1. Parenting

Naming Practices & Patterns for Countries & Cultures

An understanding of naming patterns can be very helpful in tracing ones ancestry, as families in many cultures followed the custom of naming their children in a specific manner. Learn more about common naming practices, for both surnames and given names, in various countries and cultures around the world.

Naming Patterns & Customs
Check the names in your family tree for possible clues to ancestral ties.

German Surnames & Their Origins
An essay on how to identify German names including spelling clues, prefixes/suffixes and meanings.

Arabic Naming Practices
This article discusss the seven general categories into which Arabic naming practices fall as well as provides lists of given names, cognomens and a bibliography.

British Surnames: Localities, Occupations, Nicknames
A brief overview of early British naming practices from Family Chronicle.

Byzantine Naming Practices
An excellent article on naming practices and name structures in the Byzantine era of the Roman Empire.

Chinese Personal Names
Explanation of Chinese naming practices covers the traditions surrounding the use of surnames and personal names in China.

Common Czech Names of the 15th and 16th Centuries
A list of common masculine and feminine Czech names from the 15th and 16th centuries compiled from several sources.

Dutch First Names & Naming Patterns
Dutch first names can be confusing for foreigners. Nevertheless some knowledge of the naming patterns can be helpful during your genealogical research.

Finnish Surnames and Farm Names
Curious about how your Finnish ancestor received their name? This tutorial covers the patronymic naming system, farm names, and additional information on Finnish naming practices.

India Naming Practices
Learn about naming practices in the Kashmiri Pandit community, including the choosing of gotras, surnames and nicknames.

Irish Ancient Names - Irish Naming Patterns
This site includes common naming patterns, information on Irish female names and a list of ancient Irish proper names with their derivations.

Irish Surname Search
Search this database from GoIreland.com for a brief history of your Irish surname.

Jewish Naming Practices
This paper uses the naming conventions adopted by the Jews of Medieval England (c.1070 - 1290) as a way of generalizing the rules of period Jewish naming. Includes a list of Jewish names.

Latin American Surnames
An in-depth look at personal names in Spanish-American culture by Don Moore.

Lithuanian Surnames
An explanation of common naming practices in Lithuania.

Naming Customs Found in Poland
This helpful page on the Poland GenWeb page summarizes naming customs found in Poland including Polish, German, Ukranian and Jewish naming customs.

Medieval Russia - Names and Naming Practices
Links to several resources for medieval Russian names including a dictionary of period Russian Names and a discussion of medieval Russian naming practices.

Norwegian Naming Patterns
An article on naming patterns and names in Norway by historian Johan I. Borgos, a Norwegian native.

Norwegian Naming Practices
A brief description of Norwegian naming practices, with examples.

PA German Naming Customs - 18th Century
Excellent information for individuals researching 18th Century Pennsylvania-German names and records by Charles F. Kerchner.

Polish Surnames
Basic information on how Polish surnames originated and what typical patterns they follow.

Scandanavian Naming Practices
Information and links to sites with more information on Swedish naming practices as well as Norse, Danish and Finish names.

Scottish Naming Patterns
Information on Scottish surnames including surnames based on patronymics, occupation, location and nicknames. There is also a chart of common naming patterns.

Swedish Naming Practices in Earlier Times
A wonderful site full of information and examples of early Swedish naming practices, including patronymic names, clergy, nobility, craftsman, children born out of wedlock, and emigrants.

Urhobo Names and Their Meanings
A tutorial on names and their meanings for the Urhobo people from Nigeria, courtesy of the Urhobo Historical Society.

Vietnamese Names
An explanation of Vietnamese naming practices.

Welsh Patronymics
An explanation of the Welsh patronymic naming system (where the children of a marriage took their Father's forename as their surname)with examples.

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