Sara L Uckelman on Sun, 26 Jun 2005 11:47:53 -0500 (CDT)

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[HS] Lesson 13: Marital bynames in German

I've had great luck in the last few months to find a number
of sources from Germany all in roughly the same time period:

Baden-Wuerttemberg 1495:
   Schmid, Peter. _Der Deutsche Orden und die Reichssteuer des Gemeinen 
   Pfennigs von 1495: Die Grundherrschaft des Deutschen Ordens im Reich 
   an der Wende vom 15. zum 16 Jahrhundert_. (Neustadt: Degener in 
   Kommission, 2000.)
   "German Given Names from 1495"

Rottweil (also in Baden-Wuerttemberg) 1441:
   Mack, Eugen, _Das Rottweiler Steuerbuch von 1441. K{o"}nigsfestgabe 
   des Rottweiler Geschichts und Altertumsvereins unter der 
   Schirmherrschaft Seiner Majest{a"}t K{o"}nig Wilhelms II von 
   W{u"}rttemberg_. (T{u"}bingen, H. Laupp, 1917.), pp. 126-151
   "German Names from Rottweil, Baden-W{u"}rttemberg, 1441"

Nuernberg 1497:
   Fleischmann, Peter, _Reichssteuerregister von 1497 der Reichsstadt 
   N{u"}rnberg (und der Reichspflege Weissenburg)_, (N{u"}rnberg: 
   Gesellschaft für Familienforschung in Franken, 1993.)
   "German Names from N{u"}rnberg, 1497"

The last book also has data from cities surrounding Nuernberg, and
in Weissenburg (I'm still working on compiling this data).

While the relative popularity of names and the spelling variations
that result from the different dialects all vary from place to
place, once thing that I've noticed is similar patterns in married
women's bynames throughout all of these data sets.

In the Baden-Wuerttemberg 1495 data, if the woman's husband was 
still living, she would be referred to almost exclusive as "his wife",
with her husband preceding her in the entry.  However, if she was
a widow, or the head of her household, than invariably she was
given with either the feminine form of her husband's surname.
The standard way of forming a feminine form of a surname is by
adding <-in> to the end of it, e.g.:

   Margreth Pfeifferin (from <Pfeiffer>)
   Kyferin (from <Kyfer>)
   Dorothea Schefferin (from <Scheffer>)

In the Rottweill 1441 data, all women were listed with a surname,
and if that surname was not a locative one (i.e., <von X> for
some place X), then almost certainly it would have been either
the feminine form or the possessive form of her husband's surname.
There are two ways of making a surname possesive; the standard is
to just add <-s> to the end, e.g.:

  Greth Aigels (from <Aigel>)
  Katherin Bendels (from <Bendel>)
  Gerlin Blattners (from <Blattner>)
  Adelhait Deners (from <Dener>)
  Ann Dieterlins (from <Dieterlin>)

though you do sometimes get them formed by adding <-z>, e.g.:

  Ka[e]therlin Banwartz (from <Banwart>; here the [e] represents
   an <e> superscripted above the <a>)
  Aellin Schidholtz (from <Schidholt>)

The other way (and I can't tell you when one was used rather than
the other because it involves German grammar rules that I don't
know) is to add <-en> to the end, e.g. 

  A[e]llin Sprengen (from <Spreng>)
  A[e]llin Bletzen von T{u"}slingen (from <Bletz>)
  A[e]nnlin Blu[o]men (from <Blu[o]men>)

The dataset from Nuernberg 1497 and the surrounding areas has,
in my opinion, the neatest way of forming marital byname: The woman
uses both her husband's given name and his surname in the feminine
or possessive form, e.g.

  Margreth Ulrich Rottmundin, 
  Helena Wilhelm Rumlin
  Anna Fricz Ditterichs
  Anna Kuncz He{sz}in
  Kun Mertten Flinderin
  Katterina Herman Schneiderin

(I like the idea that I could be <Sara Joel Uckelmanin> if I want
to... :))  In addition to this construction, you also find the 
standard construction of just using the husband's surname feminized:  

  Ursula Hurnyn
  Anna Beyellin
  Barbara Morschin
  Ella Kamererin
  Katherina Barfussin
  Katherina Frawonbergerin

Lots of neat stuff for a 15th century German woman who wants to
indicate that she is the wife of someone.


vita sine literis mors est
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