RULES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PERSONAL, PLACE AND CORPORATE NAMES
RULES FOR THE CONSTRUCTION OF PERSONAL NAMES
2.1 Personal names
2.2 General rules for the formation of a personal name
2.6 Family names
2.7 Royal names
2.8 Papal names
2.9 Appendix 1: Sources for the formation of personal names
2.10 Appendix 2: Alphabetical list of complete examples
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2.1 Personal Names
2.1.1 Definition of a personal name
A personal name is the name given to an individual, or a name by which he/she is known, consisting of such elements as surname, forename, patronymic, or toponym, and including official and unofficial changes to any of the elements e.g. William Shakespeare, John of Gaunt.
For the purpose of the present Rules, the name of a family indexed as a unit is to be regarded as a personal name e.g. Harley family.
Sovereigns, members of their immediate families, popes and office-holders acting in their personal capacities are usually to be recorded under personal names, not the names of their jurisdictions or offices e.g. Edward VII, John XXIII, Robert Walpole. For cases in which an office-holder is entered under the title of the office, see 4.8.
2.1.2 Contents of a personal name
2.1.2A A personal name may comprise the following components. Each component is either mandatory for minimum conformity (M), mandatory where applicable (A), or optional (O).
The following Rules explain the components and their applicability. For the concept of minimum conformity, see the Introduction 1.4.
For dates, titles, pre-titles and epithets known collectively as qualifiers, see 2.5.
For the components of family, royal and papal names, see 2.6.2, 2.7.2 and 2.8.2 respectively.
2.1.2B A personal name is constructed by combining mandatory and optional components of the name so that the person concerned can be identified with certainty and distinguished from others bearing similar names.
An individual should have only one authorised form of name and each name should apply to only one individual. In cases where it is unclear whether or not an existing authorised name applies to the person being described, another containing a distinguishing component must be created.
In general, there should be no parallel entries for personal names. Cross-references may be used to link non-preferred forms to the authorised name. The form and content of such references will depend on the medium in which they are held, its linking capabilities and whether retrieval is by the entry element alone or by any keyword. The Rules concerning cross-references are therefore recommendatory, not prescriptive and examples are not given in full.
2.1.3 Additional information
The notes area of a personal name record is intended to hold additional pieces of information which may help to identify or distinguish an individual but are not to be treated as components of the authorised name.
Much of this information would be included in authority records created in accordance with the International Standard Archival Authority Record for Corporate Bodies, Persons and Families, (ISAAR (CPF)), (1996).
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2.2 GENERAL RULES FOR THE FORMATION OF A PERSONAL NAME
2.2.1 General rule for choice of a personal name
The chief source of a personal name will generally be the primary documentary evidence. If at all possible, the name as found there should be verified in standard English-language works of reference such as those cited in Appendix 1, and entered in an authorised form compatible with the present Rules as regards fullness, choice of language, transliteration, identification, etc.
If the name is not found in the secondary literature, it should be transcribed from the document, with any modernisation and rationalisation of spelling as can be made with confidence from knowledge of the immediate source and other contemporary evidence.
If there is conflict in the secondary literature, the form ‘most commonly found’ or ‘best known’ should be selected, provided it meets the criteria set out in the present Rules.
Diacritics should be reproduced as accurately as the system of recording allows.
It is recommended that the components of a personal name be presented consistently in the order given in 2.1.2A, both on screen and in print.
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2.3 SURNAMES (M)
2.3.1 Definition of a surname
A surname is the component of the name which a person normally bears in common with the other members of his/her family, as distinguished from his/her given name or forename. 6
The main name or entry element which stands first in an authorised name is generally the surname proper, but in its absence may be a forename, patronymic or toponym standing as the main name.
2.3A General rules for modern English language names
2.3A.1 Simple surnames
If a surname consists of a single word, place it first as the entry element:
2.3A.2 Surnames with more than one element
If a surname consists of more than one word, use the last as the entry element. 8 Additional components of the surname should follow and be separated from the forename(s). Cross-references are recommended as indicated.
2.3A.2.1 Compound surnames
In compound surnames consisting of two or more unhyphenated proper names, use the last word as the entry element, with cross-references from other part(s).
2.3A.2.2 Hyphenated surnames
In surnames which are regularly or occasionally hyphenated, use the last word as the entry element, with cross-references from the other part(s). The hyphen should be retained.
