Names From Old Aberdeen, 1636

by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada (Kathleen M. O'Brien)


© 2011-2102 by Kathleen M. O'Brien. All rights reserved.
Version 1.4, updated 12 February 2012


Introduction

 

Acknowledgements

Thanks go to Effric Neyn Kenȝocht Mcherrald (Sharon Krossa) for feedback and advice that has helped me improve this article, especially regarding orthography and formats found in Scottish manuscripts that she has studied from the first half of the 17th C.

 

The Entries

The names found in this article are taken from a list of inhabitants of Old Aberdeen recorded in 1636, a transcription of which was published in the Records of Old Aberdeen in 1899. While today Old Aberdeen is incorporated into the city of Aberdeen, in the early 17th century it was a separate burgh, similar to a small university town today. King's College was founded in the burgh of Old Aberdeen in 1495 and we can see influences of this institution in some of the titles and occupations that appear in the list of inhabitants.

In total, this enumeration covers 203 households including a total of 379 people who are listed by name. The total number of inhabitants is well more than 379 because the enumeration normally does not list names for wives, children, and some servants. Of the 379 people listed by name, 152 are women, 226 are men, and there is one person for whom a gender cannot be determined as only a surname is listed.

This list enumerates each household by grouping the residents, their family members, and their servants into a single entry. Some examples include:

Thomas Dolas, wobster, his wyff, two young bairnes, Alexander Edward, Williame Johnstoune and Cristiane Scherer, servantes. [p. 347 entry 8]

Cristiane Hay, breidseller, and Bessie Watsone, her servant. [p. 349 entry 9]

Walter Sinclair, wricht, his wyff and thrie bairnes, the eldest 15 yeir. [p. 352 entry 15]

From the variety of spellings shown in these entries, it is likely that little to no spelling normalization was done when these records were transcribed in 1899. However, it seems certain that capitalization and punctuation editorial changes were made. See the "Punctuation and Capitalization" section below.

 

Z Used for the Yogh (Ȝ) Character

Yogh (capital Ȝ, lowercase ȝ) is a character that was used in Middle Scots and Middle English. It was pronounced approximately like the y at the beginning of the words you or yes in modern English.

A standard convention in 19th century when transcribing manuscripts into typeface (and into the 20th century as well) was to represent the yogh character (ȝ) using a z. Some entries in this list of inhabitants which exhibit this convention include:

Thomas Robertsone, wobster, his wyff, four bairns, Alexander Senzeour and William Ailes, servantes. [p. 347 entry 4]

George Zoungsone, wobster, his wyff and thrie bairnes. [p. 351 entry 27]

Elspet Tailzeour, candlemaker, and Issobell Fraser, spinster. [p. 353 entry 12]

In these cases, the surnames Senzeour, Zoungsone, and Tailzeour that appear in these entries respectively, would appear as Senȝeour, Ȝoungsone, and Tailȝeour in the original manuscript.

 

Plural Forms of Surnames

In a handful of cases, surnames are listed in a plural form. These cases usually occur when two servants are listed who have the same last name. Example of this type of entry include:

George Chalmer, flescher, his wyff, ane bairn, Johne and Margret Grayes, servantes. [p. 350 entry 24]

Walter Ortoun, his wyff, George and Issobell Ortounes, their bairnes, men and women. [p. 353 entry 1]

In these entries, it seems that a surname has been formed into a plural form, a practice that is not present in English today. In the cases above, Grayes likely represents a singular form of either Gray or Graye and Ortounes likely represents a singular form of either Ortoun or Ortoune. I have noted plural constructions in the name lists below.

 

Possessive Forms of Surnames

Some entries identify the owner of the land or house where the family is dwelling. In those cases, the owner's surname is shown in a possessive form. Examples of this type of entry include:

Elspet Gray, puddinwricht, tuo bairnes, the one of them ane ydle sone in Williame Hayes land. [p. 349 entry 18]

Meriorie Guthrie, without ane calling, in Johne Mersers land, absent. [p. 350 entry 2]

William Willox, spinster, in Williame Nicoll's land. [p. 351 entry 5]

Issobell Carnecorse and Elspet Norie, of no calling, in Johne Gilcrystes hous, absent. [p. 352 entry 22]

Today, we would normally use 's to form a possessive form of the owner's surname. However, only the single entry shown above includes an apostrophe in a posssessive form and that is likely an editorial addition inserted as part of the 19th C transcription. For details, see the section "Punctuation and Capitalization" below.

