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Names-lnks - 6/1/07


A set of web links to information on medieval names by Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon.


NOTE: See also the files: names-msg, Names-2-Latin-art, names-Norse-msg, Scot-fem-nam-lst, names-Irish-msg, names-Scot-art, names-Norse-msg, names-Essex-art, names-Ger-art, names-AN-art.





This file is a collection of various messages having a common theme that I  have collected from my reading of the various computer networks. Some messages date back to 1989, some may be as recent as yesterday.


This file is part of a collection of files called Stefan's Florilegium. These files are available on the Internet at: http://www.florilegium.org


I  have done  a limited amount  of  editing. Messages having to do  with separate topics  were sometimes split into different files and sometimes extraneous information was removed. For instance, the  message IDs  were removed to save space and remove clutter.


The comments made in these messages are not necessarily my viewpoints. I make  no claims  as  to the accuracy  of  the information  given by the individual authors.


Please  respect the time  and  efforts of  those who have written  these messages. The  copyright status  of these messages  is  unclear at this time. If  information  is  published  from  these  messages, please give credit to the originator(s).


Thank you,

    Mark S. Harris                  AKA:  THLord Stefan li Rous

                                          Stefan at florilegium.org



From: liontamr at ptd.net

Subject: Links: What's In A Name?

Date: January 21, 2004 4:11:09 PM CST

To: StefanliRous at austin.rr.com


Greetings! This Links List is about Names: Names of many cultures. How can

you choose an historical name with any accuracy? Well, if a web-driven

search engine is your tool of choice, it will be well-nigh impossible to

find historically appropriate naming advice. Nearly all the sites I found on

my own through web-searching were, well, BAD. They cite no sources. They

reference no texts. They give spurious or out and out unbelievable

information in some cases. There is no way to check their information. Thus,

I have had to rely upon the previous work of a great many brilliant people

(most of whom are SCA Heralds), and follow *their* links to good advice on

naming practices in various cultures. Not all the articles by these

brilliant folks are listed below, but if you go to the SCA Heraldry Webpage

listed below, you'll find a great many Terrific articles. And If you go to

the Academy of St. Gabriel, you'll find more terrific articles. I hope you

enjoy the following links, and will pass them along to those who will find

them of interest.




Aoife (Lis Herr-Gelatt)


Dame Aoife Finn of Ynos Mon

Rive Rouge




A Brief Introduction to the History of Names

Dame Cateline de la Mor la souriete


(Site Excerpt) Many early names were compounds. For example, the following

Frankish names are compounds: Sigibert (victory­shining), Childeric

(battle­powerful), Fredegund (peace­battle) and Radegund (counsel­battle).

Sometimes such compounds in pagan societies referred to their gods. For

instance, the ancient Norse had many names which were compounds containing

the name of the god Thor. Among the male names were Thorbjorn, Thorgeir,

Thorkell, Thorsteinn and Thorvald, and among the feminine names were

Thordis, Thorgunna, Thorhalla, Thorkatla and Thorunn.  See also: A Survey of

the History of English Place­names, Dame Cateline de la Mor la souriete




found in the imprints of books printed before 1801 and their vernacular

equivalents in AACR2 (Anglo-American Cataloguing Rules) form


(Site Excerpt)

Aberdoniis*Aberdeen (Scotland)stk

Aboae*Turku (Finland)fi


see Alentopholi

Alentopholi*Fictitious imprint. Refers to Amsterdamit




(Site Excerpt) With few exceptions there were four ways surnames or

permanent family names were adopted. They were:  1. Patronymics - The

fathers name with "son" immediately after it, example Peterson, Adamson,

Woodson  2. Place Names - Words that identify where a person or family lived

or came from, example Hill, Lake, Wood, Glades, March  3. Occupational

names - What a person did for a living, example Miller, Butcher, Baker,

Tailor, Butler  4. Nicknames - Usually based on a persons personality or

characteristics, example Short, Long, Savage, White, Brown. For centuries

female children were considered the property of their father and carried his

last name until they married, at which time became the property of their

husbands and adopted the last name of their husband. This long standing

practice is now changing as more women have chosen family and careers and

want to retain their own surname and identity. Another sign of changing

times is the number of children who are given hyphenated last names at



Index of German-Polish and Polish-German names of the localities in Poland &


by Anna Sluszkiewicz


(Site Excerpt) Index contains Polish and previous German names of localities

situated in Poland and Russia useful for research, history, genealogy,

numismatics, philatelic etc. Please excuse lack of Polish and German

letters. Index contains also some names of places from former Saxony now in

Poland and Silesien now in Germany.


