I am from Philippines and I had a childhood friend named after his father, Cipriano Reyes, so my friend's name is Cipriano Reyes II.

But as far as I know, when a child was named after his father the title would be Junior (Jr.).

Does it mean that my friend's title is wrong? Will it affect the name of my friend's son if he will name it after him?

2 Answers 2


My understanding is that the first son named after his father is "Junior" thus making his father "Senior." If Jr. names his son the same name, then Jr. becomes the II, and his son is the III. So "Frank" + (namesake) son = "Frank Sr." and "Frank Jr." Then Frank Sr. + (namesake) son + (namesake) grandson = Frank Sr. and Frank II and Frank III. And so forth. The "Junior" is dropped and becomes II (the second) when the III (the 3rd) namesake is born.

  • Does it mean that the father of my friend made a wrong title for him?
    – Jaeger Jay
    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:37
  • I believe this applies even when the generations are not consecutive.
    – W9WBH
    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:38
  • 1
    @JaegerJay - personally, I wouldn't call it "wrong" even if it's technically incorrect. It seems to me it's a social custom or some such, not a law. I for one, definitely reserve the right to name my children anything I *** well please!
    – W9WBH
    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:51
  • Well said, W9WBH :)
    – Jaeger Jay
    Jul 6, 2015 at 5:53
  • 1
    Changing titles is a social custom, but that doesn't mean that these titles can't be a matter of law. Name your kid Bozo Barrett, III on his birth certificate, and "III" is part of his legal name. This hardly ever matters in the US, since with a few minor exceptions you may call yourself whatever you want. For formal occasions (like signing a contract), you may need some form of name affidavit.
    – deadrat
    Jul 6, 2015 at 7:48

Look at the Kennedy family tree.

Joseph P. 'Joe' Kennedy Sr. (1888–1969) begat Joseph Patrick Kennedy Jr. (1915–1944). But, Robert Francis 'Bobby' Kennedy (1925–1968), brother of Joe Jr, has a son: Joseph Patrick Kennedy II (b. 1952). He begat Joseph Patrick Kennedy III (b. 1980).

The difference between the Jr and II is that the Jr is a direct descendant of Joe Sr, but II is a grandnephew of Joe Sr.

Use Jr for direct descendants and II if you are not a direct descendant, but in the same family.

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