patricia D. Ames
–—Wesley P. and Patricia D. Ames II
–—Wesley P. Ames II and Patricia D. Ames
He’s the only one who is a ‘II’ … so the ‘II’ only appears when his name is written alone as a unit.
When the names are formally presented …. He’s first. It’s called the ‘Mr. & Mrs. Order’.
–—–—(His Name) and (Her Name)
–—–—–—Wesley P. Ames II and Patricia D. Ames
–—–—–—Mr. and Mrs. (His Full Name)
–—–—–—Mr. and Mrs. Wesley P. Ames II
These formulas work all the time … for couples who are and who are not juniors, II, III etc.
–—–—Patricia D. and Wesley P. Ames II
–—Because she is not:
–—–—Patricia D. Ames II
When names are combined:
–—#1) His given and family name are last and are kept as a unit.
–—#2) Since it’s not his full name all by itself, the Jr., II, III etc. is left off.
–—–—(Her Given Name) and (His Given and Family Name)
–—–—Patricia and Wesley Ames
But one more thing about writing names – especially if you are including names in a program on in a donor list: When I look at donor/contributor lists, in programs or carved on founder’s walls in museums — 90% are: Patricia and Wesley Ames. The other 10% are Wesley and Patricia Ames. I recommend the 90% option.
The final determination is — to write their name the way the persons submits their name to be presented. In the end, savvy organizations present names the way the listed person says they want their name presented. It matters less that the editor doesn’t like the style …. It matters more if the contributor likes the style. It’s their name and it’s their money!
– Robert Hickey