Latin recorded name vs common name

+5 votes
Esprit Ponsi. His name is recorded by the Roman Church curé as Spirito Pontio. But the name is transcribed in the common language as Esprit Ponsi. Many of the records I am working with in the Comte-de-Nice have this problem.  Giovanni is Jean, Guiseppe is Joseph, Pietro is Pierre, etc.

I have a certain resistance to using the Latinized versions of these names, yet that is how they are written in the church record.  Does anyone have recommendations about how I should deal with these in WikiTree?  

Thank you.
WikiTree profile: Esprit Ponsi
in Policy and Style by Duane Poncy G2G6 (8.8k points)
recategorized by Jillaine Smith
(Nitpick: Jean, Joseph, and Pierre are French. In Latin, they would be Johannes, Josephus, and Petrus.)
Yes, my current thought is that Italian is the language used in these records, as this area is on the Italian border. But the French speakers did not go by the names used in the records.

That's why we have "Proper First Name" for any documented name be it Latin or Italian or French or Occitan or Nissart/Niçard and "Preferred Name" for the name people were actually going by.

3 Answers

+4 votes
Best answer
There are lots of records in my part of the world in early days of the colony which are in Latin also.  The names at birth get entered in the French version of the name, not the Latin, since nobody except the priests ever used the Latin version.  And after a while the priests switched to French in any case.
by Danielle Liard G2G6 Pilot (692k points)
selected by Duane Poncy
+8 votes

This question gets raised every now and then. See for example. The gist of the response is to use their language, which is not Latin. For records I’m familiar with in the Czech Republic, early records for a family may be in Latin, with later ones being in German or Czech, depending on the location.

by George Fulton G2G6 Pilot (671k points)
+5 votes
Just as a different point of view: I'm listing the name as found in the record, if subsequent documents show use in a different language I will put that name in the Preferred Name field. Reason: It is often not possible to know what common name a person actually used unless it is documented. In the case of Bohemia Laurentius could be Laurenz, Lorenz, Wawrzinec (old orthography) or Vavřinec (modern orthography). Last name is no help since there are plenty of examples of families with German last names speaking Czech and vice versa.
by Helmut Jungschaffer G2G6 Pilot (614k points)
If the person's native language is unknown, the Latin version of the name can be a good compromise, but it does have the drawback of being definitely incorrect as the person's use name (unless it's something like Anna that's the same in Latin and the local vernaculars).

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