Names-lnks - 6/1/07
A set of web links to information on medieval names by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.
This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.
This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org
I have done a limited amount of editing. Messages having to do with separate topics were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the message IDs were removed to save space and remove clutter.
The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make no claims as to the accuracy of the information given by the individual authors.
Please respect the time and efforts of those who have written these messages. The copyright status of these messages is unclear at this time. If information is published from these messages, please give credit to the originator(s).
Mark S. Harris AKA: THLord Stefan li Rous
Stefan at florilegium.org
From: liontamr at ptd.net
Subject: Links: What's In A Name?
Date: January 21, 2004 4:11:09 PM CST
To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com
Greetings! This Links List is about Names: Names of many cultures. How can
you choose an historical name with any accuracy? Well, if a web-driven
search engine is your tool of choice, it will be well-nigh impossible to
find historically appropriate naming advice. Nearly all the sites I found on
my own through web-searching were, well, BAD. They cite no sources. They
reference no texts. They give spurious or out and out unbelievable
information in some cases. There is no way to check their information. Thus,
I have had to rely upon the previous work of a great many brilliant people
(most of whom are SCA Heralds), and follow *their* links to good advice on
naming practices in various cultures. Not all the articles by these
brilliant folks are listed below, but if you go to the SCA Heraldry Webpage
listed below, you'll find a great many Terrific articles. And If you go to
the Academy of St. Gabriel, you'll find more terrific articles. I hope you
enjoy the following links, and will pass them along to those who will find
them of interest.
Aoife (Lis Herr-Gelatt)
Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon
A Brief Introduction to the History of Names
Dame Cateline de la Mor la souriete
(Site Excerpt) Many early names were compounds. For example, the following
Frankish names are compounds: Sigibert (victoryshining), Childeric
(battlepowerful), Fredegund (peacebattle) and Radegund (counselbattle).
Sometimes such compounds in pagan societies referred to their gods. For
instance, the ancient Norse had many names which were compounds containing
the name of the god Thor. Among the male names were Thorbjorn, Thorgeir,
Thorkell, Thorsteinn and Thorvald, and among the feminine names were
Thordis, Thorgunna, Thorhalla, Thorkatla and Thorunn. See also: A Survey of
the History of English Placenames, Dame Cateline de la Mor la souriete
BIBLIOGRAPHIC STANDARDS COMMITTEE-- LATIN PLACE NAMES
found in the imprints of books printed before 1801 and their vernacular
equivalents in AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules) form
Alentopholi*Fictitious imprint. Refers to Amsterdamit
HISTORY OF NAMES
(Site Excerpt) With few exceptions there were four ways surnames or
permanent family names were adopted. They were: 1. Patronymics - The
fathers name with "son" immediately after it, example Peterson, Adamson,
Woodson 2. Place Names - Words that identify where a person or family lived
or came from, example Hill, Lake, Wood, Glades, March 3. Occupational
names - What a person did for a living, example Miller, Butcher, Baker,
Tailor, Butler 4. Nicknames - Usually based on a persons personality or
characteristics, example Short, Long, Savage, White, Brown. For centuries
female children were considered the property of their father and carried his
last name until they married, at which time became the property of their
husbands and adopted the last name of their husband. This long standing
practice is now changing as more women have chosen family and careers and
want to retain their own surname and identity. Another sign of changing
times is the number of children who are given hyphenated last names at
Index of German-Polish and Polish-German names of the localities in Poland &
by Anna Sluszkiewicz
(Site Excerpt) Index contains Polish and previous German names of localities
situated in Poland and Russia useful for research, history, genealogy,
numismatics, philatelic etc. Please excuse lack of Polish and German
letters. Index contains also some names of places from former Saxony now in
Poland and Silesien now in Germany.
The History of Anglo-Saxon Names By Percival de la Rocque
(Site Excerpt) Early by names were drawn from many varied sources but were
still not typically what we now look upon as family or hereditary names. In
some cases even these names would not typically be assigned until adulthood
as a person came into some trade or physical attribute similar to the
prepositions used before this to add meaning to a given name. A child would
possibly have not been given any by names at all if there were few other
people with a similar given name or if this multiplicity was not perceived
as a problem. If this was a problem chances are the child would receive a by
name that was in some way descriptive of his status compared to the other
holder or holders of the given name, Small, Little or something similar or
possibly a form of patronymic name to show his parentage. Names that
combined Dotter for Daughter and Sone Sune or Sonne for Son being the most
common were added to the name of a parent and then added as a Patronymic
such as Adamson, Thorsdotter or other variations came out of this practice.
