[PW] Help with discovering origin of a name

T.F. Mills phasco at earthlink.net
Sun Sep 11 12:16:31 PDT 2016

On 11 Sep 2016 at 9:33, Barbara Schmidt wrote:

> I would recommend ancestry.com as a good source for your answer.  While it
> is a subscription site, some of the search results are free. 

Ancestry is available free in most public libraries.  It will also tell you general things such as 
statistically where surnames (not "sir name") are from and what they mean.

Barbara Begin wrote:

> A patron of mine is seeking the origins of her grandmother's middle
> name. Grandma as named Stella Bruda Macfarland. I was assuming it was a
> female first name , but now I am wondering if it might have been a sir
> name - maybe her mother's or something? 

Naming conventions go through changing fashions in different regions.  Depending when 
Stella lived, Bruda could be her maiden name or her mother's maiden name, or a 
grandparent's surname (or none of the above.)

Censuses and other sources at ancestry should turn up the answer pretty fast.  While 
censuses don't tell you parentage unless all are living in the same household at the time, they 
usually do tell the birth state or country of every person's parents.  While this depends on the 
accuracy of the knowledge of the person reporting (always problematic), it is an important 
clue for the next step.

If I have time (don't hold your breath), I might make at stab at Stella's ancestry, but it would 
help to know more:  birthdate and place, death if applicable, any other immediate family 

T.F. Mills 
(Colorado, USA)

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