ANSTHRLD - Newbie question - "An Heraldic Alphabet"

Kathleen O'Brien kobrien at
Thu Dec 9 16:05:03 PST 1999

At 12:36 PM 12/9/1999 -0800, you wrote:

>Greetings, All,


>I don't have anything in my library (or at least not

>much).  I need to build it and have limited funds. 

>Could someone post a list of books that would be

>useful.  I see references to "Withecomb" etc. all the

>time but really don't know what you are talking about.

> Also a list of bummer books would be very helpful, so

>I don't waste the limited resources on works of

>limited value.


>Thank you,



Here's an excerpt from an email I sent out about a year ago summarizing
name books.  The one thing I would add is that some of the name books in
Appendix H at the Laurel site are less useful than others.  For example,
MacLysaght's _Surnames of Ireland_ is cheap at about $6.95, but there are
some inaccuracies in it and very few dates.  O'Corra'in & Maguire is a
better choice.  So is Woulfe.

Also, the English edition of Bahlow went out of print but should now be
back in print. was listing it as about to be reprinted when I
looked it up this summer.

Withycombe is out of print but you can sometimes find used copies for
sale on the net.

There will be lots of books at the consultation table that we're planning
for coronation in January.  If you get a chance to attend, feel free to
drop by the table and flip through the books.  

Lots of good articles are also at the Academy of Saint Gabriel's library
page.  Their homepage is at:

If you've got any questions, please feel free to ask!  I'd be glad to
answer them.  I'm sure there's plenty of folks on this list who can
recommend how to get your best bang for the buck on armory books.  :)

Hope this helps,


- ---------------------------------------------

Here is a list of some of the books I use, listed with "most used" at the
top.  Most of these I have ordered through Borders Books.  If I remember
the price, I've noted it next to the book.  Ones I know are out of print,
I've marked as "OP".

1) Withycombe, E. G., <underline>The Oxford Dictionary of English
Christian Names</underline>, 

	3rd edition (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1977). 

	(~$11 paperback, OP)

2) Reaney, P. H. and R. M. Wilson, <underline>A Dictionary of English

	3rd ed. (Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, 1995). 

	(~$20 paperback, in-print)

3) O'Corrain, Donnchadh and Fidelma Maguire, <underline>Irish
Names</underline>, 2nd edition 

	(Dublin, Ireland: Lilliput Press, 1990).

	(~$11 paperback, in-print in 1994.)

4) Black, George F., <underline>The Surnames of Scotland</underline> (New
York, NY: The New 

	York Public Library, 1946).

	(~$50 hardback, in-print in 1994.)

These four are the books I use most often and may be where you want to
get started.  If you can find them at a used book store, so much the
better!  Also, I've noticed that names run in trends in regions.  Some
areas tend to go for Scottish names, others for German, etc.  I recommend
only ordering new books as you need them.  Cuts down the cost that way! 
A list of good name books are in the "no photocopy" list at the College
of Arms site:

FYI: Dauzat, Ekwall, Morgan & Morgan, Johnston, and Room are currently
out of print.  Also, Bahlow's <underline>Deutsches
Nameslexikon</underline> is currently available in an English
translation.  Here's the citation: 

Bahlow, Hans, <underline>Dictionary of German Names</underline>,
translated by Edda Gentry 

	(Madison, Wisconsin: University of Wisconsin-Madison, 1993).

However, before you start collecting, be sure to print out the sources to
avoid list at the College of Arms site:

Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the Heralds mailing list