- May 1: Mathilda of Scotland died in 1118.
- May 2: Anne Boleyn was arrested for treason in 1536.
- May 3: Cecily Neville, Duchess of York, was born in 1415.
- May 4: John Wyclif and Jan Hus are condemned as heretics at the Council of Constance in 1415.
- May 5: Gerberga of Saxony died in 968/9 or 984.
- May 6: Dieric Bouts, Dutch painter, died in 1475.
- May 7: Remigius de Fécamp died in 1059.
- May 8: Pope Saint Benedict II died in 685.
- May 9: Hernando de Alarcón set sail for the Gulf of California in 1540.
- May 10: Emperor Claudius Gothicus was born in 210.
- May 11: Anne of Bohemia, queen consort of England, was born in 1366.
- May 12: Berengaria of Navarre was crowned queen of England in 1191.
- May 13: Julian of Norwich experienced her mystical visions in 1373.
- May 14: Simon de Montfort became de facto ruler of England in 1264.
- May 15: Mary Queen of Scots married her third husband, James, Earl of Bothwell, in 1567.
- May 16: Baldwin I was crowned Latin emperor of Constantinople in 1204.
- May 17: Anne of Denmark was crowned queen of Scotland in 1590.
- May 18: Eleanor of Aquitaine married Henry II of England in 1152.
- May 19: Saint Alcuin of York died in 804.
- May 20: Abraham Ortelius issued the first modern atlas in 1570.
- May 21: Albrecht Dürer was born in 1471.
- May 22: Saint Rita of Cascia died in 1457.
- May 23: Girolamo Savonarola was burned to death in 1498.
- May 24: Magnus Ladulås was crowned king of Sweden in 1276.
- May 25: Pope Boniface IV died in 615.
- May 26: Saint Augustine of Canterbury died in 604.
- May 27: Ludovico Sforza died in 1508.
- May 28: Caterina Sforza died in 1509.
- May 29: Philip VI was crowned king of France in 1328.
- May 30: Jerome of Prague was burned for heresy in 1416.
- May 31: Manuel I of Portugal was born in 1469.
Tag Archives: Ferdinand
- April 1: Eleanor of Aquitaine died in 1204.
- April 2: Baldwin I of Jerusalem died in 1118.
- April 3: Edward the Confessor was crowned king of England in 1042.
- April 4: Francis Drake was knight for circumnavigating the world in 1581.
- April 5: Isabella of Hainault, queen of France, was born in 1170.
- April 6: Raphael, the Italian painter, died in 1520.
- April 7: Empress Mathilda becomes Lady of the English in 1141.
- April 8: Barbara of Hesse, Duchess of Württemberg-Mömpelgard, was born in 1536.
- April 9: Lorenzo dei Medici died in 1492.
- April 10: Gabrielle d’Estrées, mistress of Henry IV of France, died in 1599.
- April 11: Stephen IV of Hungary died in 1165.
- April 12: Antonio de Sangallo, Italian architect, was born in 1485.
- April 13: Paul the Deacon, monk and historian, died in 799.
- April 14: Abraham Ortelius, cartographer, was born in 1527.
- April 15: Leonardo da Vinci was born in 1452.
- April 16: Adelaide del Vasto, queen consort of Jerusalem, died in 1118.
- April 17: Bernard, king of the Lombards, died in 818.
- April 18: Lucrezia Borgia was born in 1480.
- April 19: Pope Leo IX died in 1054.
- April 20: Pope Boniface VIII founded Sapienza Universita Roma in 1303.
- April 21: Saint Anselm of Canterbury died in 1109.
- April 22: Our editor in chief, Sara Uckelman, was born.
- April 23: Dagobert III was crowned king of the Franks in 711.
- April 24: William the Silent was born in 1533.
- April 25: Sancho IV the Brave, king of Castille, died in 1295.
- April 26: Simonetta Vespucci died in 1476.
- April 27: Ferdinand Magellan died in 1521.
- April 28: Edward IV of England was born in 1442.
