[ANSTHRLD] names documentation

Tim McDaniel tmcd at panix.com
Tue Aug 26 09:47:04 PDT 2008

On Tue, 26 Aug 2008, Childers, Jeff <Jeff.Childers at ttuhsc.edu> wrote:
> Is double barreling surnames period.

Depends very much on the culture, language, and time period.

Rather than ask an abstract question, I've found it best to ask about
the exact submission in mind (as exact as the submitter has taken it,
at least).  All too often, there's some neglected detail that affects
things, or unrelated problem that shoots the whole thing down.

> If so, for documentation do you have to document it as a whole or
> can you document each surname?

There are some well-known facts that you don't have to justify,
because others have done the work well enough that you can piggy-back.
Double given names are registerable in Italy in the 16th C (how much
earlier?  I don't know).  Double given names are not registerable in
Arabic or Gaelic, because we have no period examples at all.
Depending on the culture / language / time period, you may fall into
that category.

But if you have to worry about documentation de novo:

My definition of documentation is simple: to provide all the pertinent
and non-repetitive data available, and arguments from that data, to
allow the reader to judge to what extent an item follows period

So if you find the exact same pair of surnames in the desired culture
/ language / time period, used by various unrelated people in several
distinct places, that would be pretty convincing.  If not, you have to
see what examples exist and extrapolate from them.

You have to be careful with extrapolation.  A fair number of people
don't recognize the patterns in the data.  For example, town names of
Oxford, Swinford, and Hartford justify [large quadrupedal mammal,
probably noted for using the ford]+ford, but that data alone does not
justify other patterns -- Sheepford but not Baronford or Castleford.
Those names may be fine, for all I know -- it's just that those
particular examples do not support them.

As another example of extrapolation, I believe that there are examples
of double given names in Russian ... but almost all of them are one
name from the Christian name stock plus one name from the native
Russian name stock.

Danihel de Lincolnia
Tim McDaniel, tmcd at panix.com

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