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Medieval names to beware of

If, for whatever reason, you want to compile a list of medieval names, a web site called The Medieval Names Archive claims to steer you clear of unreliable sources:

People have lots of different reasons for compiling lists of names, and most of them don’t result in good sources for medieval names…. When you are faced with a name list, here are some signs that it is probably unreliable as a source of medieval names:

  • No dates.
  • No list of sources where the author found the names.
  • The title of the list includes the word baby.
  • There is a meaning given for every name.
  • Languages of origin are given with unscholarly terms like Teutonic or Celtic.
  • There is no variation in the spelling of names, i.e. every William is spelled the same.

Here is a list [only highlights of which appear below] of some websites that offer name lists that you should avoid if you are looking for medieval names…:

 

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