- April 29: Saint Catherine of Siena died in 1380.
- April 30: Amalasuntha, queen of the Ostrogoths, died in 534/535.
- March 1: Louis the Pious was restored as Holy Roman Emperor in 834.
- March 2: Dirk VI becomes count of Holland in 1121.
- March 3: Dutch theologian Gijsbert Voet was born in 1589.
- March 4: Saint Adrian of Nicomedia was martyred in 306.
- March 5: David II of Scotland was born in 1324.
- March 6: Ferdinand Magellan arrives in Guam in 1521.
- March 7: Emperor Constantine declares Sunday a day of rest i n321.
- March 8: Urraca of León and Castile died in 1126.
- March 9: Saint Frances of Rome died in 1440.
- March 10: Agnes Blannbekin, Austrian mystic, died in 1315.
- March 11: Marie de France, Countess of Champagne, died in 1198.
- March 12: Cesare Borgia died in 1507.
- March 13: The bones of St Nicephorus were interred in Constantinople in 874.
- March 14: Catherine Cornaro, queen of Cyprus, sold Cyrpus to Venice in 1489.
- March 15: On this day in 44BC, Julius Caesar was assassinated on the Ides of March.
- March 16: On this day in 1485, Anne Neville, queen consort of England, died.
- March 17: The feast of Saint Patrick.
- March 18: Edward the Martyr, king of the English, died in 978.
- March 19: Alexander III of Scotland died in 1286.
- March 20: Cecily of York, daughter of Edward IV, was born in 1469.
- March 21: St. Angela Merici was born in 1474.
- March 22: Ferdinand II commissioned Amerigo Vespucci in 1508.
- March 23: Margaret d’Anjou was born in 1430.
- March 24: Harun al-Rashid died in 809.
- March 25: Blanche of Lancaster was born in 1345.
- March 26: Conrad II was crowned Holy Roman Emperor in 1027.
- March 27: Rachel Akerman, Austrian poet, was born in 1522.
- March 28: Saint Theresa of Ávila was born in 1515.
- March 29: Arthur I of Brittany was born in 1187.
- March 30: Saint Quirinus of Neuss died in 116.
- March 31: Francis I of France died in 1547.
Today’s topic is one suggested to us via conversations on twitter, sparked by this fascinating map (found here) of the meanings of the most popular surnames in different European countries. I pointed out that as a surname ‘Martin’ means ‘child of Martin’, rather than ‘of Mars’ (a reasonable approximation of the etymology of Martin, the given name). It’s a minor point, but an important one, because it illustrates how one and the same element can have different semantic content in different contexts.
This sparked questions about why in some cultures you’d find, e.g., Martin while in others it would be Martins and in others Martinson, all to represent the same concept, ‘child of Martin’. While strictly speakings bynames are beyond the scope of the Dictionary, bynames which are derived from given names are close enough to our purview that we thought it would be interesting to devote a blog post to the topic.
Let’s begin with some vocabulary. Relational bynames are ones that indicate the bearer’s relationship to someone else. The most common type of relational byname is the patronymic, i.e., one indicating the bearer’s father’s given name. But other types of relational bynames can be found, including ones indicating the bearer’s mother (matronymics), or involving the relationships ‘wife/husband of’, ‘brother/sister of’, ‘niece/nephew of’, ‘grandchild of’, ‘foster child of’, and even more complex relationships such as ‘maternal great aunt’. (These latter ones are of course, much more rare, because only in very specialized circumstances would this information be of importance!) Because patronymics are the most common, we focus on them; some of what we say generalizes to matronymics, but not much further.
Patronymic bynames can be divided into two types: marked and unmarked. A unmarked patronymic or matronymic uses the parents’ given name unchanged (i.e., it is not marked in any way to distinguish it from the semantic form it takes as a given name). Marked forms, on the other hand, modify the given name either by changing its grammatical case or by adding a word indicating the relationship the bearer of the byname bears to the person named in the byname, or both. We call relational bynames which change the case of the given name but do not specify the relation in question implicitly marked, and ones which do specify the relation explicitly marked. With this terminology in hand, we can look at the development of patronymic bynames over the millenium after the fall of the Roman empire.
