Translate The Names of Your Ancestors

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This blog was written by Amanda Forson,

A subscriber asked us about family members living in another country that came to the United States who were born around the 1880’s. Instantly the new Immigration listings on our Web site came to mind. However, the names of the user’s relatives were all American.

Before individuals came to America, their names were not usually Anglicized unless they came from the U.K. or other English-speaking countries. When coming over to the U.S., many new arrivals used their first country’s name on the passenger manifests. Suddenly it occurred to me that there must be an online translator for names in English to go backwards to the old country.

Voila! A fun site for translating names of Ancestors or even co-workers and living family members is Behind the Name, located at When trying to find out the Czech translation of Edward, the results were Edvard and Eduard. Perhaps seemingly elementary, this handy tool provides a great service to those looking for translations in the following languages:

Albanian, Ancient Greek, Ancient Roman, Arabic, Armenian, Basque, Breton, Bulgarian, Catalan, Cornish, Corsican, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, English, English (Modern), Esperanto, Estonian, Finnish, French, Frisian, Galician, German, Greek, Hawaiian, Hebrew, Hungarian, Icelandic, Indian, Iranian, Irish, Italian, Jewish, Latvian, Lithuanian, Macedonian, Manx, Maori, Norwegian, Polish, Portuguese, Provencal, Romanian, Russian, Scottish, Serbian, Slovak, Slovene, Spanish, Swedish, Turkish, Ukrainian, Welsh, Yiddish, for a total of fifty-five different languages.

From all those different languages, they are also broken down by short, variant, pet, Anglicized, Latinized, Medieval, feminine, masculine, elaborated, combination, original, modern, and cognate name type with either masculine, feminine, or neutral genders.

Something fun for kids:

Take the child’s name and have them translate it into all the different languages and see how it is the same and different in other languages. Similarities are sweet, but differences give a spice to life!


Translates into English: Mandi, Mandy, and French: Amandine

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