Families Unearthed Genealogy Website

naming conventions

When searching for your family history it may be useful to know some of the naming conventions from families of different cultures.

Italian Naming Conventions

In many Italian families, traditional naming conventions are often used. This can be an aid in understanding and researching the family tree. In Italy, traditionally parents choose their children's names based on the name of a grandparent, choosing names from the father's side of the family first and then from the mother's side, such as listed below:

Bali Naming System

In Bali your name is very important for the development of your character. At birth a personal name is decided upon for the baby, but many people may not know what the name of someone else is because he or she is more likely to be called by some nickname while growing up, or by his or her birth order name or caste name.

The most common birth order naming system is that of the 'Wayan - Made - Nyoman - Ketut' cycle. If the family has more than four children, then the cycle begins again, with a different personal name.

What birth order name would you have - Wayan, Made, Nyoman or Ketut?

There are, however, other names to indicate order of birth. The first born could be called Putu or Gede, the second Nengah or Kadek, and the third Komang or Koming.

Also, a name is given according to a person's caste.

In the Hindu-Bali system there are four castes;

  1. Brahmana - priestly caste. Names are prefixed by 'Ida Bagus' for males and 'Ida Ayu' for females.
  2. Ksatria - warrior or ruling caste. Names are prefixed by 'Tjokorde' for males or 'Tjokorde Istri' for females. Also, 'Anak Agung' indicates a person is of this caste.
  3. Wesia - blacksmith or tradesperson caste. Names are prefixed by 'Gusti', or by 'Dewa' (male) or 'Desak' (female).
  4. Sudra - the rest - about 95% of all Balinese. As well as using the birth order name indicated above, the name is prefixed with 'I' for males or 'Ni' for females.