With the fall of the Roman empire came the fall of the tria nomina Roman naming system with its praenomen, nomen, and cognomen. Documents from the 7th C on tend to refer to people simply by their given names, with further descriptive information provided in special contexts, for example, clerical or regnal office. These are particularly found in witness lists to charters and diplomas, when it was important to specify, implicitly, why an individual was a suitable witness. To take a very early example, a Latin charter from around 499 (DCEL-2, charter III) is witnessed first by Chlodoveus, king of the Franks, and his queen Chlotildis, and then by:
- Theodericus filius ejus, Rex
- Chlodomiris Rex, filius ejus
- Childebertus Rex, filius ejus
- Clotarius Rex, filius ejus
- Theodechildis filia ejus carissima
Other early examples from France include Clotarius filius Clodovei (DCEL-2, charter XXIX, dated 560), Drogo Dux Burgundiorum, filius Pipini Ducis (DCEL-2, charter CCXIV, dated to 691), Aengilbaldus filius Hildiboldi (DCEL-2, charter CCLVII, dated to 704).
This is typical of what you see in the early period: Latin records using explicitly marked patronymics, in the form of filius + the father’s name in the genitive case. Sometimes the father is indicated pronominally, as Arnallus Arnalli de Lerç et Arnallus filius ejus, “Arnal [son] of Arnal, of Lerç, and Arnal, his son” (CDCB-XV, charter MMCCVII, dated to 1090) — so in fact we have here an explicitly marked patronymic with a pronominal reference, and an implicitly marked patronymic, and evidence of three generations of men named ‘Arnal’. A similar pronominal example is seen in a Hamburg charter from 1183, which has Ernestus de Zelezen et filius eius Ernestus (HambUrk-vol1 charter CCLVII). Two other standard examples are found in another charter from the same source: Vergotus filius Dasonis and Hasso filius Heinrici (charter CLXXXVIII, dated 1149). Similar examples are easy to find by flipping through pretty much any charter book from this period. Also by this period we see evidence of the explicit marker, filius, being dropped: Petrum Rigualdi, Bernardum Guifredi, Arnallum Gaucefredi de Palera, Bertrandum Poncii de Melian, and Guillelmum Raimundi de Espasen (CDCB-XV, charter MMCCVIII, dated 1092) were the sons of Riguald, Guifred, Gaucefred, Ponce, and Raimund, respectively.
Thus in Latin records, we see marked patronymics, both implicit and explicit. Due to the fact that Latin is a strongly case-based system, unmarked patronymics are not found, because they simply do not make grammatical sense. It is only in the vernacular, in particular, languages which have gradually lost the explicit cases, that unmarked patronymics are found. Even languages that shed most of their cases often retained distinct genitive forms — for example, in English, we have both John (nom.) and John’s (gen.) — and in these contexts we can find both marked and unmarked patronymics.
With this background and terminology in hand, let’s survey the different patterns of patronymic bynames that can be found across European vernaculars.
Old English: The most common type are explicitly marked patronymics, putting the father’s name in the genitive case and using sune, sune ‘son’ or dohtor, dohter ‘daughter’. Examples: Osferð Oggoddes sune (972×992), Ælfelm Ordelmes sunu (c. 1060), Wulfeh Ordeges suna (973×987) [Tengvik, p. 161]. A less common form added -ing to the root name, e.g., Dudding ‘son of Duda’ [Reaney & Wilson, p. xix].
Middle and Early Modern English and Scots: All three types of bynames can be found in Middle and Early Modern English: Unmarked patronymics, such as Thomas Richard 1276; marked implicit patronymics, such as William Ricardes 1327; and marked explicit patronymics, such as Murdac Richardesson 1359 [Reaney & Wilson, s.nn. Richard, Richardson]. The explicitly marked forms, especially those found in the north, are often attributed to Scandinavian influence, but there is no reason not to credit the surviving influence of the Old English patterns. In the Lowlands of Scotland, the vernacular there developed out of English, and used the same types of patronymic constructions.
