[Ger-Poland-Volhynia] naming patterns

Spaghettitree at aol.com Spaghettitree at aol.com
Sat Dec 19 08:45:36 PST 2009

Rose-Marie - The experiences of Bronwyn and the sites she has given you are 
 excellent - and there are many, many publications on the etymology and 
meaning  of names, Germanic and otherwise.  Like everything else, some are more 
 accurate and detailed  than others.   We just cannot accept names  as they 
are today and declare there's only one correct spelling/meaning/family  for 
each of them.   The concept of "correct spellings" is a  modern one.  They 
are collectible, rather than correctable.    They vary, sometimes 
drastically, from time to time over many centuries and  place to place and culture to 
culture - most emphatically when they  emigrate to a place where their 
native language is not understood, and is in  fact the subject of derision.   
There always have been people who have  changed their birth names altogether, 
legally or not.   Maybe they  hated the names dished out to them - maybe 
their spouses changed them  to  be more 
"socially acceptable" - maybe some lied about their birth names to the  
authorities, so a death certificate indicates a different name from a birth  
certificate.    Maybe the military arbitrarily invents a junior  where none 
exists.   All four of those applied in my family of four  siblings.    In the 
case of Germanic names, among others, a given  name or surname is often the 
subject, all by itself, of extreme (and stupid)  intolerance.   That applies 
to me, too, on top of all the sneezing  attempts to pronounce it.   My life 
would have been different, I  think, had I been allowed to choose my own 
name - interesting question,  hmmmm?    
One good thing about genealogy, and these message boards, is that  
discussions between people of all levels of expertise are encouraged, wherever  they 
may be, and by that one gains knowledge and insight, and one hopes,  
It does get complicated, so it's quite all right to ask, and keep asking,  
as you go along.   We're all in this boat together (perhaps many oars  are 
better than one?).    
As Bronwyn knows, names are a favorite subject of mine, and utterly  
fascinating.   So keep hunting!
T. Maureen Schoenky 
In a message dated 12/19/2009 2:11:26 A.M. Pacific Standard Time,  
bronklimach at gmail.com writes:

Naming patterns can give pointers, but are far from  any kind of proof
in genealogy.
There are some well known articles on  the  topic:

I  know one 1800s generation of my German ancestors (near Prenzlau)
names  every son Johann xxxx while the daughters are Johanna yyyy.
It's pretty  obvious they are going to be called by another of their
Christian names  (Rufname).
It  is also not uncommon to have 3 or 4 Christian names.  One of  my
ancestors appears on various documents under any one of her four  given
names, with the surname's spelling varying wildly (e.g. Johns,  Toms,

Naming patterns might give you some clues and it is  good to know about
them, but you will need to keep any eye on everyone in  the correct
location whose surname resembles the one in which you are  interested.

On Sat, Dec 19, 2009 at 4:10 AM, F&RM  Haddad <farose at gmail.com> wrote:
> I've been hearing a lot of late  about determining naming patterns, and 
> help that can be in  genealogical research. Does anyone know if there were
> naming patterns  generally used among the Germans - either in Poland or
> Volhynia? (And  for me - Wuerttemberg, Germany). Where does one find out
> about naming  patterns, (serves me right for being timid about asking 
when I
> attend  lectures/seminars).
> Rose-Marie
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