The Grodno Powiat Register and the Names of the Nobility from the Document of 1565

  • Jūratė Čirūnaitė
Keywords: proper name, name, common words-descriptors, horses, military equipment


The article presents the analysis of the names of the nobility from the Grodno powiat in the Army Census of the Grand Duchy of Lithuania in 1565. The structure of the Grodno flag register is described along with the instances of the registration of the nobles with their horses and military equipment, and the cases of sending the nobles and non-nobles to the army are listed. Extralinguistic elements of names (horses and military equipment) are indicated. Examination of the onomastics of male nobles showed that they were recorded as three types of names: names without potential surnames, names with only potential surnames, and mixed names. Twelve different ways of arranging proper names were used. The analysis of the structure of the names of male nobility showed that the names, first and second patronymics, -sk- type proper names, suffix-free proper names, and one -in- suffix derived proper name, which was unusual for the sixteenth century, were used in the names. The second patronymics were usually written in the genitive case while the nominative case was rarely used. In some instances, the first patronymic was omitted and only the second patronymic in the genitive case was recorded. Common words-descriptors were rare. The descriptors of the position prevailed; one common word-descriptor denoting the age group was used. Binary names of men prevailed, although there were many ternary names, and only few instances of single and quaternary names were found. A study of the onomastics of female nobles revealed that they were recorded as two types of names: anthroponyms consisting of the proper names of family members only and mixed names. For women, seven different variations of proper names were used. The analysis of the structure of female names revealed that names, andronyms, -sk- type anthroponyms, female patronymics were used, and the male patronymic in the genitive case (proper name from the spouse’s patronymic) occurred once. Five female surnames (four of married women and one of a single girl) were identified. Common words-descriptors were not used when recording women. Binary female names prevailed, although there were several ternary and quaternary names.