This is to help you unravel who is who in censuses and vital records, for example Jessie and Janet were interchangeable names in the past. I spent a long time hunting for a birth record for a Janet who was registered as Jessie. Nowadays Jessie could be short for Jessica.
In Scotland there was a fairly limited set of used given names. Perhaps for that reason people liked to vary them, to distinguish them from their cousin or aunt/uncle of the same name.
In the Highlands, in particular, it was common to add an -ina to a male name eg Donaldina, Mathewina, Williamina so Ina could stand for any of those.
Often the initial letter would be changed eg Meg or Peg (Margaret), Molly or Polly (Mary), Maisie or Daisy (Margaret), Bob or Rob (Robert), Billy or Willie (William), Dick or Rick for Richard.
I do not claim this list to be complete or fool proof. Families often do their own thing. We have a Helen who was also twice recorded as Alice. My husband has an uncle Wug! Please feel free to share your family's pet names in the Comments below.
|Bel, Belle, Bella||Isabella, Isabel|
|Christian||Christina||old Scottish variant of Christina|
|Euphan||Euphemia||old Scottish, interchangeable|
|Grizzel, Grissal||Grace||old Scottish variant of Grace|
|Ina||Williamina, Donaldina etc|
|Kate, Katie||Katherine, Catherine, Kathleen|
|Kitty||Katherine, Catherine, Kathleen||English|
|Madge||Margaret, Marjory, Margery||English|
|Mary Ann||Marian, Marion||spelling variation|
|May||Mary||Scottish variant of Mary or a name in its own right|
|Nell, Nellie||Helen, Ellen|
|Senga||Agnes||Senga is a modern 20th C variant. It is Agnes backwards!|
|Alex, Alec, Eck||Alexander|
|Rab, Rabbie, Rob, Robbie||Robert|
|Will, Willie, Wull, Wullie||William|