Old, Middle, and Early Modern Irish: Exclusively explicitly marked patronymics, using mac ‘son’ or ingen (OIr/MIr)/inghean (EMIr) ‘daughter’. Examples: Aneislis mac Domnaill (1049), Dobhailen, mac Gormghusa (885), Gormlaith ingen Donncadha (861), Rois, ingen Concobuir, mic Concobuir (1472) [Irish Annals].
Welsh: Both unmarked and explicitly marked patronymics occur. In unmarked forms, the father’s name is simply appended to the child’s name, without any modification; as a result, patronymic bynames in Welsh are often mistaken, by those who don’t know about the unmarked patronymic construction, as examples of double given names. However, multiple references to the same person can make it clear that, e.g., Jenkin Owen and Jenkin ap Owen are variants of the same name. In marked forms, the father’s name occurs unchanged after the relevant word for ‘son’ or ‘daughter’, with one type of exception. The name doesn’t change its grammatical case, but it can ‘inherit’ the end of the word for ‘son’, ap or ab. The final bilabial stop (voiced or unvoiced) sometimes attaches to the beginning of the next word, and this is the origin of modern surnames Price (ap Rys), Bevan (ab Evan), Bowen (ab Owen), etc. Sometimes in 16th C English contexts, one can find hybrid forms, such as ap Price [Hughes, passim].
French: Old French distinguished two cases, the nominative and the oblique. Marked patronymics were formed using the oblique case, either with or without the preposition de ‘of’; but from the modern perspective, most French patronymics end up looking unmarked. This is because the use of the preposition de was much less common than simply using the oblique form (though in the 1292 census of Paris, one can find bynames such as de Lorenz, de Nicole, de Nichole, de Remy, and de Touz-Sainz alongside the more common pattern without de); and, more importantly, while in other languages, it was the nominative form of the name that became the fossilized form when the case system disappeared (as happened in English), in French, it was the oblique that eventually eclipsed the nominative. As a result, Wautier, Simon, Rogier, and Jehan are the ‘expected’ forms of the names, when in fact it is Wautiers, Simons, Rogiers, and Jehans that are the nominative forms. But by the time Middle French comes around, it was the oblique that had become the default form, so that, e.g., Martin would be the form used in both Jehan Martin ‘Jehan [son] of Martin’ and Martin Jehan ‘Martin [son] of Jehan’.
Spanish and Portuguese: These two linguistic contexts can be grouped together due to their strong similarities, regardless of whether we’re looking at Galician, Castillian, Catalan, Portuguese, or other. The vast majority of the vernacular bynames in these regions were marked but implicit. Many modern day familiar surnames of Iberian origin reflect this: Sánchez from Sancho, Rodríguez from Rodrigo, López from Lope, Hernández from Hernando, González from Gonzalo, Gutiérrez from Gutierro, Martínez from Martín, etc. (All of these can be found in late 16th C records [Catalogo].) In Portuguese similar constructions can be found, such Guonçallvez from Guonçllo, Anrriquez from Annrrique, and Fernandez from Fernão. Some instances of unmarked patronymics can be found, e.g., Dinis, Duarte, Francisco, and Felipe. Quite rarely, a combination of a grammatically marked form with an explicit preposition can be found, e.g., de Lopez, d’Allvarez or d’Allvariz, and de Çesar (these all come from [Livro]).
Italian: Italian patronymics are, compared to some cultures, gloriously simple. You take the father’s name (or the mother’s name) unmodified, and place di ‘of’ before it, as is exemplified with these names from early 15th C Florence: Antonio di Donato di Nuccio da Chascia, Antonia di Nanni, Buonaghuida di Martino, Giovanni d’Andrea di Maso funaiuolo, Piera di Giovanni da Monteaghuto. Occasionally, the word for ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ is included, as can be seen in the name Simona figliuola di Simone de Bardi [Herlihy & Klapisch-Zuber].