The History of Anglo-Saxon Names By Percival de la Rocque


(Site Excerpt) Early by names were drawn from many varied sources but were

still not typically what we now look upon as family or hereditary names. In

some cases even these names would not typically be assigned until adulthood

as a person came into some trade or physical attribute similar to the

prepositions used before this to add meaning to a given name. A child would

possibly have not been given any by names at all if there were few other

people with a similar given name or if this multiplicity was not perceived

as a problem. If this was a problem chances are the child would receive a by

name that was in some way descriptive of his status compared to the other

holder or holders of the given name, Small, Little or something similar or

possibly a form of patronymic name to show his parentage. Names that

combined Dotter for Daughter and Sone Sune or Sonne for Son being the most

common were added to the name of a parent and then added as a Patronymic

such as Adamson, Thorsdotter or other variations came out of this practice.

So John Adamson would be the son of Adam and thus easy to tell apart from

John Davidson for instance.



by Modar Neznanich


(Site Excerpt) A persona is the fictional person you wish to have been, had

you lived during the period of time the SCA covers (600 A.D. to 1600 A.D.)

Deciding who to be is the single most important process you will go through

when first joining the SCA. This will be the name you are known as to all

your SCA friends. To be able to select a SCA name for yourself and begin

creating your persona story, you must first decided what culture you desire

to be from. There are many means useable to determine what culture you

should choose. Some people look at the clothes worn by many cultures

throughout various times and establish a selection based on what clothes

they want to wear. Other people will think about what activities and crafts

they are interested in and base a decision on the cultures known for

expertise in those areas.


Academy of Saint Gabriel  Medieval Names Archive


(Site Excerpt) This collection of articles on medieval and renaissance names

is intended to help historical re-creators to choose authentic names. These

articles were gathered from various places, and some of them appear

elsewhere. In all cases, the copyright on each article belongs to its



SCA College of Heralds Website


See also What is an SCA Name?

http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel/whatis/name.html and Names Sources to Be

Avoided in Documentation



Annotated Name Book List-- Jaelle of Armida--Argent Snail Herald


(Site Excerpt) The purpose of this article is to acquaint you with a number

of books on names and naming practices. This is by no means every book

available on the subject, not even every good one. I have deliberately, to

save space, left out some esoteric name books that would not be useful to

the average herald. I have left some books in, even if they were not very

good for several reasons. Firstly, they may be the only, or one of the only,

books that we are aware of on names of that particular culture. Or,

secondly, as a warning NOT to use them. There are, unfortunately, many poor

books out on names, especially the ones of the "Name Your Baby" school. I

have not, however, mentioned many of the poor books; space prevents this. A

good rule of thumb is that if it doesn't have dates and citations, it

probably isn't a reliable source. If in doubt, ask your principal herald or

look at the list of bad name books at the Laurel web site

(http://www.sca.org/heraldry/laurel). However, if you use a name from one of

the recommended books, and the name is dated as to being pre 1600, it will

not be returned for being out of period. It might get returned for other

reasons (conflict, presumptuous, a mistake having been made by the author

etc.), but not for being out of period.


On the Documentation and Construction of Period Mongolian Names by

Baras-aghur Naran


(Site Excerpt) Before going into specifics, there needs to be some

background given on the subject. Most interest in Turco-Mongol personas

usually stems from the time of the Mongol empire. During the Mongols' period

of conquest, many peoples came under the rule of the Mongols. Most of these

did not speak the language now known as Mongolian, even in its older forms.

The Mongols' neighboring tribes spoke various dialects and languages of

Turkic origin. Mongolian itself is a separate language of Turkic origin, and

shares many of the same words as Turkic or Turkish. Many names from our time

period have both Turkic and Mongol elements, as well as influences from the

spread of Buddhism.


Personal Names of the Aristocracy

in the

Roman Empire

During the Later Byzantine Era

"This article is entirely the fault of Berret Chavez, whom some in the SCA

might know as Bardas Xiphias"


(Site Excerpt) Personal names in the Byzantine era of the Roman Empire

consisted of a given name followed by one or more surnames. Surnames came in

three varieties: inherited family names, patronymics, and by-names. As the

empire grew older, it became increasingly common to find more and more

inherited family names included in the personal name. As typical in medieval

Europe, the sample of women's names is much smaller than the sample of men's

names. When a woman's name is found, the inherited family name or names are

in feminized form.


Common Czech Names of the 15th and 16th Centuries by Walraven van Nijmegen

(Brian R. Speer)


(Site Excerpt) The names in this list were found in: Frantis^ek Kopec^ný,

Pruvodce Nas^imi Jm始y, 2nd ed. (Praha: Academia, 1991) Unfortunately, this

book is in Czech (which I can't read), but there is a general discussion of

the history of Czech names to introduce the book. Pages 14-15 include a

summary of the most common names from several sources of the 15th and 16th

century, and it is this material which is summarized here. English

equivalents are given in square brackets after some names.


