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Spanish Naming Practices

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Mon July 12th, 2010, 3:31 am

"Telynor" wrote:The winner in the naming game must have been Edward VIII, who had the names Edward Albert Christian George Andrew Patrick David at his christening and was known as David to his family.


This is the one who married Wallis Simpson, right? I've read a biography of her and remember that he was called David.

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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Mon July 12th, 2010, 7:10 am

"MLE" wrote: A woman still keeps her own name when she marries, or may call herself by both her own surname and her spouse's, connected with a y (and) -- as in Maria Elena Sanchez y Graciosa.



Hm
No
Until maybe 50 years ago Maria Elena This y That was the way you put anyone's name on official deeds or letters or the birth certificate (?)
*digs up some old papers

Yah very in use in 1905, still half in use in 1935. Losing the "y" after that although I remember the estate wanted to resurrect it some 15 years ago because there are many combined surnames.

This happens when a family is losing some fancy surname due to lack of male heirs. Let's say Sorolla. Pedro Lopez marries Ana Sorolla. Their children would be Lopez y Sorolla. But they (the children) can officialy get both surnames joined in one as "Lopez Sorolla"
If their son Tomas Lopez Sorolla marries Alicia Heras, their children would be named Lopez Sorolla "y" Heras thus preserving Sorolla in the descendants.

When a woman marries she keeps her name. So if she's born Juana Costa Lopez and she marries Luis Lezcano, its correct to address her either as: Juana Costa Lopez, Juana Costa de Lezcano or Señora de Lezcano. If she was born in the 19th century you'll find her on letters and deeds as Juana Costa y Lopez.

Its a little tricky because some surnames are by themselves "de something" like de Albeniz or del Rio for instance. These surnames originated as references to a place of origin.
"So many books, so little time."
— Frank Zappa

User avatar
emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Mon July 12th, 2010, 9:44 am

"LoveHistory" wrote:I have at least one character who hails from Castlie or Aragon (haven't yet decided which). She was born in the very early 15th century, and is the daughter of a marriage her father's parents were against. Though officialy cut off from the family, her paternal grandmother did quietly help to support the couple and their child.

Need to know how many names (i.e. Maria Magdalena Constanza Lucia Teresa Juana Inez Surname de City) she would have been given as a sort-of member of the upper class. Which surname she would have been given (her mother was not Spanish). That sort of thing.

Might need help with respect to her father's name and a few of his relatives as well.

If you can give me any info, I'd appreciate it.


As a sufferer reader I wouldnt suggest more than 3 names for the poor kid :D Still this custom is pretty "modern". Due to the big increase of population in the 19 century (too many cousins with the same names) it starts the obligation to add the name of the saint day. So girls are usually maned Maria (your choise name here) (the saint name here) which makes for 3 given names.

Middle ages: I cant find a reason for this but women used to have a given name and then a second name for which they were known. Its not a second name but a nickname. For instance: Doña Controdo known as Doña Urraca. Cant find the origin or reason for this. In many cases the doña gets attached: Muniadomna (Muniadoña)

Upper classes tended to have goth-german origin names like Gontrodo, Froiliuba, Hermesenda, Adosinda, Elvira, Muniadomna or Leodegundia. (For men: Nuño, Gutierre, Rodrigo, alfonso, Vermudo, Ramiro, Fruela, Gonzalo, Hermeneildo...) while in the lower classes names had usually roman origins: Aurea, Marcela, Marina, Julia, Faustina...

In the west (actual Cataluña) then the names had a big french root in there: Raimundo, Ponce, Arnaldo, Guillermo... not sure about girl names here. Low classes go for roman names everywhere.

Agagon falls in the vasque area which in that time included actual Pais Vasco of course plus Navarra, most of Aragon and Burgos in Castilla. (Which means the old Castilla (known as Bardulia) originates in a vasque speaking zone) Lower classes talked euskera, and not so low since official documents in both euskera and castillian arent that unusual. This is a zone very resistant to external influences. Thier names come from the vasque language or latiniced versions of them: Sancho, Galindo, Garcia, Iñigo,, Fortun, Velasco, Lope, Aznar, Jimeno, Diego for men and Urraca, Oneca, Mencía, Velasquita, Sancha and Jimena for women.

All the above is true until the 14th century. After that names get mixed up and you cant tell anymore the class of someone by his given name.
All of the actual surnames ended in -ez come from the given names in 14 and 15 cent. all of goth or vasque origin: Fernandez, Gutierrez, , Alvarez, Ramirez, Gonzalez, Muñoz, Sanchez, Lopez, Garcia, Diaz etc and names taken from saints like Domingo, Pedro, Juan, Martin or Bernardo.

So in the middle ages they chose surnames by its symbolism or how defining of its lineage it is.

Everything changes when Cardenal Cisneros in the second half of s. 15 promotes the obligation to inscribe births and deaths in the parishes records. This is when we start seeing the -ez surnames.

The older son gets the grandfather by his father name. The second son gets the grandfather by his mother name. It may be the other way when the mother is of better lineage or richer than the father. This custom keeps going till the 18th century. So you find the same names again and again. As an example the name Enrique didnt exist in the castillian dinasty until Alfonso VIII married Eleanor of Aquitaine so Enrique comes directly from Henry II.

When someone from the upper class marries someone from a lower class is the exception. Children of this union arent considered worthy of the dinasty. So their names dont take from the "good" part of the family.

Then there is the superstition or religious influence. Jaime I el Conquitador should have been named after his grandfather Alfonso. But his parents were in the process of anulation so instead records say they lighted 12 candles every one with an apostle name. The last to go off was Santiago (Jaume in catalan) so the kid was named Jaime.