German: Medieval German retained a strong case-based system throughout the Middle Ages, distinguishing the nominative, genitive, dative, and accusative. Despite this, the most common type of patronymic byname in German contexts is the unmarked patronymic. Examples involving the addition of -sohn can be found, but they are much, much rarer. In the 15th and 16th centuries, an interesting pattern can be seen amongst women’s names: Women occasionally use as their byname their husband’s or father’s full name, but with a feminine or possessive suffix on the end, e.g., Allet Petter Schelhornyn, Katterina Crista Puffanyn, Margreth Ulrich Rottmundin, Helena Wilhelm Rumlin, Anna Fricz Ditterichs, Anna Kuncz Heßin, Kun Mertten Flinderin, Katterina Herman Schneiderin, and Kun Fricz Fruppassin [Nurn1497].
Dutch: In contrast with German, where explicit markers for ‘daughter’ and ‘son’ are rare, the default Dtuch (including Flemish/Belgian) patronymic is explicit. For example, one sees Aelbertssoen more frequently than Aelberts, Aerntssoen and Aerntszoon rather than Aerts, Claessoen and Claiszoon rather than mere Clais [Smit, passim]; nevertheless, the implicitly marked and the unmarked versions can be found, in lower frequencies.
Scandinavian: Just as we can dump all the Iberian languages together, so too can we treat the Scandinavian languages (Icelandic, Norwegian, Swedish, Danish, and their regional dialects) in one group: Far and away the most common type of patronymic is the marked explicit patronymic, with some variation of the word for ‘son’ or ‘daughter’ followed by the father’s given name in the genitive case. Exceptions to this pattern are rare; when they occur, it is sometimes difficult to tell whether the word for ‘son’ has been omitted, resulting in an implicitly marked patronymic, or whether the name has simply been abbreviated in written contexts.
We haven’t even touched on the constructions found in Eastern Europe, such as Polish, Czech, Hungarian, etc. Perhaps we can devote a future post to these!
[Catalogo] Luis Romera Iruela and M. del Carmen Galbis Díz, editors. Catalogo de Pasajeros a Indias Durante los Siglos XVI, XVII y XVIII, volume V (1567-1577). (Ministerio de Cultura, 1980.)
Herlihy, David and Christiane Klapisch-Zuber, Census and Property Survey of Florentine Domains in the Province of Tuscany, 1427-1480. Machine readable data file. Online Catasto of 1427 Version 1.1. Online Florentine Renaissance Resources: Brown University, Providence, R.I., 1996.
Hughes, H. Seymour, The Registers of Llantrithyd, Glamorganshire. Christenings, 1597-1810; Burials, 1571-1810; Marriages, 1571-1752 (London: Mitchell and Hughes: 1888).
[Irish Annals] (1) Donnchadh Ó Corráin, ed., “Annals of Tigernach” (WWW: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork, Ireland, 1996) [URL: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G100002/%5D; (2) Donnchadh Ó Corráin, Mavis Cournane, ed., “Annals of the Four Masters, Volume 1” (WWW: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork, Ireland, 1997) [URL: http://www.uccre.ie/celt/published/G100005A/%5D; (3) Donnchadh Ó Corráin & Mavis Cournane, “The Annals of Ulster” (WWW: CELT: Corpus of Electronic Texts: a project of University College, Cork, Ireland, 1997) [URL: http://www.ucc.ie/celt/published/G100001A/%5D.
[Livro] Livro do lançamento e serviço que a Cidade de Lisboa fez a ed Rei Nosso Senhor no ano de 1565; documentos para a historia da Cidade de Lisboa. (Lisboa: Câmara Municipal, 1947-48).
Smit, Johannes Gradus, Bronnen voor de economische geschiedenis van het Beneden-Maasgebied: Tweede deel, Rekeningen van de Hollandse tollen, 1422-1534 (Den Haag: Instituut voor Nederlandse geschiedenis, 1997).
