What is 'Agnetae' in modern English?

+8 votes
I have come across a couple who are named

Robertus, Robti, Robte, Robtus, and his wife Agnet, Agneta, Agnetae, with children Phillipus, Robtus, and Agneta.  (This is in the early 1600s).

Would they be Robert and Agnes, with children Philip, Robert, and Agnes? And which style of name should I use in profiles - for instance, Agnetae or Agnes?
in The Tree House by Ros Haywood G2G Astronaut (1.3m points)
Which ever way you decide to go, I don't think using the genitive form of the name (Agnetae) would be appropriate. As it means "of Agnes" you wouldn't call her "of Agnes" if you would use English, therefore it would not be correct to call her Agnetae in Latin.

3 Answers

+14 votes
Best answer
There was a fetish for Latinising names in English medieval documents and then making things worse by applying Latin grammar to them, particularly using the genitive case (-i for male names and -ae for female) . I would suggest just using the English names.
by Matthew Fletcher G2G6 Pilot (108k points)
selected by Mel Green
I agree.
I don't think I'd call it a "fetish." Latin was the official language of the church.
But then you would expect the rest of the sentence to be in Latin.  Sometimes it was - but for the most part, it was only the names which were Latinised, and the rest of the sentence was in modern English - which looks weird.
I agree, just use the English form of the name, my name was written in Latin in the marriage register, (not just my name the whole entry was in Latin as late as 1983) but I would never use that form of my name.
+5 votes

If the latin was on an official document, such as a baptismal register, which is where latin tends to appear, shouldn't we follow guidelines https://www.wikitree.com/wiki/Help:Name_Fields#Proper_First_Name

"Proper First Name

This field could also be called Formal First Name or First Name at Birth.

This is the formal given name that would appear in official documents."

by Anne B G2G Astronaut (1.2m points)
The problem with following that guideline strictly then is that  we would end up with  British/English Kings called Jacobus II, Carolus I and Ricardus II (and we'd find it even more difficult to find them than it is as present) The children of people who could not read or write and certainly had no knowledge of Latin  would become Maria and Guilemus and Gualterus  but  wouldn't answer to those names if you addressed them with them  Meanwhile in the neighbouring parish their cousins would be called Mary, William and Walter since the vicar/clerk there used English
Their names at birth were the English versions given by their parents, not the latin variants used on some church records.
But what if the parents spoke different languages?

A boy might have been called James by his father and Jacques by his mother.   This is not the same as if he were called James by his father and John by his mother.  Americans first have to get why it's not the same.
Maybe, but that is a different situation to the question of whether to replace a given name with the Latin version imposed by the church in its documents.
+2 votes
We have the same question with first names in the civil records in The Netherlands in the period 1811-1814. At that time The Netherlands were part of the French Empire and the birth, death and marriage records were in the French language, sometimes in both French and Dutch, rarely in only Dutch. Names were translated from Dutch to French,. The Dutch first name Jan or Johannes became Jean, Hendrik or Hendrikus was Henri.Later, when The Nederlands were independent again, the names Jan, Hendrik or Pieter were used as official first names for the same persons.
by Niek Boevé G2G6 Pilot (179k points)

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