Brass Enscription Index (Names)Based on data provided by the Ashmolean

Museum of Art and Archaeology at Oxford University.


(Site Excerpt) This index into the Ashmolean Museum's brass rubbing

collection is divided into three sections: surnames, male given names, and

female given names. After each name appears a list of all the counties in

which the name may be found, using the county abbreviations listed below.

The abbreviations are linked to the original WWW pages at the Ashmolean. The

date for the earliest use of that name is included in the index next to the

county in which it accurs. In front of each name is a number representing

the total number of occurences of the name prior to 1600. In the list of

surnames, that number is followed by another number in parentheses

representing the number of different parishes in which the name was found.

Multiple occurences of a surname within a single Parish often indicates a

family grouping. The list of surnames also includes some place and titular

names, with a note in parentheses showing how the name was referenced in the

original text, e.g. "Athol (countess of)." Only names which are dated prior

to 1600 are included in this index.


Occupational By-Names in the 1292 Tax Role of Paris


(Site Excerpt) By the end of the 10th century what little there ever was of

the Roman tripartite naming system of forename, clan name, and family name

had disappeared in Northern France. Even though there were far more

forenames in the Germanic name treasury of the Franks than the 11 that made

up 95% of the Roman patrician forenames, they sufficed only in small

villages. In cities, more identification than a given name was required for

tax purposes. The byname might be descriptive, locative, relational, or

occupational. By 1292 a few of the bynames had begun to harden into family

names; however, the specific intent of this index was to identify the

occupational bynames - male and female - that were used to help identify

different taxpayer - not to identify which occupational bynames had already

coagulated into a family name.


Medieval German Given Names from Silesia Talan Gwynek Copyright 1998 by

Brian M. Scott.


(Site Excerpt) This is a compilation of the given names found in Hans Bahlow

's Mittelhochdeutsches Namenbuch nach schlesischen Quellen (Neustadt an der

Aisch: Verlag Degener & Co., 1975). The title may be translated Middle High

German Name Book from Silesian Sources. The book is a study of personal

names from medieval Silesian records, especially those of the towns of

Legnica (Liegnitz), Wroclaw (Breslau), and G嗷litz. Most of the book is

devoted to the bynames, but there is a short final section on given names,

and most of the byname citations also include given names. As is usual in

medieval records, the overwhelming majority of persons named are men, but

the book is still a rich trove of the given names used in Silesia in the

14th and 15th centuries.


Hungarian Names 101by Walraven van Nijmegen


(Site Excerpt) And the First Shall Be Last? Hungarian Name Order In Hungary,

it is common practice to write your family name first, followed by your

given name (which for obvious reasons is not called a "first" name, as it is

in America!). This practice is a result of Hungarian grammar and the way in

which family names originated. Since family names were originally

descriptive phrases used to identify people, these phrases functioned like

adjectives. In Hungarian adjectives precede the noun, just as they do in

English, so these descriptive phrases are placed before a person's name in

speech and in writing.



by Da'ud ibn Auda (David B. Appleton) ゥ 2003


(Site Excerpt) The following names lists consist of period (pre-1600 A.D.)

Arabic names and name elements, having been selected from names of people

who lived during that time. These lists are not designed to be exhaustive,

only to be large enough to give a reasonably wide selection of provably

period Arabic names. I have tried to avoid, as much as possible, names with

other than Arabic origins, such as Persian, Mongol and Turkish (e.g., 'Umar

al-Khayyami [Arabic] rather than Omar Khayyam [Persian]).


100 Most Popular Men's Names in Early Medieval Ireland compiled by Heather

Rose Jones

(ska Tangwystyl verch Morgant Glasvryn)

copyright c 1998, all rights reserved


(Site Excerpt) The following list contains the (slightly less than) one

hundred most common masculine given names in M.A. O'Brien's Corpus

Genealogiarum Hiberniae (Dublin: Dublin Institute for Advanced Studies,

1976), a collection of Irish genealogical material from the pre-Norman

period (i.e., roughly pre-12th century). While O'Brien's collection includes

some legendary genealogies, the "popularity" requirement for this selection

should filter out any questionable names.


Italian Renaissance Women's Names

by Rhian Lyth of Blackmoor Vale (Jo Lori Drake)


(Site Excerpt) Below is a list of Italian feminine names from Florence in

the 14th and 15th centuries, part of the list compiled by Lady Rhian Lyth of

Blackmoor Vale. The names were compiled from The Society of Renaissance

Florence: A Documentary Study (ed. Gene Bruckerm New York: Harper

Torchbooks, Harper & Row, Inc.), which is a collection of diaries and

documents of the period, and from The Autobiography of Benevenuto Cellini,

as published by Penguin Books. Some of these names are diminutive forms or

nicknames derived from other name, but all were used independently in formal

legal documents. Most names occur once or twice in these sources; the names

which occurred four or more times are in bold face.


