Namenerds.com have a section on living with popular names. You have to click around a bit to find it, but there are mini essays and it's quite fun.
My husband's cousin was named Mandeville, for family reasons, and became known as Mandy. The instant he turned 21 and legally could change it, he did - to Carl. Very macho! He is, and I would say this to his face, a conscienceless, gold-digging sex maniac (perhaps the result of his early years of embarrassment?), so we were amused at the name change - if you pronounce Carl the English way so the R disappears and you get Cahl, it sounds like the Afrikaans word which means . But I don't think that was his intention!
Your research project sounds most interesting!
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