2.3A.2.3 Surname with separable prefixes
In surnames with separable prefixes, use the last word as the entry element, with cross-references from the prefix plus name in direct order if the language of origin requires.
If a preposition or article is attached to a surname without a space, treat it as an integral part of the name.
2.3A.3 Family names or titles
A family name is to be selected as the entry element rather than the title. 9 A cross-reference is recommended if the title differs from the family name.
2.3A.4 Changes of name 10
The last, latest or most recent name is to be adopted as the authority, even if the change takes place late in an individual’s life. Exceptions in the case of some married women are noted in 2.3A.5.1-3. Cross-references from earlier names, particularly if used in public life or over a long period, are recommended.
2.3A.5 Surnames of married women
A woman who marries and adopts her husband’s surname is to be entered under that name. For the discretionary use of the maiden name in the epithet, see 2.5D.7. Cross-references are discretionary.
A woman who marries more than once is to be entered under the name of her last or latest husband, except as prescribed under 2.3A.5.1-3.
2.3A.5.1 Maiden names
A woman who never adopts the name of her husband or who reverts to her maiden name after divorce, is to be entered under the maiden name. Cross-references are discretionary. 11
2.3A.5.2 Maiden and married names
A woman who consistently uses her husband’s name in one sphere of life but her maiden name in another (e.g. uses the former socially but the latter professionally) is to be entered under her maiden name, see 2.5D.7. Cross-references are recommended.
2.3A.5.3 Names of former husbands, etc.
A woman who commonly uses a name which is neither her maiden name nor the name of her last or latest husband (e.g. the name of a former husband) is to be entered under that name. Cross-references are discretionary.
2.3A.6 Pseudonyms or real names
A real name is generally to be preferred to a pseudonym as entry element. 12 Cross-references are recommended from the pseudonym(s), one of which may be chosen as an epithet (see 2.5D.4). Multiple pseudonyms may be recorded in the notes area.
2.3A.6.1 Names adopted in lieu of real name
If a person adopts a pseudonym or stage name and uses it in all aspects of life so that it constitutes an actual change of name, the rule of the last, latest or most recent name given at 2.3A.4 applies. In this case, the pseudonym should be used as the entry element, with a cross-reference recommended from the real or former name. This Rule will most often apply to performing artists whose real names may not readily be known. 13
2.3A.7 Forename standing as the main name
Where there is no identifiable surname, a forename may be used as the entry element: see 2.3E for treatment of medieval names, 2.3B.1.1 for Welsh patronymics and 2.3F.1 for saints known by their forenames.
2.3B Special rules for Welsh and Gaelic names
2.3B.1 Welsh names
For the use of epithets to distinguish common Welsh names, see 2.5D.1.
2.3B.1.1 Welsh patronymics
Welsh patronymics are to be entered under the first element up to a date (usually about 1700 but potentially as late as 1850) when the patronymic is considered to have become formalised as a surname. 14 Cross-references are discretionary but are recommended in the later period if searchers are likely to be uncertain about the choice of entry element.
2.3B.1.2 Welsh surnames
Use the surname as entry element when surnames on the English pattern begin to appear from 1500 onwards.
2.3B.1.3 Modern Welsh names with prefixes
In modern Welsh names (after c 1700-1850 see 2.3B.1.1) the prefixes ab and ap should be treated as inseparable and used as the entry element, whether or not they are followed by a space (compare the Rule for O’ and Mac in 2.3B.2).
2.3B.1.4 Bardic names
The surname is the preferred entry element for Bardic names. A cross-reference from the first element of the Bardic name is recommended.
2.3B.2 Gaelic names
In Gaelic names, O’ and Mac are to be treated as inseparable prefixes and used as entry elements.
2.3B.2.1 Names found only in Gaelic
If the name occurs only in Gaelic in primary and secondary sources, use this language form.
2.3B.2.2 Names found in both Gaelic and English
If both Gaelic and English versions exist, use the English form with a cross-reference from the Gaelic. 15
2.3C Special rules for names in foreign languages
The spelling of names and titles in foreign languages should follow local conventions and standard reference sources from the country of origin, except where Anglicisation is specifically recommended below.
2.3C.1 Names in European languages
In all modern European languages, including those in which naming practices do not follow the English pattern, the last word of the surname or its equivalent should be selected as the entry element, following the general Rules in 2.3A. 16 Cross-references from other elements are recommended.
For example in Icelandic names, the patronymic will become the entry element.
