What forenames reveal about our Ancestors
STOP PRESS! The talk will now be hosted solely via Zoom — you can read more by clicking here.
© EADT 6/12/21
We don't usually have meetings in December but, just as last year, we're hosting an extra talk on the SECOND Monday of the month. However, this time we're not only reverting to a "physical" face-to-face meeting at our traditional Winter start-time of 2:30pm (instead of the previously advertised 7:30pm) but also, following successful trialling, we're continuing with our Zoom option — so, as our first "hybrid" meeting!
This talk is by Denise Bates, a speaker from the Family History Federation (FHF) and who is based in (and talking to us from!) Manchester, on "Forenames and what they reveal about Ancestors", a subject that usually involves some audience participation.
Alongside traditional forenames used across many generations, birth, marriage and death records reveal that there have always been some parents who selected non-standard names. Denise became interested in the use of such names after discovering several examples whilst researching her family tree. This inspired her to conduct her own extensive research into the topic, and enabled her to identify particular naming patterns. She linked this into wider social history, considering what the use of certain names might reveal about individual parents, the times or the community where they lived.
Denise covers royal names, actual and fictional tribute names, names associated with a locality or occupation, and names that reflect a particular moment in history or the parents' anti-establishment views. She also touches upon the declining popularity of names, as well as the inspiration for unusual names — and how they can help a family historian. She promises some seasonal names as well, in this run-up to Christmas.
Incidentally, you can find a related article about English and Irish naming conventions in our Newsletter 45 (p.11) dated June 2019, and another on Scottish names in NL50 (p.12) for October 2020. The articles contain links, which have since changed slightly to
www.findmypast.co.uk/blog/help/traditional-scottish-naming-patterns , for further information.
From 1st October, our annual membership (for an individual, equivalent to the cost of just two talks) runs through until December the next year (2022), and talks attended are then free. So why not consider joining us if you're not already a Member? — though memberships taken out on/since 1st January 2020 are yet to expire. You can read about the full benefits of membership here.
This afternoon event, at 2.30pm, is free to members 'attending' over Zoom, and available to non-members at a cost of £3.00. We've met on Monday afternoons in Winter for several years, and can now revert to the practice. If you wish to ‘attend’, register via our «Book for our next Zoom talk» page by Friday, 10th December at the latest please, and you should receive an acknowledgement within 48 hours or so — and chase us if you don't! The link will be emailed to you around 1:30pm (lunchtime) before the talk. Zoom attendees must always pre-book, so as to receive the necessary Zoom-link email around an hour before the talk starts.
For those attending in person, we're returning to a former and familiar venue, Leiston Community Centre, where a 75"(!) backlit screen (so reflection-free) was installed by Leiston Town Council during the pandemic, as the building has doubled as the accessible Council Chamber for many years. In all other respects, our meeting will proceed as traditionally, with members paying £1.00 at the door to cover tea/bickies, room hire, etc. whilst non-members can attend for £3.00, or indeed are most welcome to join as explained above, there and then. Either way, just turn up(!) and you should find sufficient parking available. Click above, top right, on "View Map" if you need further directions.