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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

First Name

Given name (birth or baptism) in their respective language, followed by their ordinal, if applicable.

Example: Arnaut I.

Middle Name

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.

Example: the Great.

Last Name

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

  • PatronymicPatronymic names are based on the personal name of one's father.

Example: Haraldsen.

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.


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 full name. The language-specific Wikipedia name can be used as a guide.

Example: Charlemagne.

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.

Birth Surname

In most cases, this field should be the same as the Last Name field, since, as mentioned above, women did not take the name of their husband in this period. Alternatively, it may be used to provide an alternate to or significant variation of the surname for both men and women if one feels it warranted.

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