For example in Spanish names, the last surname will become the entry element.
2.3C.2 Names in non-European languages 17
2.3C.2.1 Anglicised forms
If an Anglicised form of the name or an alternative name in English is known, use this in preference to the native form or straight transliteration. If different Anglicisations are found, use the version most common in reliable sources. Variants may be recorded in the notes area.
2.3C.2.2 Names with family or hereditary elements
If the name is written in roman script and is known or appears to include a surname, family name or hereditary name as the final component, the last element should be selected as the entry element following the general Rules in 2.3A. This will apply to Hindu and to many Sikh and Muslim names, especially those of persons resident in Great Britain who may have modified traditional name forms. The Rule is to be followed for both men and women.
2.3C.2.3 Names in direct order
If there is no identifiable surname, family name or hereditary name component e.g. in some Sikh and Muslim names, or if national usage is known to place the family name first e.g. in Chinese names, the name should be entered in direct order with the first word as entry element. Cross-references are recommended in all cases where searchers are likely to be uncertain about the choice of entry element.
2.3C.3 Names in non-roman scripts
Names written in non-roman characters should be transliterated, if no Anglicised form can be found in common reference sources. The Library of Congress rules for transliteration 18 are recommended as a guide.
2.3D Special rules for names in classical languages
2.3D.1 Latin names
A classical Latin name is to be entered under the nomen. Cross-references from Anglicised forms in common use and any other known variants of the name are recommended. 19
2.3D.2 Greek names
A classical Greek name is to be entered in its Anglicised form, if one is known. If not, a Latin version should be selected. If neither form can be discovered, the Greek should be transliterated. Cross-references from alternative forms of the name are recommended.
2.3E Special rules for medieval names
For the purposes of this section, ‘medieval names’ are those of European persons born before 1500.
2.3E.1 Latin or vernacular language
2.3E.1.1 Names found in only one language
If a name is found in secondary and/or documentary sources only in Latin or only in the vernacular, record it in the language found, following the Rules for the order of components given below. Note that in England before 1400, the vernacular may be English or French.
2.3E.1.2 Names with an established form in English
If a name is found in English as well as Latin and/or another vernacular and if the English form is well-established in modern secondary sources, enter the name in English. Cross-references are recommended. 20
2.3E.1.3 Names with no established form in English
If a name is found in more than one language excluding English, or if an English form is not considered well-established, select in order of preference:
In cases of conflict between secondary sources, follow the practice of the most recent writers in English. Cross-references are discretionary.
2.3E.2 Order and form of components
The name is to be entered in direct order until such time as the second component is considered to have become the surname, 21 after which it is to be entered in accordance with section 2.3A.
If there is no identifiable surname, the forename serves as entry element and may be qualified by a toponym, epithet or patronymic.
The modern form of a medieval vernacular forename is to be preferred. 22 If variants of a single forename are found in modern secondary literature, select, if possible, the one most commonly applied to the person in question. After about 1500, and in all cases where the name has no modern equivalent, follow the usage of the primary source.
If the forename is qualified by a toponym, use the modern local vernacular form of place name if identifiable, with the particle of, de, etc. in the appropriate language. An unidentified place name found in Latin should be given in that language with the particle de, and inverted commas are not recommended. The forename should conform to the Rules given in 2.3E.1 and the entry should be in direct order.
When the toponym becomes a surname (see fn 21), the order should be inverted in accordance with section 2.3A and the particle omitted.
If the forename is qualified by an epithet relating to physical attributes, nationality or achievements, use the language and form found in common reference works or preferred by modern writers. The forename should conform to the Rules given in 2.3E.1 and the entry should be in direct order.
If the forename is qualified by a patronymic, use the form most commonly found in the sources. Patronymics consisting of more than one element should be entered with spaces between the words. The forename should conform to the Rules given in 2.3E.1. Forename and patronymic should be entered in direct order until such time as the patronymic is regarded as a surname (see fn 21). Thereafter they should be inverted, and word spacing should follow individual usage.
2.3F Special rules for saints’ names
Follow Rule 2.3F.1 or 2.3F.2 according to whether the saint is generally known by and found in modern works of reference under surname or forename. ‘Saint’ is a mandatory title. It should be entered with an initial capital letter immediately after the date qualifier (for order of qualifiers, see 2.5D.9). 23
2.3F.1 Saints known by forenames
The forename, in its English form if generally recognised, should be used as the entry element.
