We all wonder about the origin of some of the names that we encounter in our genealogy quest. The spellings are really strange at times, let alone the words themselves.
I have an Alys and a Vyvyan in my ancestral tree. The spellings… in this case just different spellings of names we know today. I wonder how they pronounced them?
And then there are the origins of some of our ancestral names.
Algernon? Where did that come from ?
The book “Genealogy and surnames: with some heraldic and biographical notices” by William Anderson tells us.
“The fore-name, Algernon, a favorite one with the noble family of Northumberland, was derived from William de Percy”, (my ancestor by the way) “who, in 1096, accompanied Duke Robert to Palestine” (another ancestor), and was called William Als gernons, or, William with the whiskers, all the rest of the party being shaven and shorn, as was the fashion with the Anglo-Normans in those days.”
I’ve always wondered about the origin of the name Algernon. It didn’t have any roots in the names and languages I’d found in my research. I never would have tied its genesis to grandpa William’s whiskers, but thanks to William Anderson’s book, now I know.
If you have English ancestors, which of course extends to the nations in Europe from which they sprang, then you definitely want this book on your bookshelf in Google Books. Once again we say, “Thanks Google Books!”