 

Punctuation and Capitalization

According to Effric Neyn Kenȝocht Mcherrald (Sharon Krossa), the Scottish manuscripts that she has studied from the first half of the 17th C have inconsistent capitalization in names and punctuation is mainly limited to periods at the ends of sentences and commas to delimit clauses in a sentence, but not in lists. Also, a mark that appears similar to an apostrophe is sometimes used to mark abbreviations, but an apostrophe as we know it today does not appear in those manuscripts to indicate possessive.

The 19th C transcription of this list of inhabitants shows nearly perfect capitalization and use of commas in lists. Also, one name shows an apostrophe in a possessive form (Williame Nicoll's land). Based on the manuscript norms for 17th C Scotland described by Effric, the consistent capitalization and use of commas in lists, as well as the addition of the apostrophe in Nicoll's are editorial additions inserted when this transcription was created in the 19th C.

 

Construction Patterns

Of the 379 named persons in this record, 378 of the names shown are formed using the pattern [given name] [surname].

There is a single example of a locative appended to the name (John Gordon of Deuchries, p. 351 entry 6).

 

Name Elements found in this Record

I have also extracted a complete list of full names found in this record.

In addition, I have compiled lists of descriptions and occupations that appear in this record. While these descriptions and occupations do not appear as a formal part of the actual names, these lists give an interesting insight into descriptions applied to some of the people and some of the professions practiced by residents of Old Aberdeen at this time.

 

Source

Records of Old Aberdeen, MCLVII-[MCMIII], Volume 1. (Aberdeen, Scotland: Printed for the New Spalding Club, 1899). pp. 347-355. (http://books.google.com/books?id=0LJCAAAAYAAJ, accessed 27 Jul 2011)

 

Other Resources

Black, George. The Surnames of Scotland. (The New York Public Library, 1993).

Dictionary of the Scots Language. (http://www.dsl.ac.uk/).

Reaney, P. H. and R. M. Wilson. A Dictionary of English Surnames. 3rd edition. (Oxford University Press, 1997).


Feminine Given Names

Masculine Given Names

Sorted By Frequency

 

Sorted Alphabetically

Name:Frequency:
Janet29
     Jane1
     Janet21
     Jeane7
Elspet28
Issobell20
Margret20
     Margaret8
     Margret12
Agnes12
     Agnes11
     Annas1
Meriorie *11
     Mariore1
     Mariorie3
     Meriore1
     Meriorie6
Cristiane10
Kathrin6
     Katherin2
     Katherine1
     Kathrin3
Bessie4
Beatrix3
Helene3
Barbara2
Marioune2
     Marioune1
     Merione1
Annable1
Rebecca1
Name:Frequency:
Agnes12
     Agnes11
     Annas1
Annable1
Barbara2
Beatrix3
Bessie4
Cristiane10
Elspet28
Helene3
Issobell20
Janet29
     Jane1
     Janet21
     Jeane7
Kathrin6
     Katherin2
     Katherine1
     Kathrin3
Margret20
     Margaret8
     Margret12
Marioune2
     Marioune1
     Merione1
Meriorie *11
     Mariore1
     Mariorie3
     Meriore1
     Meriorie6
Rebecca1

Sorted By Frequency

 

Sorted Alphabetically

Name:Frequency:
Johne40
     John12
     Johne28
William33
     William20
     Williame13
Alexander30
James22
Robert17
George16
Thomas16
Andro15
     Andrew1
     Andro11
     Androw3
Patrick7
     Patrick6
     Patricke1
Gilbert6
David3
     Dauid1
     David2
Walter3
Archibald2
     Archbauld1
     Archibald1
Arthour2
Hendrie2
     Harie2
     Hendrie2
Adame1
Cristopher1
Donald1
Hector1
Lawrence1
Nicoll1
Peter1
Richard1
Name:Frequency:
Adame1
Alexander30
Andro15
     Andrew1
     Andro11
     Androw3
Archibald2
     Archbauld1
     Archibald1
Arthour2
Cristopher1
David3
     Dauid1
     David2
Donald1
George16
Gilbert6
Hector1
Hendrie2
     Harie2
     Hendrie2
James22
Johne40
     John12
     Johne28
Lawrence1
Nicoll1
Patrick7
     Patrick6
     Patricke1
Peter1
Richard1
Robert17
Thomas16
Walter3
William33
     William20
     Williame13

* These are all forms of the name we know today as Marjorie.


