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            Courses            
English: Understanding Names in Genealogy
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Genealogical research is largely based on names—but what is the origin of names—surnames, first names and place names. A knowledge of their derivation and how they are connected affords an increased understanding of the genealogical research process.

You will constantly be reminded of the inter-relationship of the names of places and people. You will also find references to the inter-connected naming of many things—as diverse as buildings, festivals and special days—all of which have some bearing on the search for a family''s history.


Course Content

Module 1
Introduction
Understanding Names
 
Spelling
• Introduction to Orthography
• Normal Spelling Variation
• Phonetics & Spelling
 
Strategy for Research
• Spelling Groupings on Indexes
• Old Parochial Registers of Scotland
• Foreign Alphabets
• Spelling & Pronunciation in Documents
 

Module 2
Surnames
What Is a Surname?
 
Derivation of Surnames
• Location Names
• Topographical Surnames
• Habitational Surnames
• Regional & Ethnic Surnames
• Foundlings with Location Names
• Occupational Names
• Nicknames
 
Patronymics
• English Patronymics
• Patronymics from Pet Names & Diminutives
• Scottish Patronymics
• Irish Patronymics
• Welsh Patronymics
• Scandinavian Patronymics
• Patronymic Affixes
 
Researching with Patronymics
• Indexing Patronymic Names
• Parish Register Technique for Patronymics
 

Module 3
Surnames…Continued
Polygenetic Surnames
 
Extra Differentiating Surnames
• English By-Names
• Scottish 'Tee Names' or 'Teetles'
• Canadian 'Styling'
• Welsh By-Names
 
Aliases
 
Surname Changes
• Change by Choice
• Change by Circumstance
 
Differentiation of People & Families
• Swedish Army Names
• Replacing Common Surnames
• Errors in Records
 
Homes of British Surnames
• English Surnames
• Scots Surnames
• Welsh Surnames
• Irish Surnames
• Cornish Surnames
• Manx Surnames
• Jewish Surnames
• Gypsy Surnames
 
Working With Surnames
• Which is the surname?
 
Did Your Name Come with the Conqueror?
• The Evidence
• The Men
• The Families Descending from Them
• Other Surnames from France
• Descent from Earlier Anglo-Saxons & Celts
 
Pedigree Bibliographies
Surname Dictionaries
Surnames in Latin or Abbreviated?
One-Name Studies
Surname Frequency
 
Geographical Distribution
• A Study in Welsh Surname Distribution
 
The Surname—Father Link
No Surname
 

Module 4
Given Names
Basic Indo-European Naming System
Sources of Given Names
Origin of Our Set of Given Names
 
Meaning of Names
• Religious Names
• Royal & Aristocratic Names
• Traditional Celtic Names
• Influence of Modern Culture
 
Use of Surnames as Given Names
• Other Sources of Given Names
• Latin Versions of Given Names
• Rank & Status Given Names
• Gypsy Given Names
• Black Given Names
 
Reasons for Choice of Names
• Fashion & Respectability
• Social Class Association
• Euphony
• Initials
• Surname Influences
• Originality
• Associated Characteristics
 
Nickname Considerations
• Sibling Influence
• Family Tradition
 
Gender Non-specific Names
Middle Names
Mistaken Names
Foundlings
Change of Given Name
Non-Names
Given Names Found in Indexes & Online Sources
 

Module 5
Place Names
 
Jurisdictional Names in Genealogy
• Names Ancient & Modern
• Civil & Ecclesiastical Jurisdictions
• Hierarchy of Jurisdictions
 
They Were Born Where?
• Etymology of Place Names
 
Sources of Place Names
• Landmarks
• Prehistoric Features
• Boundaries & Meeting Places
• Watery Places
• Animals in Place Names
• Plants in Place Names
• People in Place Names
• Personal Names
• Occupations in Place Names
 
The Languages Used in Place Names
• Old British Place Names
• Roman Place-Names
• Latin Words in English Place Names
• Germanic/Anglo-Saxon Place Names
• Scandinavian Place Names
• Norman French Place Names
 
Comparison of Introduced Names
 
A Gallimaufry of Place Names
• Field Names
• Street Names
• How Streets Are Named
• Street Names Abolished & Altered
• No Roads in the City of London!
• Inn Names
 
Oddly Named Places
 

Module 6
A Miscellany of Names
 
Categories of Names
• Cockney Rhyming Slang
• Eponyms
• Relationships & Forms of Address
• Names for Days
• Saints' Days
• Strays
• 'Suitable' Occupations
• Unusual Combinations of Names
 
Most unpronounceable surname—Squlthz
 
Further Reading
 
Appendix
• English Hundreds, Liberties, Wapentakes & Wards
• Welsh Hundreds
• Topographical Glossary
 
 

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