So John Adamson would be the son of Adam and thus easy to tell apart from
John Davidson for instance.
CHOOSING A NAME & CREATING A PERSONA
by Modar Neznanich
(Site Excerpt) A persona is the fictional person you wish to have been, had
you lived during the period of time the SCA covers (600 A.D. to 1600 A.D.)
Deciding who to be is the single most important process you will go through
when first joining the SCA. This will be the name you are known as to all
your SCA friends. To be able to select a SCA name for yourself and begin
creating your persona story, you must first decided what culture you desire
to be from. There are many means useable to determine what culture you
should choose. Some people look at the clothes worn by many cultures
throughout various times and establish a selection based on what clothes
they want to wear. Other people will think about what activities and crafts
they are interested in and base a decision on the cultures known for
expertise in those areas.
Academy of Saint Gabriel Medieval Names Archive
(Site Excerpt) This collection of articles on medieval and renaissance names
is intended to help historical re-creators to choose authentic names. These
articles were gathered from various places, and some of them appear
elsewhere. In all cases, the copyright on each article belongs to its
SCA College of Heralds Website
See also What is an SCA Name?
http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/whatis/name.html and Names Sources to Be
Avoided in Documentation
Annotated Name Book List-- Jaelle of Armida--Argent Snail Herald
(Site Excerpt) The purpose of this article is to acquaint you with a number
of books on names and naming practices. This is by no means every book
available on the subject, not even every good one. I have deliberately, to
save space, left out some esoteric name books that would not be useful to
the average herald. I have left some books in, even if they were not very
good for several reasons. Firstly, they may be the only, or one of the only,
books that we are aware of on names of that particular culture. Or,
secondly, as a warning NOT to use them. There are, unfortunately, many poor
books out on names, especially the ones of the "Name Your Baby" school. I
have not, however, mentioned many of the poor books; space prevents this. A
good rule of thumb is that if it doesn't have dates and citations, it
probably isn't a reliable source. If in doubt, ask your principal herald or
look at the list of bad name books at the Laurel web site
(http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel). However, if you use a name from one of
the recommended books, and the name is dated as to being pre 1600, it will
not be returned for being out of period. It might get returned for other
reasons (conflict, presumptuous, a mistake having been made by the author
etc.), but not for being out of period.
On the Documentation and Construction of Period Mongolian Names by
(Site Excerpt) Before going into specifics, there needs to be some
background given on the subject. Most interest in Turco-Mongol personas
usually stems from the time of the Mongol empire. During the Mongols' period
of conquest, many peoples came under the rule of the Mongols. Most of these
did not speak the language now known as Mongolian, even in its older forms.
The Mongols' neighboring tribes spoke various dialects and languages of
Turkic origin. Mongolian itself is a separate language of Turkic origin, and
shares many of the same words as Turkic or Turkish. Many names from our time
period have both Turkic and Mongol elements, as well as influences from the
spread of Buddhism.
Personal Names of the Aristocracy
During the Later Byzantine Era
"This article is entirely the fault of Berret Chavez, whom some in the SCA
might know as Bardas Xiphias"
(Site Excerpt) Personal names in the Byzantine era of the Roman Empire
consisted of a given name followed by one or more surnames. Surnames came in
three varieties: inherited family names, patronymics, and by-names. As the
empire grew older, it became increasingly common to find more and more
inherited family names included in the personal name. As typical in medieval
Europe, the sample of women's names is much smaller than the sample of men's
names. When a woman's name is found, the inherited family name or names are
in feminized form.
Common Czech Names of the 15th and 16th Centuries by Walraven van Nijmegen
(Brian R. Speer)
(Site Excerpt) The names in this list were found in: Frantis^ek Kopec^ný,
Pruvodce Nas^imi Jm始y, 2nd ed. (Praha: Academia, 1991) Unfortunately, this
book is in Czech (which I can't read), but there is a general discussion of
the history of Czech names to introduce the book. Pages 14-15 include a
summary of the most common names from several sources of the 15th and 16th
century, and it is this material which is summarized here. English
equivalents are given in square brackets after some names.
Brass Enscription Index (Names)Based on data provided by the Ashmolean
Museum of Art and Archaeology at Oxford University.
(Site Excerpt) This index into the Ashmolean Museum's brass rubbing
collection is divided into three sections: surnames, male given names, and
female given names. After each name appears a list of all the counties in
which the name may be found, using the county abbreviations listed below.
