I have two direct ancestors named Ferdinando:
- Ferdinando Hicks, baptised 1 Jan 1630 at St Germans, Cornwall
- Ferdinando Sleep, baptised 13 Sep 1720 at Morval, Cornwall (who is a grandson of the above)
To me the name seems very Spanish rather than British, and I thought it likely to be very uncommon, and perhaps a pointer to something interesting.
Using FindMyPast I have searched baptism records for the 80 years leading up to 1630 to find:
- Ferdinando used in 16 baptisms for Cornwall from 1597-1630 - the lack of earlier usage may simply reflect the paucity of earlier records
- Ferdinando used in 226 baptisms for Britain from 1571-1630 with the earliest being in Cheshire
I suspect that this indicates that Ferdinando is quite an uncommon name for someone born in Britain at that time but unlikely to point to a single event.
During the late 16th century there were many conflicts with Spain with some Spanish vessels landing on the Cornish coast.
so some Spanish connection to the naming of my first ancestor named Ferdinando does not seem to be out of the question, but of course remains highly speculative, so my question will proceed from a more general perspective.
Does anyone know of any references that might suggest how a name like Ferdinando may have come to be used in Cornwall (and/or Britain) during the late 16th and early 17th centuries?