2.3F.2 Saints known by surnames
The surname of a saint canonised long after death, or commonly known by a family name, should be used as the entry element.
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2.4 FORENAMES (A)
For forenames which serve as entry elements in the absence of surnames, see 2.3A.7, 2.3B.1.1, 2.3E and 2.3F.1.
2.4.1 Definition of a forename
A forename is the component of the name which a person is given in addition to his/her surname.
All forenames must be recorded in full in the authorised name to distinguish and identify an individual precisely. 24
2.4.2 Unused and variant forenames
If all elements of the forename are not normally used, or if a person is commonly known by a variant or abbreviated form of name, the forename(s) must be given in full and in proper form. Cross-references are recommended.
2.4.3 Initials and unknown forenames
Where only initials are known and cannot be expanded using common reference works, the initial letter may be used in place of a full forename. As punctuation is non-prescriptive, a full stop is not required. If no forename can be discovered, a single dash may be substituted:
If a woman is identified only by her husband’s initials, use a dash in place of the forename and include the husband’s name in the epithet.
2.4.4 Changes to forenames
Alternative forenames may be translations of original names e.g. on naturalisation, additional or adopted names e.g. names in religion, or substitute names like nicknames, etc. Once the authorised name has been established, any known additional or variant forenames should be recorded, either as cross-references or in the notes area. The dates of, or reasons for, the change or the precedence of alternative names may also be recorded in the notes area.
220.127.116.11 Latest form of name
The last, latest or most recent form of name is to be used in the authorised name.
18.104.22.168 Names in religion
A name in religion, although it has no legal validity, is to be regarded as a formal change of name and used as the authorised name, following the Rule at 2.3A.4 which gives preference to the last, latest or most recent form. Cross-references are recommended if the original forename(s) are known.
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2.5 QUALIFIERS (M/A/O)
2.5.1 Definition of a qualifier
A qualifier is any addition to a proper name intended to identify and distinguish the individual or family from others bearing similar names.
A qualifier may comprise one or more of the following components. Each component is either mandatory for minimum conformity (M), mandatory where applicable (A), or optional (O).
Dates are mandatory qualifiers. For titled persons, inclusion of the last, latest or highest title is also mandatory. As many epithets as are needed to identify and distinguish an individual may be added at discretion. See 2.5D.9 for the order of multiple qualifiers.
2.5A Dates (M)
A date selected as a qualifier should be the year in which a person was born or died, the span of years of his/her lifetime or the approximate period covered by his/her activities. The inclusion of a date in one of the forms given below is mandatory. 26 For dates which cannot be verified from secondary sources, internal evidence may be used, if necessary in conjunction with one of the conventions (2.5A.3-6) indicating approximation or uncertainty. Each single year date must consist of four figures (eight figures for a span). Dates falling within the same decade or century are therefore not to be abbreviated.
2.5A.1 Span dates
Dates should be expressed in the form of life-span dates (birth and death) if these can be ascertained. The abbreviations b and d are not to be used here. To indicate uncertainty, ? and c (circa) may be introduced into span dates.
2.5A.2 Birth or death dates
Where both span dates are not available, either the birth date preceded by b, or the death date preceded by d, may stand alone. These should be separated from the figures by a space, but do not require a full stop. To indicate uncertainty, ? and c (circa) may be combined with b or d dates.
2.5A.3 Question mark
A question mark is to be used to indicate a degree of uncertainty about a given date. It is more precise than circa, meaning ‘possibly in’ rather than ‘round about’ the given year. It must stand in front of the date, separated from it by a space. As ? applies to one date only, it must be repeated if both birth and death dates are uncertain.
If either or both of the life-span dates are not known exactly, circa (meaning five years before or after) may be applied to an approximate date. The abbreviation for circa is c followed by a space but without a full stop. As c applies to one date only, it must be repeated if both dates are approximate.
Flourit means that the person so designated was active at a particular date or during a particular period. If life-span or birth/death dates cannot be established with sufficient precision to use circa, or if the individual is unidentifiable, a period longer or shorter than the whole life-span suggested by internal evidence, or by the date of the document if contemporary, may be expressed as floruit dates. The abbreviation for floruit is fl followed by a space but without a full stop. As floruit itself is imprecise, it should not be combined with ? or c. 27
2.5A.6 Periods of or within a century
Some persons are described in secondary sources as living during the course of a particular whole century, a fraction of a century, or in early, mid or late portions of a century. Dates in authorised names must be expressed in numbers, not words, and if it is impossible to be more precise, these phrases should be interpreted on the following model.