Surnames

Sorted By Frequency

 

Sorted Alphabetically

Name:Frequency:
Andersone9
     Anderson1
     Andersone8
Gordoun9
     Gordon1
     Gordone1
     Gordoun6
     Gordoune1
Hay8
     Hay5
     Hayes (possessive)2
     Hayis (possessive)1
Forsyith7
     Forsyith3
     Forsyithe2
     Forsythe2
Gray7
     Gray6
     Grayes (plural)1
Nicoll7
     Nicol3
     Nicoll3
     Nicoll's (possessive)1
Smythe7
     Smythe6
     Smythes (possessive)1
Cruikshank5
     Cruikshank3
     Cruikshanke2
Dauidsone5
     Dauidsone3
     Davidsone2
Ross5
     Ros2
     Ross3
Torrie5
Bauerlay4
Iruing4modern: Irving
     Iruing2
     Irwing2
Johnstoune4
     Johnestoune1
     Johnstoun1
     Johnstoune2
Law4
Ortoun4
     Ortoun2
     Ortoune1
     Ortounes (plural)1
Robertsone4
     Robersone1
     Robertsone2
     Robertsoune1
Simsone4
Tailyeour4
     Tailyeour1
     Tailzeour3 Note: likely Tailȝeour in
the original manuscript.
Volume4
     Volume3
     Volumes (plural)1
Watsone4
Ailes3
Barnet3
Blake3
     Blake2
     Blakis (possessive?)1
Chalmer3
Duncan3
     Duncan2
     Duncane1
Forbes3
Foullartoun3
     Foullartoun2
     Fullartoun1
Garioche3
Gibsone3
Hendersone3
Innes3
Kilgour3
     Kilgour2
     Kilgouris (plural)1
Lumsden3
     Lumisden1
     Lumsden2
Merser3
     Merser2
     Mersers (possessive)1
Reid3
Adame2
Addie2
     Addie1
     Adie1
Blakburne2
Blinschell2
Clerke2
Couttes2
Cuming2
Drone2
Duthie2
Farquharsone2
     Farquharsone1
     Farquhassone1
Fraser2
Gairden2
Guthrie2
Halden2
Herevie2
     Herevie1
     Heruie1
Howat2
Jaffray2
     Jaffray1
     Jaffrey1
King2
Knolles2
Leslie2
Moir2
Orem2
     Orem1
     Orum1
Rainie2
     Rainie1
     Rainy1
Sangster2
Stewart2
Still2
Tellie2
     Tellie1
     Tellies (possessive)1
Thomsone2
Troup2
Wat2
Williamsone2
Willox2
Wobster2
     Vobster1
     Wobster1
Woode2
     Wode1
     Woode1
Wyllie2
Youngsone2
     Youngsone1
     Zoungsone1 Note: likely Ȝoungsone in
the original manuscript.
Abell1
Aberdour1
Allane1
Andro1
Annand1
Arthour1
Auld1
Baird1
Bannermane1
Barker1
Bartlet1
Bischope1
Blythe1
Boyes1
Boyne1
Brames1
Brine1
Broune1modern: Brown
Buchane1
Burnet1
Campbell1
Carll1
Carnecorse1
Catto1
Cheilles1
Chrystie1
Citchie1
Collie1
Con1
Coulles1
Couper1
Courage1
Cow1
Craighead1
Crewie1
Curlande1
Cushnie1
Cuthbert1
Cuy1
Daniell1
Dauie1
Deanes1
Dolas1
Donald1
Dreden1
Duiguid1
Edward1
Elmslie1
Fergusone1
Fiddes1
French1
Fyiff1
Gartlie1
Gawine1
George1
Gerret1
Gilcrystes (possessive)1
Glenie1
Gormake1
Hall1
Hantoun1
Hendrie1
Hog1
Hunter1
Hutcheon1
Jake1
Jamesone1
Kedie1
Kellie1
Kelman1
Kemp1
Keythe1
Lamb1
Leeche1
Leith1
Lessell1
Lidingham1
Lillie1
Lindsay1
Linsie1
Littilljohne1
Low1
Lundie1
Mackie1
Mackrines1
Mar1
Maxuell1modern: Maxwell
Meeke1
Megus1
Menzies1 Note: likely Menȝies in
the original manuscript.
Middiltoun1
Mill1
Milne1
Moriesone1
Moubray1
Nicolsone1
Nisbit1
Norie1
Omond1
Paip1
Pantoune1
Paterson1
Pattone1
Peirie1
Petrie1
Philp1
Porter1
Prat1
Reiths1
Ritchie1
Rollie1
Rose1
Russell1
Sandie1
Schand1
Scheipheard1
Scherer1
Schives1
Scrogie1
Selbie1
Senzeour1 Note: likely Senȝeour in
the original manuscript.
Settoun1
Sibbald1
Sime1
Simmer1
Sinclair1
Skedway1
Small1
Spens1
Stanneris1
Stewinsoune1
Sutherland1
Turner1
Vricht1
Wadie1
Wagrellis1
Walker1
Wicht1
