Why is it John Doe and Jane Doe?

Popular question: Why is it John Doe and Jane Doe?


You have probably heard authorities name someone John Doe or Jane Doe. They do this for multiple purposes. In hospitals, they usually call unidentified dead or alive persons John Doe and Jane Doe. Police and the legal system may use John Doe to hold back the true identity of a person for different reasons. Police also use John Doe when they simply do not know who this person is. So, why is it John Doe and Jane Doe? We asked this question to a legal secretary (ironically named John) who goes to our church, and this was his answer:

The names date back hundreds of years coming from Great Britain where they were simply names they come up with to describe the 'identity' of someone they did not know the legal name for in legal proceedings.

The names were then carried over to the United States as the law system was created here. Interestingly, although John Doe and Jane Doe come from England, they do not currently use that name in the same context. The British use Joe Bloggs.








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