The same interpretation is to be applied to all centuries. When used as qualifiers for persons, these will generally be floruit dates, preceded by fl.
2.5A.7 Old style and new style dates
All year dates should accord with the Gregorian or new style calendar.
A title is an appellation or form of address attaching to an individual or family in respect of the peerage, the ownership of, or association with, certain lands and significant offices or ranks.
2.5B.1 Peerage titles (A)
The last, latest or the highest title is generally to be selected for the authorised name.
Intermediate titles, if they appear in the primary sources or are well-known, should be recorded in the notes area and may be cross-referred at discretion.
Titles of hereditary peers should be numbered as in G.E. Cokayne, The Complete Peerage (1910). 29 Numbers are not required in cross-references.
The first letter of a peerage title should be a capital (Duke, Earl, Marquess etc.). A territorial designation should be included if it forms an integral part of the title.
2.5B.2 Unnumbered titles
The titles of life peers and courtesy titles are not to be numbered.
2.5B.3 Titled women
A woman who holds a title in her own right should have that title appended as qualifier in the authorised name.
A woman who gains a title only by marriage should be described in the qualifier as wife of her husband’s title, not as Duchess, Countess etc.
2.5B.4 Renunciation of titles
Exceptionally, where the last, latest or the highest peerage title to which a person has claim is not adopted or is renounced, the name or title most commonly used should be selected for the authorised name. The last, latest or highest title may be used as qualifier, preceded by the word ‘formerly’ in the case of renounced titles. If a title in common use serves as qualifier, the rejected title may be recorded in the notes area. Cross-references are discretionary.
2.5C Pre-titles (A)
In English language names, only the titles Lord, Lady, Sir, Dame and Hon may precede the forename. 31 If the pre-title Sir applies, Baronet or Knight in full must be added as qualifier, and Baronets must be numbered. Academic, clerical, military and naval titles and ranks should not be used in this position but as epithets (see 2.5D.2-3).
2.5D Epithets (A/O)
An epithet is a word or phrase describing a person's status, position, occupation, characteristics, nationality, place of birth, residence or activity, alternative or previous or subsequent names, relationships, etc. Select the epithet(s) which are most appropriate to the person named in one or more spheres of life and are most readily identified with that person.
An epithet should be included as qualifier where any possibility of confusion between persons of the same name may arise, despite the mandatory inclusion of dates as the most specific identifiers. Beyond minimum conformity, the use of epithets is discretionary. More than one epithet may be attached to a single name, but epithets should not be used to excess. See 2.5D.9 for the order of epithets.
The initial letters of epithets should be in lower case unless they are formal titles, proper names or other words which always begin with a capital.
2.5D.1 Epithets in Welsh names
In Welsh names, epithets are mandatory if they are available and the name is common, since dates may overlap and leave room for confusion. 32
2.5D.2 Religious titles and epithets
2.5D.2.1 Archbishops, bishops, deans, archdeacons
These titles are to be treated as epithets, not pre-titles. The last, latest or highest diocese is to be cited in the authorised name but others may be recorded in the notes area. Cross-references are not required. See also 4.8 for cases where entry under the title of the office rather than the personal name is more appropriate.
2.5D.2.2 Other Christian and non-Christian clergy
The title reverend is not to be used as an epithet or pre-title. Use instead a specific title or the term clergyman, priest or minister (with indication of denomination). Details of livings, parishes, circuits etc. may be recorded in the notes area.
2.5D.3 Other titles
Academic, military, naval and other titles and ranks may be used as epithets where appropriate. The last, latest or highest is to be selected for the authorised name.
2.5D.4 Pseudonyms and nicknames
A pseudonym is to be treated as an epithet except when it is adopted in every sphere of life and constitutes a change of name (see 2.3A.6.1). In the case of a person who uses multiple pseudonyms or nicknames, the commonest or best-known should be selected as the epithet. The rest may be entered in the notes area to avoid an excessive number in the authorised name. The words ‘pseudonym’ or ‘called’ may be added in full as appropriate for explanation. Cross-references are discretionary if the pseudonym or nickname takes the form of a proper name. Such references should be entered under the ‘pseudo-surname’, not in direct order. Informal nicknames, pet names and descriptive phrases which are not necessarily unique or easily recognisable should not be cross-referred.
