Church History Forum: History of names assigned at baptism

History of names assigned at baptism QUESTION from Stanley M. Hordes on July 25, 2002 Dear Sir:
I wonder if your staff might be in a position to answer what might appear to be a naive question?
I would very much like to know the history of canon law as it applied to the assignment of first names to children at baptism, and how this law was carried out in Spain and Spanish America.
I have been researching the development of given names among the Catholic community in New Mexico from the sixteenth through mid-nineteenth centuries. For some reason, the record shows almost no Old Testament names appearing until the 1820s, a handful in the 1820s-40s, and then considerably more after 1846, the year that the U.S. assumed control over New Mexico.
Was there any official change in Church policy that transpired in the mid-nineteenth century that would have resulted in the priests encouraging the assignment of these names to their parishioners? Or, perhaps, should I be looking for reasons relating to other factors within Hispanic New Mexican society?
Any light that you could shed on this question from a canon law perspective would be most appreciated. If you don't have these answers readily at hand, could you please direct me to other sources?
Thank you for your help.
Sincerely,
Stanley M. Hordes, Ph.D. Adjunct Research Professor Latin American and Iberian Institute University of New Mexico
ANSWER by Q & A Staff on July 28, 2002 Dear Mr. Hordes,
unfortunately I have no info on this subject. You might try submitting this question to the Liturgical Law forum.
God bless, .
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