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What's in a Name


This site is under continuous development with the addition of new names at an irregular rate! The initial release on 1st January 2005 was a preliminary version, offered to selected Genealogical Exchange Groups for mass access and user-feedback. It covered the majority of Scottish Forenames. Latin Equivalents have usually been included for those names already present to facilitate searching older documents.

Many if not most English, Welsh and Irish Forenames together with many Gaelic Forenames have been incorporated, as have associated European names. These additional categories were completed in September 2010. We are finding that incorporating new names is an increasingly labour-intensive task. Each name usually has several relationships and the task of ensuring that these are consistent is proving more complex than originally thought. But we will press on.

Note that the primary use will be for English-speaking users.

Surnames were originally included where they were relevant to the Forenames in the database but, because spelling variations are too amorphous, we have decided to delay incorporating these on the site.  We are slowly adding European surnames, of which there are upwards of 300,000, in a very simplified form.  This work has started [May 2013] but will take a long while (see the News page).  If users have a particular need to find out about a surname, please use the Contact Us button on the left. NoteFAQ 18 Gives a summary of the types of surnames.

Updates We will be updating the database continuously rather than waiting until a given category is completed since it is unlikely that "completion" can ever be achieved.

Later formal releases will be made as and when significant updates have been prepared. A long term goal is to try to include names in other, non-European forms - some Sanskrit and Arabic names are already included in their standard Latinised form with some variants. This will depend on the availability of suitable source material. If anyone can provide such material, please use the Contact Us button to let us know.  For example a correspondent supplied us with a source for Hungarian names (Mayar nevek) which has been extensively used for new entries and to supplement previously existing entries.

There will be continuous updating of the site without notice.

This page last updated December 2013.
Thanks to Donald Whyte who provided much of the initial information for this site. Copyright: Ray Hennessy 2004-2013  
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