Tengvik, Goesta, Old English Bynames (Uppsala: Almqvist & Wiksells Boktryckeri-A.-B., 1938).
Here’s the full monthly calendar of our #OnThisDay posts on twitter:
- November 1: Empress Mathilda was deposed as Lady of the English in 1141.
- November 2: Emma of France died in 934.
- November 3: Benvenuto Celllini, Italian artist, was born in 1500.
- November 4: Sophia of Bavaria, queen consort of the Romans and Bohemia, died in 1428.
- November 5: The feast day of St. Felix of Valois.
- November 6: Juana la Loca was born in 1479.
- November 7: Constans II was born in 630.
- November 8: Julian of Norwich was born in 1342.
- November 9: Sancha of Castille died in 1208.
- November 10: Bridget of York was born in 1480.
- November 11: Mathilda of Scotland was crowned queen of England in 1100.
- November 12: Cnut the Dane died in 1035.
- November 13: St. Augustine of Hippo was born in 354.
- November 14: Maurice, prince of Orange, was born in 1567.
- November 15: Justin II becomes emperor of Byzantium in 565.
- November 16: Edward I becomes king of England in 1272.
- November 17: Elizabeth I becomes queen of England in 1558.
- November 18: Antipope Sylvester IV was enthroned in 11015.
- November 19: Pope Anastasius II died in 498.
- November 20: Edmund the Martyr dies in 869 (or 870).
- November 21: García, king of Navarre, died in 1150.
- November 22: Erik V of Denmark died in 1286
- November 23: Ferdinand III conquered Seville in 1248
- November 24: Joan of Arc beseiged La Charite in 1429.
- November 25: Malcolm II of Scotland died in 1034.
- November 26: Infanta Catarina of Portugal was born in 1436.
- November 27: Byzantine Emperor Maurice died in 602.
- November 28: Pope Gregory III died in 741.
- November 29: Joachim Viadan, Swiss Humanist, was born in 1484.
- November 30: Saint Gregory of Tours was born c538.
- October 1: Edgar I was crowned King of the English in 959.
- October 2: Athalaric, king of the Ostrogoths, died in 543.
- October 3: Saint Francis of Assisi died in 1226.
- October 4: Saint Theresa of Avila died in 1582
- October 5: Alexios III of Trebizond was born in 1338.
- October 6: Samuel Tsar of Bulgaria died in 1014.
- October 7: Frederick I of Norway and Denmark was born in 1471.
- October 8: Demetrius Zvonimir was crowned king of Croatia in 1076.
- October 9: Denis, the Poet King of Portugal, was born in 1261.
- October 10: Pope Valentine died in 827.
- October 11: Pope Boniface died in 1303.
- October 12: Edwin King of Northumbria was killed in battle in 632/633.
- October 13: Eleanor, Queen of Castile, was born in 1162.
- October 14: William the Bastard won the Battle of Hastings in 1066.
- October 15: Pope Gregory XIII’s calendrical reform came into use in 1582.
- October 16: Jadwiga was crowned King of Poland in 1384.
- October 17: St. Ivo of Kermartin was born in 1253.
- October 18: Dagobert I was crowned king of the Franks in 629.
- October 19: St. Frideswide died in 727.
- October 20: Henry X of Bavaria died in 1139.
- October 21: Ferdinand Magellan discovered the Straits of Magellan in 1520.
- October 22: Charles Martel, king of the Franks, died in 741.
- October 23: Sweyn III of Denmark is killed in 1157.
- October 24: (DMNES team was out of town w/o internet access).
- October 25: Henry V of England defeated the French at Agincourt in 1415.
- October 26: Feast day of St Demetrius of Thessaloniki, who died in 306.
- October 27: Emperor Constantine had his Vision of the Cross in 312.
- October 28: Margaret I of Denmark died in 1412.
- October 29: Conradin, king of Sicily and Jerusalem, died in 1268.
- October 30: Cesare Borgia hosted the Banquet of Chestnuts in 1501.
- October 31: Nikephoros I became Byzantine emperor in 802.