Sex ratio in family names, a tool for measuring migration. A historical case study (1573 - 1643)

Joan Pau Jordà, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Joana-Maria Pujadas-Mora, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona
Anna Cabré, Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona

The poster aims to analyze the relationship between surnames and population, focusing on the study of how imbalances among surnames distributions by sexes in the XVIth and XVIIth centuries could be a consequence of the French migration to the Barcelona Area during this period. The current status of Catalan surnames is the reflection of several demographic, historical, and cultural processes that started as early as the late Middle Ages, and the examination of such proves to facilitate the reconstruction of population behavior in the past. The relationship between surnames and demographic and historical phenomena is especially important during periods of high mobility, such as the XVIth and XVIIth centuries in Catalonia. During these centuries, thousands of French migrants came to Catalonia attracted by the differences in salaries between France and Catalonia and the relative depopulation of the region. As a result of these migration flows, Catalan onomastic —especially family names— experienced a series of alterations, which led to variations of surnames prevalence and distribution between men and women. For this study the Barcelona Historical Marriage Database (BHMD) has been selected. This database is based on the data-mining of the Llibres d’Esposalles (marriage books), a marriage register collected between 1451 and 1905 in the Barcelona Area. In this research we expect to find: 1) the relationship between sex ratio and French migration; 2) the distribution of this relationship on the localities of the Barcelona Area; 3) the distributions of surnames according to their levels of sex ratio throughout the studied period.

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Presented in Poster Session 3