Names in the Low Lands 1250-1300

High-medieval given names and bynames in The Netherlands and Flanders

Analysis 2: Variation in given names

Between 1250 and 1300, the variation in given names was much lower than during the early Middle Ages.
A survey of masculine names in the Low Lands before 1150 yielded roughly the same number of individuals as the present survey for 1250 - 1300 (see Names in the Low Lands before 1150). The number of unique given names, however, was about three times higher in the early Middle Ages. There was also a striking difference in the contribution of the top-10 to the total: between 1250 and 1300, about half the men had one of the 10 most popular names, while before 1150 this was only 12%. For feminine names, the overall numbers were lower, but the same trends were visible.
The pre-1150 study already revealed a decrease in variation of given names over the centuries, from 700 to 1150. The present study showed that this decrease continued after 1150.
This pattern was caused by a decrease in the number of different Germanic names. The variation in non-Germanic names increased, as compared with the earlier centuries, but not enough to compensate for the loss of Germanic names.

gender period number of persons unique given names mean persons/name persons with a top-10 name
male before 1150 4054 1148
G:1101 NG:47 X:0
3.5 488 = 12%
  1250 - 1300 3146 347
G:269 NG:63 X:15
9.1 1646 = 52%
female before 1150 527 298
G:285 NG:13 X:0
1.8 88 = 17%
  1250 - 1300 503 125
G:89 NG:31 X:5
4.0 239 = 48%

Unique given names in the early Middle Ages and in the 13th century.
G = Germanic, NG = non-Germanic, X = unknown or mixed origin.



Raw data (550 Kb)
Given names women
Given names men
Occupational names and Nicknames
Non-Germanic names
Most popular names
Dr. Kees C. Nieuwenhuijsen

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