Saturday, June 20, 2015

Society Saturday - "What IS in a Name?"

Editor's note: Today's post was written by Sandra Gardner-Benward

Victoria Fisch and Jeremy Frankel
Tonight we were entertained by Victoria Fisch with the topic "What is in a Name?" Victoria brought her own personal heckler Jeremy Frankel.. Jeremy is friendly and  adds a lot to the information that Victoria presents., They make a great couple. Thanks to both ........... She introduced us to many different types of naming patterns....... some I am aware of and some are new to me.

Patronymic Naming is based on first name of father..... they are formed by adding a prefix or suffix to the first name that means "son of" or a shortened form of a name indicating a female gender

Personal Attributes -  suggest surnames that reflect characteristics sometimes grew out of nicknames - Blacksmith or Smith - Smitty

Toyonyms Naming are based on place of birth or residence -

Occupation Naming appeared to be very popular. Bishop Mayor, Chamberlain, Latimer etc.......  and then later you will see trade and craft names appearing....  Goldsmith, Taylor, Painter  etc.

Link to web site with institution of surnames by country

Sometimes it is so difficult to find your family in the US/ UK Census because the names are misspelled, or changed or so many with that same name.

Suggestion for misspelled names........... write the surname you are looking for and then (like a child) write down as many different variations as possible even though you would say "NO WAY" to some of them. Maybe the census taker was not familiar with the language of the family and wrote down what they thought they heard. Maybe the surname is a variation of a common surname and the common name was written - Smith  or Smyth .........  Now start looking again.

Victoria did go over doing searches of names on Ancestry,com.........  using the asterisk, first name searches, alternative first name searches, ships passengers lists. She also introduced us to & suggestions on how to search this site: (New York City vital record indices)

A lot of great information for our research tool bag. Thanks! Want to know more about them? click  Victoria and Jeremy

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