Klaipėdos krašto šiaurinės dalies nausėdijos XVI‒XVIII a. vietovardžiuose ir asmenvardžiuose | Oikonyms and Personal Names as a Source for Determining New Settlements in the Northern Part of the Klaipėda (Memel) Region: The 16th to the 18th Centuries
Volume 41 (2020): Aspects of Southeast Baltic Social History: The 14th to the 18th Centuries = Baltijos pietrytinės pakrantės socialinės istorijos aspektai XIV–XVIII amžiais, pp. 105–124
Pub. online: 18 December 2020 Type: Article Open Access
18 December 2020
18 December 2020
Between the 16th and the 18th centuries, the area known from 1920 to 1939 as the Klaipėda region (Memel territory) experienced a variety of migration flows, which have been described by researchers on several occasions. When considering issues of migration, among other data, scholars from different fields often interpret personal and place names found in historical records. Based on the historical onomastics of the Klaipėda region, this article deals with the oikonyms and personal names derived from etymons bearing the meaning ‘new settler’. It examines their distribution, evolution, etymology, and motives behind picking these onymons. The author draws on research methods of historical onomastics, along with an analysis of historical sources and genealogical information. In addition to suggesting mutual links between onyms (personal names and oikonyms) of Baltic origin, the author puts forward hypotheses about the directions of population migration in the northern area of what was then the Memel eldership (Hauptamt Memel). The paper aims to offer linguistic insights into possible migration trends in the Klaipėda region in the 16th to the 18th centuries, which could later be verified by historical research.