Wilsone1
Wricht1
Wrquhart1
Name:Frequency:
Abell1
Aberdour1
Adame2
Addie2
     Addie1
     Adie1
Ailes3
Allane1
Andersone9
     Anderson1
     Andersone8
Andro1
Annand1
Arthour1
Auld1
Baird1
Bannermane1
Barker1
Barnet3
Bartlet1
Bauerlay4
Bischope1
Blakburne2
Blake3
     Blake2
     Blakis (possessive?)1
Blinschell2
Blythe1
Boyes1
Boyne1
Brames1
Brine1
Broune1modern: Brown
Buchane1
Burnet1
Campbell1
Carll1
Carnecorse1
Catto1
Chalmer3
Cheilles1
Chrystie1
Citchie1
Clerke2
Collie1
Con1
Coulles1
Couper1
Courage1
Couttes2
Cow1
Craighead1
Crewie1
Cruikshank5
     Cruikshank3
     Cruikshanke2
Cuming2
Curlande1
Cushnie1
Cuthbert1
Cuy1
Daniell1
Dauidsone5
     Dauidsone3
     Davidsone2
Dauie1
Deanes1
Dolas1
Donald1
Dreden1
Drone2
Duiguid1
Duncan3
     Duncan2
     Duncane1
Duthie2
Edward1
Elmslie1
Farquharsone2
     Farquharsone1
     Farquhassone1
Fergusone1
Fiddes1
Forbes3
Forsyith7
     Forsyith3
     Forsyithe2
     Forsythe2
Foullartoun3
     Foullartoun2
     Fullartoun1
Fraser2
French1
Fyiff1
Gairden2
Garioche3
Gartlie1
Gawine1
George1
Gerret1
Gibsone3
Gilcrystes (possessive)1
Glenie1
Gordoun9
     Gordon1
     Gordone1
     Gordoun6
     Gordoune1
Gormake1
Gray7
     Gray6
     Grayes (plural)1
Guthrie2
Halden2
Hall1
Hantoun1
Hay8
     Hay5
     Hayes (possessive)2
     Hayis (possessive)1
Hendersone3
Hendrie1
Herevie2
     Herevie1
     Heruie1
Hog1
Howat2
Hunter1
Hutcheon1
Innes3
Iruing4modern: Irving
     Iruing2
     Irwing2
Jaffray2
     Jaffray1
     Jaffrey1
Jake1
Jamesone1
Johnstoune4
     Johnestoune1
     Johnstoun1
     Johnstoune2
Kedie1
Kellie1
Kelman1
Kemp1
Keythe1
Kilgour3
     Kilgour2
     Kilgouris (plural)1
King2
Knolles2
Lamb1
Law4
Leeche1
Leith1
Leslie2
Lessell1
Lidingham1
Lillie1
Lindsay1
Linsie1
Littilljohne1
Low1
Lumsden3
     Lumisden1
     Lumsden2
Lundie1
Mackie1
Mackrines1
Mar1
Maxuell1modern: Maxwell
Meeke1
Megus1
Menzies1 Note: likely Menȝies in
the original manuscript.
Merser3
     Merser2
     Mersers (possessive)1
Middiltoun1
Mill1
Milne1
Moir2
Moriesone1
Moubray1
Nicoll7
     Nicol3
     Nicoll3
     Nicoll's (possessive)1
Nicolsone1
Nisbit1
Norie1
Omond1
Orem2
     Orem1
     Orum1
Ortoun4
     Ortoun2
     Ortoune1
     Ortounes (plural)1
Paip1
Pantoune1
Paterson1
Pattone1
Peirie1
Petrie1
Philp1
Porter1
Prat1
Rainie2
     Rainie1
     Rainy1
Reid3
Reiths1
Ritchie1
Robertsone4
     Robersone1
     Robertsone2
     Robertsoune1
Rollie1
Rose1
Ross5
     Ros2
     Ross3
Russell1
Sandie1
Sangster2
Schand1
Scheipheard1
Scherer1
Schives1
Scrogie1
Selbie1
Senzeour1 Note: likely Senȝeour in
the original manuscript.
Settoun1
Sibbald1
Sime1
Simmer1
Simsone4
Sinclair1
Skedway1
Small1
Smythe7
     Smythe6
     Smythes (possessive)1
Spens1
Stanneris1
Stewart2
Stewinsoune1
Still2
Sutherland1
Tailyeour4
     Tailyeour1
     Tailzeour3 Note: likely Tailȝeour in
the original manuscript.
Tellie2
     Tellie1
     Tellies (possessive)1
Thomsone2
Torrie5
Troup2
Turner1
Volume4
     Volume3
     Volumes (plural)1
Vricht1
Wadie1
Wagrellis1
Walker1
Wat2
Watsone4
Wicht1
Williamsone2
Willox2
Wilsone1
Wobster2
     Vobster1
     Wobster1
Woode2
     Wode1
     Woode1
Wricht1
Wrquhart1
Wyllie2
Youngsone2
     Youngsone1
     Zoungsone1 Note: likely Ȝoungsone in
the original manuscript.