The abbreviations are linked to the original WWW pages at the Ashmolean. The
date for the earliest use of that name is included in the index next to the
county in which it accurs. In front of each name is a number representing
the total number of occurences of the name prior to 1600. In the list of
surnames, that number is followed by another number in parentheses
representing the number of different parishes in which the name was found.
Multiple occurences of a surname within a single Parish often indicates a
family grouping. The list of surnames also includes some place and titular
names, with a note in parentheses showing how the name was referenced in the
original text, e.g. "Athol (countess of)." Only names which are dated prior
to 1600 are included in this index.
Occupational By-Names in the 1292 Tax Role of Paris
(Site Excerpt) By the end of the 10th century what little there ever was of
the Roman tripartite naming system of forename, clan name, and family name
had disappeared in Northern France. Even though there were far more
forenames in the Germanic name treasury of the Franks than the 11 that made
up 95% of the Roman patrician forenames, they sufficed only in small
villages. In cities, more identification than a given name was required for
tax purposes. The byname might be descriptive, locative, relational, or
occupational. By 1292 a few of the bynames had begun to harden into family
names; however, the specific intent of this index was to identify the
occupational bynames - male and female - that were used to help identify
different taxpayer - not to identify which occupational bynames had already
coagulated into a family name.
Medieval German Given Names from Silesia Talan Gwynek Copyright 1998 by
Brian M. Scott.
(Site Excerpt) This is a compilation of the given names found in Hans Bahlow
's Mittelhochdeutsches Namenbuch nach schlesischen Quellen (Neustadt an der
Aisch: Verlag Degener & Co., 1975). The title may be translated Middle High
German Name Book from Silesian Sources. The book is a study of personal
names from medieval Silesian records, especially those of the towns of
Legnica (Liegnitz), Wroclaw (Breslau), and G嗷litz. Most of the book is
devoted to the bynames, but there is a short final section on given names,
and most of the byname citations also include given names. As is usual in
medieval records, the overwhelming majority of persons named are men, but
the book is still a rich trove of the given names used in Silesia in the
14th and 15th centuries.
Hungarian Names 101by Walraven van Nijmegen
(Site Excerpt) And the First Shall Be Last? Hungarian Name Order In Hungary,
it is common practice to write your family name first, followed by your
given name (which for obvious reasons is not called a "first" name, as it is
in America!). This practice is a result of Hungarian grammar and the way in
which family names originated. Since family names were originally
descriptive phrases used to identify people, these phrases functioned like
adjectives. In Hungarian adjectives precede the noun, just as they do in
English, so these descriptive phrases are placed before a person's name in
speech and in writing.
PERIOD ARABIC NAMES AND NAMING PRACTICES
by Da'ud ibn Auda (David B. Appleton) ｩ 2003
(Site Excerpt) The following names lists consist of period (pre-1600 A.D.)
Arabic names and name elements, having been selected from names of people
who lived during that time. These lists are not designed to be exhaustive,
only to be large enough to give a reasonably wide selection of provably
period Arabic names. I have tried to avoid, as much as possible, names with
other than Arabic origins, such as Persian, Mongol and Turkish (e.g., 'Umar
al-Khayyami [Arabic] rather than Omar Khayyam [Persian]).
100 Most Popular Men's Names in Early Medieval Ireland compiled by Heather
(ska Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn)
copyright c 1998, all rights reserved
(Site Excerpt) The following list contains the (slightly less than) one
hundred most common masculine given names in M.A. O'Brien's Corpus
Genealogiarum Hiberniae (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies,
1976), a collection of Irish genealogical material from the pre-Norman
period (i.e., roughly pre-12th century). While O'Brien's collection includes
some legendary genealogies, the "popularity" requirement for this selection
should filter out any questionable names.
Italian Renaissance Women's Names
by Rhian Lyth of Blackmoor Vale (Jo Lori Drake)
(Site Excerpt) Below is a list of Italian feminine names from Florence in
the 14th and 15th centuries, part of the list compiled by Lady Rhian Lyth of
Blackmoor Vale. The names were compiled from The Society of Renaissance
Florence: A Documentary Study (ed. Gene Bruckerm New York: Harper
Torchbooks, Harper & Row, Inc.), which is a collection of diaries and
documents of the period, and from The Autobiography of Benevenuto Cellini,
as published by Penguin Books. Some of these names are diminutive forms or
nicknames derived from other name, but all were used independently in formal
legal documents. Most names occur once or twice in these sources; the names
which occurred four or more times are in bold face.