2.5D.5 Initials as nicknames
If initials serve as a nickname or pen-name (whether or not they are the first letters of the true names), use the initials as the epithet as if they were a full word, with the addition of the term ‘called’. Cross-references are discretionary.
2.5D.6 Alternative names
An alternative name should be treated as an epithet, preceded by the word alias. Cross-references are discretionary.
Multiple aliases may be entered in the notes area, the commonest being selected as the preferred epithet.
2.5D.7 Women’s maiden and married names
If a woman is known under both her married and maiden names in different spheres of life, or if it is desired to emphasise a family connection or to distinguish two women of similar names and dates, née or afterwards may be used in the epithet. Use née followed by the maiden name when the entry element is the married name. Use afterwards followed by the married name when the entry element is the maiden name (see 2.3A.5). Cross-references are recommended.
2.5D.8 Relationship to another person
The relationship of one person to another, better-known individual or to someone whose authorised name has already been established, should be used for identification only where no other epithet would serve. Such an epithet must be self-explanatory: avoid the use of e.g. ‘sister of the poet’, ‘nephew of the preceding’. If necessary, add a qualifier for the person named in the epithet e.g. ‘son of J Smith of Bristol’.
2.5D.9 Order of multiple qualifiers
Multiple qualifiers may be used as necessary to identify and distinguish individuals. The recommended order for entry and display is as follows: 33
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2.6 FAMILY NAMES
2.6.1 Definition of a family name
A family name is the name shared by a group of related individuals. Under the present Rules, the name of a family treated as a group is a personal name.
2.6.2 Contents of a family name
A family name may comprise the following components. Each component is either mandatory for minimum conformity (M), mandatory where applicable (A), or optional (O).
2.6.3 Name components (M)
The Rules for surnames at 2.3 are to be applied in selecting entry elements for family names.
2.6.4 Titles or occupations (A)
The Rules for titles at 2.5B are to be applied to family titles, the last, latest or highest title being selected as qualifier.
If a family becomes ennobled during the period covered by the documentary sources, the title must be included as a component of the authorised name. If the documentary sources relate entirely to the period before ennoblement, any title acquired subsequently should not form part of the authorised name, though it may be recorded in the notes area. This Rule may result in parallel entries for some families which should be cross-referred (cf. parallel entries for corporate bodies which change their names in 4.2.3).
If a family is associated with a particular trade or occupation over several generations, include this information in the epithet.
2.6.5 Territorial designations (O)
If a family owns a landed estate or is distinguished from other families bearing the same name by association with a particular place, include this information in the epithet.
If a territorial designation forms part of a title, use ‘of’ and the place name following the main part of the title.
If the territorial association is not part of the title, place it before the title
The county name is to be supplied if the place name is common. If the titles relate to more than one place and those place names are common, the names of the relevant counties are to be supplied. County names are to be given in full, but without the word ‘county’ or its abbreviation. For the form of a county name, see 3.8.1, 3.8.3, 3.8.5, 3.8.7.
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2.7 ROYAL NAMES
2.7.1 Definition of a royal name
A royal name is one which refers to persons of the blood royal i.e. sovereigns and their consorts, sons, daughters, brothers, sisters, paternal uncles and aunts, grandchildren in the male line and great-grandchildren by the eldest son of the heir apparent, bearing the titles King, Queen, Prince, Princess, Duke etc, and their foreign equivalents.
2.7.2 Contents of a royal name
A royal name may comprise the following components. Each component is either mandatory for minimum conformity (M), mandatory where applicable (A), or optional (O).
Cross-references from dynastic names are discretionary.
2.7.3 British sovereigns
The titles of sovereigns should reflect, in the shortest form, their formal, customary or statutory styles at the end of their reigns, omitting mention of overseas territories. For the proper titles of British monarchs, see the Handbook of British Chronology, (ed.) E.B. Fryde et al. (1986). 38
Sovereigns of the whole of England up to and including Henry VII should be described as Kings of England (and the separate rulers of Wales, Scotland and Ireland as Kings/Princes/Lords of those jurisdictions or the appropriate parts thereof).
Sovereigns from Henry VIII to Elizabeth I should be described as King/Queens of England and Ireland.
Sovereigns from James I to George VI should be described as Kings/Queens of Great Britain and Ireland. 39
Elizabeth II should be described as Queen of Great Britain and Northern Ireland.
