16th century placenames, and some personal names, from mainland Estonia.

by Rebecca Lucas (ffride wlffsdotter)

© 2014; all rights reserved
last updated 25th July 2014

Introduction

These names come from two articles:
Tiina Laansalu 2010. "Asustusnimed Kiili Vallas" [Settlement names in Kiili municipality] Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat 56; 109-126.
and
Marja Kallasmaa 2011. "Probleeme Samastamisega: Saltovere ja Kowrevere" [Problems with identification: Saltovere and Kowrevere] Emakeele Seltsi aastaraamat 57; 60-65.


Although these names are all from the area today called Estonia, the situation at the time was slightly more complex. The Duchy of Estonia, including the area of modern-day Harju county, was under Danish rule from the 13th century (hence, records were written in Danish, Latin, and low German), until it was sold to the Teutonic Order (using Latin, and low German) in 1346.
The Bishopric of Ösel–Wiek included modern day Lääne county, and also primarily used German and Latin in written communication before 1560. It was then sold to Denmark, and in 1561 became a part of the Swedish empire during the Livonian War (Raun, 1991). This is reflected in the placenames below, which use Old Swedish by, modernly byr, or farm.
Pärnu county's area was divided between the Bishopric of Ösel–Wiek and the Teutonic Order; Koeri and Salevere appear to have been located within the Bishopric's territory (Estonian Land Board, 2012).

I do not know any Estonian, any mistakes or misunderstandings in the lists below are entirely my own.

Placenames

From Harju County (Laansalu, 2010).
From Lääne County (Kallasmaa, 2011).
From Pärnu County (Kallasmaa, 2011).
  • Kurevere
    • Kurkeueræ (1241) Latin*
  • Kurna
    • Queronoiæ (1241) Latin
  • Lähtse
    • Lateis (1241) Latin
  • Mõisaküla
    • Moises (1241) Latin
    • Mosenkull (1548)
    • Moysenküll (1388)
  • Nabala
    • Napalæ (1241) Latin
  • Padiküla
    • Pattas (1241) Latin
  • Paekna
    • Paeykenna (1541)
    • Paikenall (1444, 1478, 1493)
    • Pakikanal (1241) Latin
    • Paykenal (1481)
    • Paykenalle (1349)
  • Sausti
    • Sauthæl (1241) Latin
  • Sõgula
    • Seculis (1241) Latin
  • Sõmeru
    • Someres (1241) Latin
  • Vaela
    • Waiolæ (1241) Latin
    • Waile (1368)
    • Wayllakulle (1547)

Laansalu says some of the names were found in the Danish Census Book (Liber Census Daniæ), and it has been noted these are Latinised forms in italics beside the name.
  • Kõera
    • Körwer By (1591)
  • Salevere
    • Saleuere By (1591)
  • Koeri
    • Karauer By (1591)
    • Karefer by (1565)
    • Kogerevere (1320)
    • Kowrevere (1319)
  • Salevere
    • Sallafer (1624)
    • Sallover (1543)
    • Sallufer (1638)
    • Szallover (1534)
    • Saltovere (1319)

Personal names

Kallasmaa also mentioned some peasants, with locative bynames:

Masculine names (Kallasmaa, 2011).
  • Kõera (Lääne County)
    • Ian Kere (1539)
    • Andres Kere (1539)
  • Koeri (Pärnu County)
    • Korakuyla Iuri (1543)
  • Salevere (Pärnu County)
    • Sallastfer Juergen (1624)
  • Salevere (Lääne County)
    • Perto Sallover (1539)

References