Q: If my husband and I have a son, we would like to name him after my father-in-law, whose name was John Andrew Jones, Jr. and who has since passed away. My mother says we would simply name him John Andrew Doe, since his namesakes are both deceased. I, however, would like to name him John Andrew Doe III – even though I realize it’s not necessary to differentiate the child from his grandfather or great-grandfather.
However, I’ve also been told that that the ‘III’ is not appropriate if the name has skipped a generation (my husband doe not carry the namesake), and that instead I would use ‘II’ or nothing at all. I want to honor my father-in-law and grandfather-in-law, but at the same time I don’t want to do something that is completely inappropriate.
A: You are correct, and it is correct to use III. It doesn’t matter if the relatives sharing the name are living or deceased, the point is that your son would be the third in line to carry the name.