Where did the name "Jane Doe" come from?

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  • Jennie
    Lv 7
    1 decade ago
    Favorite Answer

    "John Doe" dates from the reign of England's King Edward III (1312-1377). A famous legal document from this period labels a hypothetical landowner "John Doe," who leases land to a "Richard Roe," who then claims the land as his own and kicks out poor John.

    The names don't have any particular relevance, other than the fact that a doe is a female deer, while a roe is a smaller species of deer. But the land dispute in question became a famous legal debate, and the names survived their circumstances.

    The online legal dictionary FinLaw defines John Doe as a "party to legal proceedings (as a suspect) whose true name is unknown or withheld." The female equivalent is JANE Doe or Mary Major. A second male suspect is dubbed Richard Roe, and subsequent ones are referred to as John Stiles and Richard Miles.

    In the UK now, the most common name, "John Smith" is used for an unknown person.

    As I watch American TV (in Oz), I have a notion that all Jane Does are corpses! I guess this isn't true?

  • 1 decade ago

    Jane and John Doe are ME(Medical Examiner) terms that is used as names for deceased people that can't be directly identified. The term Jane Doe is mostly used for female victims. John Doe is used for male victims.

  • 1 decade ago

    The name "Jane" is often thought of as the female equivalent of the name "John," and the name "John Doe" has been used since 1659 as a name for a male whose identity is known. Therefore, when speaking about a female who has her identity unknown, the name "Jane Doe" is used as a placeholder.

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