Changes in Naming Patterns in 19th Century Estonia. Discarding the Names of Parents and Godparents
There were extensive changes in names and naming patterns during the 19th century. In Estonia, in addition to other significant changes, the names chosen for children were less and less influenced by the surrounding community. In other countries, the practice of giving children their godparents’ name has been researched by Smith-Bannister (1997); Garðarsdóttir (1999); Hacker (1999); Sangoï (1999); and van Poppel, Bloothooft, Gerritzen, and Verduin (1999). Social relationships played a far bigger role in the city than in the rural areas; thus the tradition of giving children their godparents’ names was preserved better in the cities. The parents’ choice was not regulated by the Lutheran church either. In Estonia, the practice of giving children double names spread only at the end of the 19th century; thus the emergence of modern names removed the names of the parents, grandparents and godparents from usage, especially in the case of girls’ names.