Jews in Catalonia: 1250 to 1400

by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith)

ゥ 2002 by Julia Smith; all rights reserved.


(Site Excerpt) This article describes the names used by Jews in 13th and

14th century Catalonia (the area around Barcelona, in modern Spain), as

found in a series of wills written in Latin. Wills are especially useful for

studying names because many female family members are mentioned, receiving

at least small bequests. Thus, this is a great place to look at women's

names.The names from this source are divided into two lists. The first gives

names in their Latin spellings as they were found in the document. One

hundred and fifty three names like this were found. The second list gives

names that the editor modified to give underlying Catalan forms. One hundred

and forty-four names like this were found. Both lists are used to generate

frequency counts; only the first is used to examine spelling variations. A

complete list of given names is found below.


A Dictionary of Period Russian Names

(and some of their Slavic roots) Being a compilation of over 25,000 Russian

names  Taken from period sources  by Paul Wickenden of Thanet


(Site Excerpt) For example, the reader will notice the greatly expanded

grammar section and particularly the alphabetical listing of name roots

which (theoretically) will allow the careful user to create a

period-sounding Russian name in "Chinese-menu" style by mixing and matching

elements. All of these changes are in addition to approximately 10,000 more

entries and a section of place names that has been nearly doubled. Another

improvement has been the replacement of many secondary (and unreliable)

citations with more accurate and primary sources wherever possible.


A Simple Guide to Creating Old Norse Names

by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Friedemann)

ゥ 1998, 1999 Sara L. Friedemann; all rights reserved


(Site Excerpt) There are two ways of forming Norse names; the most common is

using a given name with the addition of a patronymic byname, or a byname

based on relationship.

To create a patronym, the suffix -son 'son' or -d葉tir 'daughter' is added

to the genitive form of the father's name. The guide below, taken from G.

Fleck's book, shows how this can be done.







-ir>-is: Grettir>Grettison~Grettisd葉tir


A Simple Guide to Constructing

12th Century

Scottish Gaelic Names

by Sharon L. Krossa

ゥ1997 by Sharon L. Krossa. All rights reserved


(Site Excerpt) The information in this guide is taken from The Gaelic Notes

in the Book of Deer, by Kenneth Jackson. The Book of Deer is a 9th century

illuminated manuscript, written in Latin, of the Gospel of St. John and

parts of the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. The Book of Deer gets its

name from six Gaelic "notes", and a Latin charter of David I, concerning

grants of land to the monastery of Deer that were written into various blank

spaces of the manuscript circa 1130 to 1150 AD. These notes are the earliest

known examples of Gaelic written in Scotland. The Gaelic used in the notes

is "Middle Gaelic", also called "Middle Irish", which was the form of Gaelic

common to Ireland and parts of Scotland from, roughly, 900 to 1200 A.D. The

names included in this guide from the Gaelic notes are those of people who

lived in Scotland, primarily in the north east of Scotland, in the 11th and

early 12th centuries.


Basque Feminine Names

by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Friedemann)

ゥ 1999 Sara L. Friedemann; all rights reserved


(Site Excerpt)

The following is a list of Basque feminine given names and bynames found in

various medieval sources. Not all of the names are of Basque linguistic

origin--in fact, many of the names were popular throughout all Iberian

cultures--but they were all used by Basque women. Each name is listed as a

header, followed by the dates it was recorded. I have used MC to indicate

names that were found in undated medieval cartularies.

A number of the names were found more than one time in the sources. For

names where this is the case, I have included in brackets the number of

times it was found in place of dates. These names were found in the

10th-13th centuries.


Late Sixteenth Century Welsh Names

by Talan Gwynek

(Brian M. Scott, scott at math.csuohio.edu)

ゥ 1994 by Brian M. Scott; all rights reserved.


(Site Excerpt) Early in the course of compiling the data for my article on

late sixteeen century English names, I was struck by a number of Welsh names

of what seemed a very traditional nature and began to keep a separate record

of Welsh names. Had the distribution of names in Wales been my primary

interest, I should have recorded every name for which a Welsh address was

given. I was more interested in noting the names that seemed to be

characteristically Welsh, however, so my data are undoubtedly incomplete. I

recorded all names containing ap, including those in which it appears fused

with the patronym, e.g., Powell (for ap Hywel), and all names containing

verch and its variants. I recorded names containing elements clearly of

Welsh origin, like Griffith, Meredith, Lloyd, Tydder, and Vaughan; in almost

all cases these were associated with one of the Welsh counties or with

neighboring Herefordshire or Gloucestershire.


<the end>

Formatting copyright © Mark S. Harris (THLord Stefan li Rous).
All other copyrights are property of the original article and message authors.

Comments to the Editor: stefan at florilegium.org