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Old 04-04-2016, 03:14 AM
UDS UDS is offline
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Australia
Posts: 7,970
The only data I have to add to that is that the practice is certainly present in Ireland (and I'm pretty sure Scotland) well before 1810. Henry Joy McCracken was born in 1767; his middle name is his mother's maiden name. I don't know when Beauchamp Bagenal Harvey was born, but he died in 1798; both of his given names are surnames. James Napper Tandy was born in 1739. Theobald Wolfe Tone was born in 1763; his second forename was the surname of his godfather.

These are all Protestants, and there is a strong Scottish influence, especially in Ulster, so the custom could well have come from Scotland. But it certainly predates the Napoleonic era.