Articles > Names
Spanish Names from the Late 15th Century
by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith,
© 1999-2000 by Julia Smith; all rights reserved.
Last modified 10 Mar 2000
Household accounts give a wealth of information about the lives of
people in the past. These records of expenditures allow us to deduce a
great deal about life: what goods were produced in the household and
which were purchased, how many workers a family employed, and even the
colors and kinds of fabric used in clothing. The account books of Isabel
of Castilla (Isabella in English), the queen whose marriage to Fernando
of Aragon united Spain and who sent Columbus on t his voyages of
discovery, are also a wonderful source of data about naming practice.
The names of 1957 men and 456 women who received money from the queen
From this data, a picture of Spanish naming practice in the last quarter
of the 15th century can be drawn. Fifteenth century Spanish names
reflect both traditional names that had been used for centuries and new
names that were beginning to come into use. Names are fairly simple,
with the vast majority of people having a single given name and a single
element surname. Moslem and Jewish names appear in small numbers, and are
Table of Contents
- De Atienza, Julio, Nobiliario Español (Madrid: Aguilar SA de
- De la Torre, Antonio and E. A. de la Torre, eds., Cuentas de Gonzalo de
Baeza Tesorero de Isabel la Cato/lica (Madrid: Biblioteca "Reyes
- Diez Melcon, R. P. Gonzalo, Apellidos Castellano-Leoneses: Siglos
IX-XIII, ambos inclusive (Universidad de Granada, 1957).
- Dutton, Brian, et al. Cassell's Spanish and English Dictionary (New
York: Collier Books, New York, 1969).
- Talan Gwynek, "A Glossary of the Personal Names in Diez Melcon's
Apellidos Castellano-Leoneses", Known World Heraldic Symposium
Proceedings (SCA: Chicago, 1993).