Fitz Alan meant he was the son of Alan. It had nothing whatsoever to do with 

Later, Fitz Allen became used as a surname and was used for daughters as well 
as sons.

"de Ferrers" was never a surname. It meant the person was "from Ferrières".

Medieval genealogists do not use the "de" in assigning a surname, nor do they 
use "mac", "von", "van", "di", etc., because those words also means "from". In 
a database such as Legacy, it is so very much simpler, as well as correct, to 
use the place name "Ferrières" (which was Anglicized into "Ferrers", 
"Hohenstaufen", "Egmond", etc.

Imagine searching through all the "de xxxx" to find the one.

Also, if you are venturing into medieval times, Legacy is the perfect program 
because it allows for many AKAs. That is essential, because people usually 
referred to in documents by one or more of the titles they held, not by their 
place of origin. It is incredibly helpful to have all the AKAs listed because 
then, when you find someone mentioned, you can search by that alternate name. 
It also allows you to have a listing of the succesive earls, duke, etc., of a 
place right there in your index!

The surnames below, found in documents, are underlined:

Take William d'Aubigny. He was also known in documents as William d"Albini, and 
William, 1st Earl of Arundel, among others.

John fitz Alan of Arundel was known as John 4th Earl of Arundel, John FitzAlan, 
John fitz Alan, 2nd Earl of Clun, John FitzAlan, 2nd Earl of Clun.

As the Middle Ages progressed, the titles came fast a furious. Depending when 
in a person lifetime the documents were written, the same person would be 
mentioned by a different title.

If you  are venturing into the medieval, BEWARE! Use primary sources or 
reliable secondary sources ONLY.

Primary sources include the Calendar of Close Rolls, Calendar of Fine Rolls, 
Calendar of Inquistions Post Mortem (IPMs), Calendar of Inquistions 
Miscellaneous, Calendar of Papal Registers, e. alia.

Also be aware that even the reliable secondary sources such as Complete 
Peerage, Domesday, Descendants, Domesday People, Europäische Stammtafeln, and 
Settipani's tomes, have been corrected as new documents are being discovered 
all the time.


From: LegacyUserGroup <> on behalf of 
Jenny M Benson <>
Sent: Thursday, August 10, 2017 12:57 PM
Subject: Re: [LegacyUG] How best to record less common name formats into my 
Legacy program

On 10-Aug-17 08:17 PM, Lin Sharp wrote:
> I am fortunate in having success in documenting some of my family lines
> back as far as the 13th century in what is now the UK. I would appreciate
> suggestions as to the best way to record those names in my Legacy program.
> Names such as the following are a bit different from today's nomenclature:
> Eleanore de Ferrers
> Richard Fitz Alan
> William Le Bigod etc.
> As I understand it, what appear to be prefixes indicate their parentage.
> With my various "Fitz" names (for instance) it appears that William Fitz
> Hugh is the son of Hugh. Hugh may have been the son of Ralph and his name
> appears "Hugh Fitz Ralph". His father may have been Ralph Fitz William,
> etc. This of course is not our way of naming today when the surname
> typically remains the same (except for spelling) from one generation to the
> next..
> My question is how to record these names in the surname box. Do I show "de
> Ferrers" as the surname, or "Eleanore de" as the then given name in the
> first example? For Richard Fitz Alan, is "Fitz" a part of the surname?
> The same goes for William Le Bigod. It wouldn't really work right to
> include the "de" , "Fitz", or "Le" in the prefix box because some of these
> ancestors also have Titles.
> I know that consistency is my main objective but would truly would
> appreciate guidance as to the proper way to do this!
Strictly speaking, "de Ferrers", "Fitz Alan", "le Bigod" in your
examples are not surnames but descriptives.  I see no reason, though,
why you should not treat them as surnames.  In each case I would put the
entire contents of the quotation marks I have used into the Surname
field in Legacy.  Bear in mind, of course, that you will probably have
to override the "suggested" Surname which Legacy will automatically
assign if you are entering one of these people as a child of his/her
father and you will probably also have to override the Surname when
entering the children of the males.

It may or may not be the case for Richard Fitz Alan, but I think I am
right in saying that Fitz usually indicated the child was the
illegitimate offspring of his father.
Jenny M Benson
JennyGenes Blogs<>
I rather enjoyed myself the other day when my sister asked me for help to solve 
a little puzzle. It's always a good feeling when one can find the solution to a 
little ...


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