Video:How Other Countries Arrange Name Orderwith Jordan Auslander
Learn how other countries arrange name order. Family name conventions can explain a lot about family history so check out how a few countries arrange their name order in this brief genealogy lesson.See Transcript
Transcript:How Other Countries Arrange Name Order
I'm Jordan Auslander, a New York-based professional genealogist here for About.com to look at how other countries arrange name order. Arranging name order is as unique as a country's culture. What is simple and familiar to Americans - the name "John Smith" may not be presented in other cultures.
Korean Name Order
The Koreans, for example, list surname first: "Kim Il Sung." Kim is the most prevalent surname in the Korean peninsula. It's a surname, but it comes first. We make the mistake of assuming that Kim is the first name when it's actually the family name.
Arabic Name Order
In Arabic convention is the family name prefaced by "Bin", similar to the Israeli "Ben": 'son of'. "Ibn Saud," son of Saud or the Saud family his how a name would be presented in Saudi Arabia.
Russian Name Order
Russians have their own unique naming patterns which shows up in either surnames over time and certainly in middle names. "Ivan's Children" would be differentiated: a daughter would be 'Ivanova' and a son 'Ivanov.'
Icelandic Name Order
Icelandic names reflect not the parental line but more often the immediate parent's name. So "Olaf Jonsson" - his son would be "Thor Olafsson" and his daughter would be "Freyja Olafsdottir."
Spanish Name Order
Hyphenated Spanish surnames give more genealogical clues: the 'apellido paterno' hyphenated with the 'apellido materno' in a surname would be the father's surname hyphenated with the mother's surname, leaving you with both paternal and maternal lines to research.
The poet Federico Garcia Lorca descends from father Federico Garcia Rodriguez and mother Vincenta Lorca Romero. The wonderful part about this is that Spanish names can contain an entire genealogy.
These are just a few examples of cultural naming conventions. For more information visit us at About.com.