Alsace with its Christmas markets, cathedrals and beautiful buildings is a region full of charm. And the Alsatian names are just as charming. The latter are essentially of Christian origin. At the time, Protestants, Jews, Methodist Christians and even Alsatian Mennonites favoured biblical names such as Sarah, David or Jonathan. After the Council of Trent, Catholics then became accustomed to calling children the saint's patronymic of the day of their birth. It was at the same time that Germanic names linked to deities gradually disappeared.
Then, between the 17th and 19th centuries, it was very common in Alsace to have only one first name. But compound names were very common. This is due in particular to the influences of the Jewish community. Indeed, Jews had only one first name, which they could change several times during their lives. But this custom ended in 1808 following the decree of Emperor Napoleon requiring the adoption of a fixed and unmodifiable first name and surname.
In Alsatian culture, first names are generally transmitted from generation to generation... As a result, elders in families are generally given the same first name as their father or mother.
If you are curious to discover Alsatian names, don't wait any longer and browse our list of first names below:
In the 20th century, the most common first names were Jean, Joseph, Louis and Marie, among others, in various variations. But, we still find old Alsatian first names such as Adelaide, Adalbert, Othon or Gondelinde. Most of them refer to saints from different periods. Today, the most popular are Emma, Nathan, Clara or even Lucas. Far from the religious names of the time!