2.7.4 Foreign sovereigns
If a sovereign of a foreign country is well-known and found in English language reference sources with an Anglicised name, then that form shall be preferred for the authorised name. Cross-references are discretionary if the sovereign is also likely to be sought under his/her native-language name.
Otherwise, the name of a foreign sovereign is to be entered in the official language of the country ruled. If no English language form is known, there will be no cross-references.
In both cases, the name of the country is to be given in the form customary in English.
If the customary name of the sovereign includes a surname, place it in direct order.
22.214.171.124 Other titles
The addition of other titles to the name of a foreign sovereign is discretionary.
The consort of a ruling king or queen should be entered under the forename(s). If a consort is well-known by and found in reference sources under a family name, that name should be cross-referred. Distinguish the epithet ‘consort’ with lower case initial letter from the formal title ‘Prince/Queen Consort’ with capitals.
2.7.6 Princes and princesses
Princes and princesses should be entered under the forename(s) with the title as qualifier. For titles deriving from countries other than Great Britain, the country should be stated.
2.7.7 Royal dukes etc.
Other persons related to sovereigns in the degrees noted at 2.7.1 should be entered under the forename(s) with titles and optional qualifiers explaining the relationship.
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2.8 PAPAL NAMES
2.8.1 Definition of a papal name
A papal name is the name taken by a pope as head of the Roman Catholic Church, or by an antipope. 40
2.8.2 Contents of a papal name
A papal name will comprise the following components. All are mandatory (M).
2.8.3 Form of a papal name
Select the form of name customary in English usage. Cross-references from original surnames and forenames are discretionary, if the subjects are well-known by those names and are so called in the documentary sources.
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2.9 Appendix 1 Sources for the formation of personal names
A wide range of reference books can be consulted to supplement and confirm the evidence of primary sources, and to provide the details required to construct an authorised form of personal name according to the present Rules.
The following list includes only a selection of those sources considered to be most reliable, most readily available and of most general application. It excludes specialist and local biographies, encyclopaedias, directories of professions and most foreign language reference works. It also excludes existing archival and bibliographic authority files and catalogues which will often supply precedents for a particular name.
Forms of names
Titles, families etc.
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2.10 Appendix 2 Alphabetical list of complete examples
In the text of the Rules, some examples are truncated to illustrate particular points more clearly. The following list shows all the examples used in the Personal Names section of the Rules in their completed form, with reference back to the Rule at which they appear. All elements included here are mandatory, or mandatory where applicable, except for epithets which must be used to distinguish similar names but are otherwise discretionary. As punctuation is non-prescriptive and may follow local conventions, it is not shown. Cross-references are also omitted from this list, although indications are given in the text where they are recommended or discretionary.
If a surname consists of more than one word, the last is to be selected
as the entry element for the authorised name according to 2.3A.2. The
rest are treated as ‘additional elements’ and placed after the
2 If no surname is present, the forename may be substituted as the mandatory entry element, see 2.3A.7 and references.
3 Dates are mandatory, but if difficult to ascertain, see 2.5A.3-6.
4 The inclusion of titles and epithets beyond the requirements of minimum conformity is optional.
A gender indicator would help to target selection and retrieval of
information but is not essential for identifying a person under the
concept of minimum conformity (except in rare cases where forenames are
unknown or applicable to either sex). Most existing name authority
systems make no provision for such an indicator, and after due
consideration it has not been made mandatory in the present Rules,
though its potential usefulness is acknowledged.
6 For the spelling of surnames, see P.H. Reaney, A Dictionary of British Surnames (1995).
The three dots indicate that the example has been truncated for
clarity. All examples used in the text are given in full in Appendix 2.
Rules 2.3A.2.1-3 are contrary to the language-specific rules in AACR2.
However, the principle of entry under the last element, which the New
Dictionary of National Biography generally favours and AACR2 advocates
where the correct usage in the language of origin is unknown,
eliminates subjective judgement and the need for extensive research
together with the risk of inconsistency and duplication.
Cross-references and cross-field searching should permit retrieval
through alternative access points.
9 This rule is contrary to AACR2 which advocates entry under a title if better known.
This paragraph relates to changes of name which are apparent from
internal documentary evidence or which can easily be ascertained from
common works of reference such as those listed in Appendix 1.
This Rule also applies to Scottish women whose practice was to keep
their own names after marriage until the early 20th century.
