Old Suiti names

 

Given names tend to change over time.  Some names become old-fashioned and are forgotten.  Some new ones are invented or borrowed from other countries and languages.  Old church registers today allow us to recover a number of interesting names from the past of Suiti community.  Some of them may sound quite different.  

The following men's names today are seldom used or not used at all: Gērts, Anša, Atts, Atiņš, Bieranžs, Inta, Ants, Bartmejs, Gierts, Šalms, Krišts, Lūla, Krištops, Bierens, Jannis, Viļums, Matčs, Indrikis, Sīmons, Lūķis, Inga, Klāvs, Iernests, Bērtuls, Sanders, Reķis, Jorens and Uldrikis.

The following women's names today are seldom used or not used at all: Orša, Orte, Tija, Gēda, Kēršta, Babba, Luša, Madde, Maddala, Mārgieta, Bille, Tāle, Edde, Marence, Mare, Čappa, Jule, Maše, Dārte and Tīģe. 

Traditionally the name "Mārtiņš" in Suiti community was used noticeably less, than in other parts of the country.  Supposedly it can be explained by the fract, that Martin Luther was the founder of the Protestant movement which effectively split the Catholic church in the 16th century.   

For example, in 1774, in Alsunga congregation (the historic Suiti region) 67 boys were given the following names: Jēkobs - 13 times, Jānis – 8 times, Andrejs – 7 times, Jannis – 6 times, Pēteris – 5 times, Miķelis, Adams and Toms – 4 times, Mārtiņš – 3 times, Inta, Brencis and Indriķis – 2 times, but Bērtulis, Jorens, Iernests, Anša, Viļums, Kristaps and Reķis – 1 time.

In the same year 81 girls were named: Grieta – 13 times, Anna – 11 times, Līze – 9 times, Katte – 7 times, Trīne – 6 times, Maria – 5 times, Mārgieta, Bille and Katrīne – 4 times, Ilze, Ortija and Edde – 3 times, Babba, Madde and Čappa – 2 times, but Ieva, Kērste and Tāle – 1 time. 

In 1787, 59 boys were recorded with the following names: Miķelis – 7 times, Ansis and Pēteris – 6 times, Andrejs – 5 times, Toms – 4 times, Jannis, Jānis and Bērtuls – 3 times, Brencis, Jēkobs, Anša, Matīss and Mārtiņš – 2 times, but Matčs, Iernests, Lūkis, Inta, Jorens, Antons, Kristops, Ignatius, Krists, Juris, Indrikis and Reķis – 1 time.

In the same year 95 girls were given: Trīne and Līze – 11 times, Grieta – 8 times, Anna, Maria and Katte – 7 times, Edde, Ilze, Mārgieta, Ieva, Babbe and Kērsta – 4 times, Madde – 3 times, Ortija – 2 times, but Tija, Luša, Orte, Čappa and Maddale – 1 time. 

For comparison, in 1845, 110 boys were registered with the following names: Jānis – 18 times, Krists – 11 times, Andrejs – 10 times, Ādams and Jēkabs – 9 times, Miķelis and Brencis – 8 times, Pēteris – 7 times, Andža – 6 times, Joseps – 5 times, Ansis, Toms and Mārtiņš – 3 times, Inte, Matčs and Reķis – 2 times, but Antons, Jorens, Bērtuls and Jurris – 1 time.

Same year 108 girls were registered as follows: Marija – 18 times, Grieta – 17 times, Anna – 15 times, Trīne – 14 times, Mārgiete – 10 times, Līze – 9 times, Katte and Babba – 5 times, Madde, Ilze and Edde – 4 times, Ieva – 2 times, but Katrīne and Bille – 1 time.

As can be seen from the above, some names have survived  through centuries, some have been forgotten.  There is still a lot to be studied here.