Personal naming practices in early modern Scotland: a comparative study of eleven parishes, 1680-1839

Crook, Alice Louise (2016) Personal naming practices in early modern Scotland: a comparative study of eleven parishes, 1680-1839. PhD thesis, University of Glasgow.

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This thesis investigates name giving in early modern Scotland through the collection and analysis of a corpus of 63,460 baptismal records from the Old Parish Registers of eleven parishes between 1680 and 1839. Some use is also made of marital and burial records. Parishes were chosen to represent a range of geographical, linguistic, and social variables, and comprise Auchtermuchty, Dundonald, Durness, Govan, Holm, Kilmallie, Kilrenny, Longside, Saltoun, Tiree, and Tongland.
While large collections of first names from both mediaeval and modern Scotland have recently been made available, a dataset of early modern names has not previously been produced. The lack of such data and subsequent lack of analysis are particularly important to redress due to both the political and social upheaval in Scotland during this time, and the development of naming systems in contemporary Europe. This thesis therefore contributes both a dataset of early modern names and preliminary analysis of these names, allowing Scotland to be situated within the wider European context.
The principal methodology is quantitative. By this means, the study establishes and compares the name-stock in the different parishes. It also investigates sources of names, such as first names derived from surnames, and female names derived from male names, and highlights regional and other patterns.
Naming motivations are investigated through close analysis of name-sharing. Records for 16,426 families are used to establish the incidence of name-sharing with parents, maternal and paternal grandparents, deceased elder siblings, other relatives, and non-relatives such as godparents, landowners, and ministers. Birth order and unusual names are used to investigate the likelihood of name-sharing being deliberate. Rates of name-sharing are also used to demonstrate the varying incidence of conformity to the so-called Scottish ‘traditional’ naming pattern (naming after relatives in fixed sequence). For all naming practices, regional differences between these geographically disparate communities are examined, with particular focus on the Highland/Lowland divide.
Although the thesis focuses primarily on first names, middle names are also examined, in terms of the name-stock, the influences behind naming, and the upward trend of this emerging practice throughout the period studied. The research establishes the primacy of mothers’ maiden names in this position, and also investigates the incidence of other types of commemorative middle names.
In addition to quantitative analysis, complementary qualitative analysis of 12 case studies is presented. Each case study comprises one extended familial group, making it possible to explore in greater detail how various naming practices were used within individual families.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Qualification Level: Doctoral
Keywords: Early modern Scotland, personal names, naming practices, naming patterns.
Subjects: P Language and Literature > P Philology. Linguistics
Colleges/Schools: College of Arts > School of Critical Studies > English Language and Linguistics
Supervisor's Name: Hough, Professor Carole and Taylor, Dr. Simon
Date of Award: 2016
Embargo Date: 31 May 2021
Depositing User: Miss Alice Crook
Unique ID: glathesis:2016-8223
Copyright: Copyright of this thesis is held by the author.
Date Deposited: 05 Jun 2017 11:14
Last Modified: 23 May 2023 11:03

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