GEN-MEDIEVAL-L ArchivesArchiver > GEN-MEDIEVAL > 2010-11 > 1289914735
From: Matt Tompkins <>
Subject: Re: Names and their Latin forms to be used or not to be used
Date: Tue, 16 Nov 2010 05:38:55 -0800 (PST)
On Nov 16, 12:33 pm, "Colin B. Withers" <>
> I too was baffled by some strange names in the late 16thc and throughout the 17thc. There was a cluster of baptisms in the East Riding, where the girls' name Sith [Syth, Sythe, Sytha] was cropping up all over the place.
> I couldn't find any origin for this forename, nor could I find any notables of that period that these girls were being named after [what we really need is a good forename dictionary, ala Reaney or Bardsley for surnames]
> It was not until I started a genealogy of the Vavasour family of Willitoft in the East Riding did the first clue appear. The Vavasours were renown recusants, and when I started to recheck the other Sith instances I found that the families where this name cropped up were also found in the various returns of papists and recusants.
> At the 'Sex and Violence' conference in York last weekend I had an opportunity to discuss this with Chris Webb of the Borthwick, and he informed me that it was common practice for Catholics during this period to use the names of Saints for their children, and during the harshest periods to use the names of much lesser known Saints, and the names provided subtle clues as to the religious affiliation of the family. I tried searching for a St Sith, and eventually found that it was a contraction of St Osyth.
> I found it amazing the uses that forenames have been put to over the centuries, and the way that certain forenames were being used by various sects and denominations, and other groups.
You'll find a brief discussion of Sith and its popularity in some
areas of the North in George Redmonds' Christian Names in Local and
Family History, at pp. 100-1, though he doesn't explain its
persistence in terms of recusancy - he seems to regard it more as a
matter of local and family naming traditions dating back to before the
|Re: Names and their Latin forms to be used or not to be used by Matt Tompkins <>|