Oh my god this is getting long and boring :D

Resuming, names have an hereditary origin in most cases, and they all have a date of introduction being an anachronism to use them before that.
Exceptions:
-devotion names like Maria, Pedro, Francisco, Antonio, José...
-in the 14 and 15 centuries spanish noblesse adopted names from the arturain legend: Lancelot, Tristan, Galaor, Lionel, Galván, Perceval... (a short lived custom I think. Oh my)
- New names in a family are always introduced via marriage.

The new secular ideology allows nowadays all kind of strange new names.

Back to your question. I'd say the kid would get a name from her mothers family. And maybe a second name from that caring grandmother. The excess in the number of names never has sound too serious to me and I only relate it to very blue stock :rolleyes: Or to sudamerican families with nobility pretensions :rolleyes:

Oh yah and sorry my mistakes. I can read english with no problems but writing it is something else...
Last edited by emr on Mon July 12th, 2010, 9:55 am, edited 1 time in total.
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

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Telynor
Bibliophile
Location: On the Banks of the Hudson

Postby Telynor » Mon July 12th, 2010, 10:59 am

"Michy" wrote:This is the one who married Wallis Simpson, right? I've read a biography of her and remember that he was called David.


Yep, it is.

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emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Mon July 12th, 2010, 1:26 pm

Me again :D
It seems the custom of using both surnames from the father and from the mother started in the 16th century in the nobility and then extended to the medium class. It was a way to differentiate some families from others. But it only became compulsory by law in 1870.
Btw in Portugal they put the mothers surname in first place.
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

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Michy
Bibliophile
Location: California

Postby Michy » Mon July 12th, 2010, 2:56 pm

"emr" wrote: until Alfonso VIII married Eleanor of Aquitaine so Enrique comes directly from Henry II.



I'm assuming this is not "the" Eleanor of Aquitaine, but a granddaughter, perhaps? I know "the" Eleanor had a lot of men in her life, but I don't recall Alfonso VIII ever being mentioned as one of them. ;)

emr -- Thank you for the very interesting explanation of Spanish names. I am fascinated by the etymology of languages and names. I had no idea that the Spanish names that I think of as simply "Spanish" are actually traceable to various roots: Germanic, Basque, Latin, French, etc.

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LoveHistory
Bibliomaniac
Location: Wisconsin, USA
Contact:

Postby LoveHistory » Mon July 12th, 2010, 3:55 pm

Ok, it sounds like I'm going with Aragon here. Could anyone point me in the proper direction as to surnames of the proper derivation?

Using her mother's family's name gets tricky as if she has two or three Spanish given names there will be quite a bit of name clash going on. Example: Maria Elena Concepcion Spencer. (nobody wants to come across that name in a book)

Edited to add: considered naming her after one of my nieces, but I don't think the name is documentable to that place and time period.
Last edited by LoveHistory on Mon July 12th, 2010, 3:58 pm, edited 1 time in total.

User avatar
emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Mon July 12th, 2010, 4:07 pm

"Michy" wrote:I'm assuming this is not "the" Eleanor of Aquitaine, but a granddaughter, perhaps? I know "the" Eleanor had a lot of men in her life, but I don't recall Alfonso VIII ever being mentioned as one of them. ;)


Henry II and Eleanor of Aquitaine had a bunch of kids:

William IX, Count of Poitiers
Henry the Young King
Richard I of England
Geoffrey II, Duke of Brittany
Matilda, Duchess of Saxony
Eleanor, Queen of Castile
Joan, Queen of Sicily
John of England


This Eleanor became Queen of Castille when she married Alfonso VIII, named here Reina Leonor. I have seen her named Eleanor de Aquitania somewhere so thats the way I named her but yah I can see the duplicity with her mother. I guess Eleanor de Gasconia would have been more accurate since thats the dowry she brought to her marriage... Sorry the mix up.

"Michy" wrote:emr -- Thank you for the very interesting explanation of Spanish names. I am fascinated by the etymology of languages and names. I had no idea that the Spanish names that I think of as simply "Spanish" are actually traceable to various roots: Germanic, Basque, Latin, French, etc.


And there is a poet born every minute. I had a friend whose name was Dulce Consuelo (Sweet Comfort) :D
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

User avatar
emr
Compulsive Reader
Location: Castilla

Postby emr » Mon July 12th, 2010, 4:28 pm

"LoveHistory" wrote:Ok, it sounds like I'm going with Aragon here. Could anyone point me in the proper direction as to surnames of the proper derivation?

Using her mother's family's name gets tricky as if she has two or three Spanish given names there will be quite a bit of name clash going on. Example: Maria Elena Concepcion Spencer. (nobody wants to come across that name in a book)

Edited to add: considered naming her after one of my nieces, but I don't think the name is documentable to that place and time period.


Oh I understand the kid can have her fathers surname but not any given names from that branch of the family if the mother is not from the nobility. Given names are directly related to hereditary rights.
This is a good list of surnames from Aragon. I wish you good luck with google translate... ;)
http://www.armoria.info/libro_de_armoria/a/1/
"So many books, so little time."

— Frank Zappa

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MLE (Emily Cotton)
Bibliomaniac
Interest in HF: started in childhood with the classics, which, IMHO are HF even if they were contemporary when written.
Favorite HF book: Prince of Foxes, by Samuel Shellabarger
Preferred HF: Currently prefer 1600 and earlier, but I'll read anything that keeps me turning the page.
Location: California Bay Area

Postby MLE (Emily Cotton) » Mon July 12th, 2010, 4:52 pm

EMR, thanks for that useful website! Is there an equivalent for Castilian names?


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