Descriptions

Note: these descriptions do not appear as a formal part of the actual names. This list is provided to give an insight into descriptions applied to some of the residents of Old Aberdeen at this time.
 
Description:  Frequency:  Notes:
commer1most likely: "A female gossip or intimate friend"
elder1
poor1
vidow1"widow"
younger3


Occupations

Note: these occupations do not appear as a formal part of the actual names. This list is provided to give an insight into some of the professions practiced by residents of Old Aberdeen at this time.
 
Occupation:  Frequency:  Notes:
Advocat1"A professional pleader in a court of justice" (so, a lawyer)
baxter2a baker
belman1"One employed to make public announcements after ringing a hand-bell to call attention."
book binder1
breidseller7a seller of bread
     breadseller1
     breidseller6
bronduster1a mistranscription of brouduster "embroiderer"
browster3a brewer
     brewster1
     browster2
candlemaker1
cordiner13a variant of "cordwainer" - a shoemaker
couper2"cooper" - a barrelmaker
cuike1"cook"
customer1"An official having charge of the customs; a customs officer."
fischseller1"fish-seller"
flescher4"flesher" - a butcher
gairdner4"gardiner"
heilmaker1"heel-maker" (as in the heel of a shoe)
husbandman8a farmer
kailseller2"kale-seller" (kale is a form of cabbage)
keiper1"A keeper of a herd of cattle, sheep, etc.; a herdsman."
laxfisher2a salmon fisher
     laxfischer1
     laxfisher1
Occupation:  Frequency:  Notes:
measone1"mason"
merchant2
     merchand1
     merchant1
muxter1(unknown meaning)
net wywer1"net-weaver"
notar1a notary
puddinwricht1a pudding maker
saidler1"saddler" - a saddlemaker
servant149
sewster2someone who sews
     sewster1
     sewsteris (plural)1
shanker2"One who knits, or weaves, stockings."
skinner2
smythe5"smith"
spinster8someone who spins
     spinster7
     spinsteris (plural)1
staibler2runs a stable
sub-principall1"A university vice-principal (at King’s College, Aberdeen)."
tailzeour11"tailor" - likely tailȝeour in the original manuscript
traveller1"One who travels, a traveller or wayfarer."
wobster22"webster" - a weaver
workman1
wricht5"wright"


Medieval Scotland | Medieval Names Archive | Names From Old Aberdeen, 1636


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