Persona Names

Mark Harris mark_harris at
Tue Jan 21 12:23:18 PST 1997

Greetings unto Chari from Stefan li Rous,

you said:
>I have chose a Germanic persona from late period and I am having a heck of a
>time trying to get all the background data to get a name approved. I have
>been to several libraries....and now Im trying online. 

Take a look at this file in the PERSONAS section of my SCA Rialto Files:
names-msg         (54K) 11/14/96    Name sources, naming practices.

I have pasted two messages from the file that might prove the most useful
to you below.

The file can be found with the rest of my files at:

From: b.scott at (Brian M. Scott)
Subject: Re: German Names
Date: 4 Jul 1996 05:15:31 GMT
Organization: Cleveland State University

In article <4rb7es$80n at>, mittle at (Arval d'Espas Nord)

>Greetings from Arval!  Rossilin von Hohenzollern suggested:

>> Tell your friend to start with a book entitled
>>       A Catelog of Persons named in German Heroic Poetry
>> this is an excellent source with dates and clear refrences.

>Is this a book of names used by real people, which also appeared in poetry,
>or is it just a catalogue of names from poetry?  If it is the latter, then
>it must be used with great caution as a source of names for the Society.
>Some cultures in our period did name their children from some kinds of
>literature, but as a general rule, one cannot assume that a name used in
>period literature was also used by real people.

Arval's concern is well-placed, but in this case the problem is small.  
Gillespie (the author) generally includes notes on actual use of the 
names in question.  Opening the book at random I find under HERDEGEN 
a heading 'pn', for 'personal name', at which we are told that the name 
is found in one or more 9th c. German sources, with a reference to two 
of the classic collections of early Germanic personal names.  In general 
one need only make sure that Gillespie notes actual use of the name 
outside of literature.  (It's not a bad idea also to note the dates of 
that usage, of course!)

Talan Gwynek

From: "E. L. Wimett" <SILVERDRAGON at>
Subject: Re: German names
Date: Fri, 05 Jul 1996 21:03:20 -0700
Organization: Silver Dragon Company

Clare West wrote:

> We do have another book by the same author:
> Mittelhochdeutsches Namenbuch nach schlesischen Quellen : ein Denkmal d.
> Deutschtums
> is that any good?

It is actually better for the purposes of period documentation. 
"Mittelhochdeutsches" means "Middle High German" and any name from Middle
High German is by definition period. . .


Barony of Bryn Gwlad
markh at

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