People of Medieval Scotland
1093 - 1371

Editorial information on personal names

The new People of Medieval Scotland database incorporates a good deal of new research on personal name forms, which is why the forms of many of the less common names in the database appear different from the Paradox version of the database. All the changes that have been made since the original publication of the Paradox database have been noted in the section called 'Changes and updates made to personal names between PoMS 2010 and PoMS 2012'.

Perhaps the most noticeable changes in personal name forms have been to the Gaelic personal names in the database. This is the result of major new analysis by Professor Roibeard Ó Maolalaigh, which will be published in a chapter entitled 'Gaelic Names and Elements in Scottish Charters 1093-1286' in a forthcoming volume on personal names in medieval Scotland. This research has resulted in the creation of a list of standard medieval and modern forms of Gaelic names appearing in the database which can be seen on the person pages.

The 'headline forms' of many personal names - the form you see at the top of the person page - have also changed, some as a result of the new research on Gaelic names. For an explanation of the presentation of Gaelic names in headline forms, see the section Headline forms of Gaelic names. Many other changes to less common names in the database, especially Scandinavian and Old English names, have been made, and new forms have sometimes been adopted in order to standardize variant spellings. These changes can be viewed here.

Bibliography on personal names

The following books have been invaluable in the development of new headline name forms by Dr Matthew Hammond:

Farmer, David, The Oxford Dictionary of Saints, 5th edn (Oxford 2003)

Forssner, Thorvald, Continental-Germanic Personal Names in England in Old and Middle English Times (Uppsala 1916)

Hanks, Patrick, and Hodges, Flavia, A Dictionary of First Names (Oxford 2003)

Insley, John, Scandinavian Personal Names in Norfolk, Acta Academiae Regiae Gustavi Adolphi LXII (Uppsala 1994)

Jensen, Gillian Fellows, Scandinavian Personal Names in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire (Copenhagen 1968)

Ó Corráin, Donnchadh, and Maguire, Fidelma, Irish Names (Dublin 1981)

Reaney, P. H., and Wilson, R. M., A Dictionary of English Surnames, 3rd edition (Oxford 1997)

Rollason, David and Lynda (eds), The Durham Liber Vitae, Volume II: Linguistic Commentary (London 2007)

- The following chapters were particularly helpful:

Insley, John, with Rollason, David, ‘Scandinavian Names’.

Insley, John, and Rollason, David, with McClure, Peter, ‘English Dithematic Names’.

McClure, Peter, with Rollason, David, ‘Continental Germanic Names’.

Searle, William George, Onomasticon Anglo-Saxonicum: a list of Anglo-Saxon proper names from the time of Beda to that of King John (Cambridge 1897)