Monday, March 17, 2014

Richer and Stranger: More Names from the Family Search Historical Records

I couldn't sleep last night and, lacking the brain power to do any of the serious heraldic projects I have in the hopper, began trolling the Family Search Historical Records for names from classical Greek and Roman history and mythology.  I'd already found things like  Darius, Gaius, Lucius and Marcus, and I knew anecdotally that there was a late-period fashion for classical names.  

What I discovered is that 16th cen. English and German parents were crazy.

They named their children things like Mercury, Nero, Vulcan, Juno, Medea, Pandora, Penthesilea, and a dozen other classical/mythological names that I would have thought implausible or undocumentable.   English and German records represented most of the hits, but that may be a function of the Family Search database rather than the scope of the actual fashion for classical/mythological names.

Having now gone down the rabbit hole, I think this is going to grow up to be a "More Names from the Family Search Historical Records" article, probably for KWHSS, if not sooner.  I know I should be doing more work on the Scottish name data, but this was too funny to put down.

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