12 AACR2 prefers the name by which the person is better known.
13 This Rule reflects the editorial policy of the New Dictionary of National Biography.
A decision must be reached on the basis of the contextual and other
information available, and knowledge of local naming practices.
15 The Gaelic may, of course, remain the preferred form in local and specialist finding aids.
This simplified Rule disregards the practice of the country or language
of origin of the name in respect of compound and hyphenated names,
prefixes, conventions for changes of name on marriage and at different
periods for which AACR2 makes provision. It is intended to be easily
applicable to European names found in British contexts without recourse
to specialist reference books. It is assumed that retrieval will not be
restricted to the chosen entry elements.
Useful guidance is given in a publication of the Ethnic Minorities
Advisory Committee of the Judicial Studies Board, Naming and Naming
Published in Cataloguing Service, bulletin 118, and separately as
ALA-LC Romanization Tables, R.K. Barry (ed.), (Washington, 1991).
This Rule is adopted because of the inconsistency of common Anglicised
forms of classical Latin names. AACR2 allows the choice of ‘the part of
the name most commonly used as the entry element in reference sources’.
This is contrary to the European preference for Latin forms of medieval
personal names, cf. Personennamen des Mittelalters (Wisebaden, 1989).
It has proved impossible to reach a consensus on a precise and
universally applicable date but the broad span 1300-1400 is generally
held to mark the limits of the period during which surnames are
believed to have emerged in England. For persons living between these
dates, discretion must be exercised in selecting an entry element,
based on common reference sources, internal documentary evidence and
knowledge of local naming practices. It is anticipated that generous
use of cross-references will help to prevent duplicate entries.
22 E.G. Withycombe, The Oxford Dictionary of English Christian Names (1977) may be consulted.
23 Additional information not required for minimum conformity, such as status and feast days, may be recorded in the notes area.
24 AACR2 favours the form of forename most commonly found, though initials may be expanded in parentheses.
25 Note that the choice of name is in accordance with 2.3A.5.1.
‘No date’ or its equivalent is not to be used. Internal evidence is
expected to afford some indication of a date, however vague. The
sources of any dates not derived from common works of reference may be
indicated in the notes area.
It is anticipated that floruit dates will be widely used for
unidentifiable persons known only in a local context or named only in
primary sources. In such cases, the addition of an epithet such as
occupation and/or place of residence, though not mandatory, would be
28 Overlapping periods are preferred to consecutive spans to allow more flexible interpretation of palaeographical evidence etc.
29 Commonly known as GEC. Other sources may give different numberings and should be used with caution.
30 The intermediate title Shelburne is not part of the authorised name but is cross-referred.
Sir is not to be used for persons who died before 1500. Sir/Dame or
Lord/Lady should only be applied as a pre-title to a baronet, knight,
D.B.E., D.R.V.O., younger son of a duke, duchess, marquess or
marchioness or daughter of a duke, duchess, marquess, marchioness, earl
or countess. Foreign language titles should be treated according to
native usage. Those which normally precede the name may do so in the
The Dictionary of Welsh Biography (1959) and the Oxford Companion to
the Literature of Wales (1986) are the standard reference works to be
consulted for Welsh names and epithets.
33 This order does not imply any preference for one type of qualifer over another.
Excepting sovereigns and their consorts. The authorised form of name
for sovereigns and consorts is that which appears in The Dictionary of
An ordinal number in roman figures is mandatory for sovereigns if more
than one person bearing the same name has ruled the same country.
For a sovereign, this is the title held at the end of the reign, plus
the last or latest title if the reign ended before death. For a prince,
princess or royal duke, it is the last, latest or highest title held in
his/her own right.
37 For consorts and royal dukes.
This Rule is intended to be compatible with 4.3.2D and its footnote,
whilst reflecting statutory and common contemporary usage. If a title
changes during a reign, the latest form is to be used in the authorised
Although the Republic of Ireland became independent in 1922, Ireland
remained in the formal titles of George V, Edward VIII and George VI.
See E.B. Fryde, Handbook of British Chronology (1986), and documentary
sources of usage in the Patent Rolls.
‘Antipope’ is a convenient and widely-accepted designation (also used
in AACR2) for those set up in opposition to the canonically-elected
pontiffs. Its use is not intended to convey any judgement of the
legitimacy of their claims.
41 See J.N.D. Kelly, The Oxford Dictionary of Popes (1986).
42 Obtainable from the Judicial Studies Board at 9th Floor, Millbank Tower, Millbank, London SW1.