Jews in Catalonia: 1250 to 1400
by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith)
ｩ 2002 by Julia Smith; all rights reserved.
(Site Excerpt) This article describes the names used by Jews in 13th and
14th century Catalonia (the area around Barcelona, in modern Spain), as
found in a series of wills written in Latin. Wills are especially useful for
studying names because many female family members are mentioned, receiving
at least small bequests. Thus, this is a great place to look at women's
names.The names from this source are divided into two lists. The first gives
names in their Latin spellings as they were found in the document. One
hundred and fifty three names like this were found. The second list gives
names that the editor modified to give underlying Catalan forms. One hundred
and forty-four names like this were found. Both lists are used to generate
frequency counts; only the first is used to examine spelling variations. A
complete list of given names is found below.
A Dictionary of Period Russian Names
(and some of their Slavic roots) Being a compilation of over 25,000 Russian
names Taken from period sources by Paul Wickenden of Thanet
(Site Excerpt) For example, the reader will notice the greatly expanded
grammar section and particularly the alphabetical listing of name roots
which (theoretically) will allow the careful user to create a
period-sounding Russian name in "Chinese-menu" style by mixing and matching
elements. All of these changes are in addition to approximately 10,000 more
entries and a section of place names that has been nearly doubled. Another
improvement has been the replacement of many secondary (and unreliable)
citations with more accurate and primary sources wherever possible.
A Simple Guide to Creating Old Norse Names
by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Friedemann)
ｩ 1998, 1999 Sara L. Friedemann; all rights reserved
(Site Excerpt) There are two ways of forming Norse names; the most common is
using a given name with the addition of a patronymic byname, or a byname
based on relationship.
To create a patronym, the suffix -son 'son' or -d葉tir 'daughter' is added
to the genitive form of the father's name. The guide below, taken from G.
Fleck's book, shows how this can be done.
A Simple Guide to Constructing
Scottish Gaelic Names
by Sharon L. Krossa
ｩ1997 by Sharon L. Krossa. All rights reserved
(Site Excerpt) The information in this guide is taken from The Gaelic Notes
in the Book of Deer, by Kenneth Jackson. The Book of Deer is a 9th century
illuminated manuscript, written in Latin, of the Gospel of St. John and
parts of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The Book of Deer gets its
name from six Gaelic "notes", and a Latin charter of David I, concerning
grants of land to the monastery of Deer that were written into various blank
spaces of the manuscript circa 1130 to 1150 AD. These notes are the earliest
known examples of Gaelic written in Scotland. The Gaelic used in the notes
is "Middle Gaelic", also called "Middle Irish", which was the form of Gaelic
common to Ireland and parts of Scotland from, roughly, 900 to 1200 A.D. The
names included in this guide from the Gaelic notes are those of people who
lived in Scotland, primarily in the north east of Scotland, in the 11th and
early 12th centuries.
Basque Feminine Names
by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Friedemann)
ｩ 1999 Sara L. Friedemann; all rights reserved
The following is a list of Basque feminine given names and bynames found in
various medieval sources. Not all of the names are of Basque linguistic
origin--in fact, many of the names were popular throughout all Iberian
cultures--but they were all used by Basque women. Each name is listed as a
header, followed by the dates it was recorded. I have used MC to indicate
names that were found in undated medieval cartularies.
A number of the names were found more than one time in the sources. For
names where this is the case, I have included in brackets the number of
times it was found in place of dates. These names were found in the
Late Sixteenth Century Welsh Names
by Talan Gwynek
(Brian M. Scott, scott at math.csuohio.edu)
ｩ 1994 by Brian M. Scott; all rights reserved.
(Site Excerpt) Early in the course of compiling the data for my article on
late sixteeen century English names, I was struck by a number of Welsh names
of what seemed a very traditional nature and began to keep a separate record
of Welsh names. Had the distribution of names in Wales been my primary
interest, I should have recorded every name for which a Welsh address was
given. I was more interested in noting the names that seemed to be
characteristically Welsh, however, so my data are undoubtedly incomplete. I
recorded all names containing ap, including those in which it appears fused
with the patronym, e.g., Powell (for ap Hywel), and all names containing
verch and its variants. I recorded names containing elements clearly of
Welsh origin, like Griffith, Meredith, Lloyd, Tydder, and Vaughan; in almost
all cases these were associated with one of the Welsh counties or with
neighboring Herefordshire or Gloucestershire.