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The scope of this project is Europe during the Middle Ages; a period that began with the fall of the Western Roman Empire in 476 and ended during the European Renaissance in the 14th century.

List of medieval Europe projects

Medieval Europe naming conventions


Leave this blank, except for Sir, Rev, Syr ... , and place titles in the Suffix field (see below).

First Name Field

Given name (birth or baptism) in their respective language, followed by their ordinal, if applicable. Try to get the name as close to the original name as possible, taking into account the original language/ dialect and time period. (Cut & paste from Wikipedia etc can provide the appropriate diacritical marks if they aren't a function on your keyboard.)

Example: Arnaut I.

Middle Name Field

Middle names are rare in the medieval period; if the person had two names, they usually used both in combination.

Example: Pèire Bernat. The more common use of this field for medieval profiles is for sobriquets, or nicknames, enclosed in single quotes (' '), double quotes (" ") or guillemets (« »), depending on the language, & patronymics.
Example: the Great.

  • Patronymic Patronymic names are based on the personal name of one's father, and change every generation (See below)

Example: Haraldsen.

Birth Surname Field - ONLY if the name has become a Surname that is passed on to future generations

Obviously, people did not have surnames in this period (at least as we commonly use them today). If they did have a surname, it was usually either toponymic or patronymic. This was case for both men and women as wives did not take the name of her husband. Occasionally this name became the name of a royal house which was passed down to their descendants. Please use proper case for this and all other fields.

  • Toponymic Toponymic names, or noms de terre, are place-based names that generally reflected a noble family's lands or estates over which they had sovereignty or a person’s place of birth.

Example: de Clermont

In the case that both patronymic and toponymic names exist, place the patronymic name first, followed by the toponymic.

Example: Remíriz d'Aragón or FitzGilbert de Clare. In the case that both a patronymic and a surname exists, place the patronymic in the Middle Name field, and the surname in the Birth Surname field.

Last Name

In most cases, this field should be empty (or have the birth surname duplicated in it), since women did not usually take the name of their husband in this period, except in very specific cases. Use the names they were known by at the time.


The suffix field should be used for titles. In many cases, a person will have multiple titles. For simplicity and legibility, use the titles of most importance and place other titles in the Occupation field. If a woman holds a title in suo jure, or by her own right of inheritance, please include this title in the suffix field.

Example: comte d'Urgell or Heiress of Belvoir.

Display Name

This field should be used as a more concise reiteration of the modern name usage. When a name is in a dialectal or archaic form, this field may also be used to provide an alternative in the language to which your Naming Fields are set. The language-specific Wikipedia name can be used as a guide.

Example: Charlemagne.

Also Known As

All name variants and additional nicknames should be placed in the Also Known As field. Please note that this field is searched and displayed in Geni search results.

Also see

External links