ANSTHRLD - In that case, the name....

Kathleen O'Brien kobrien at
Fri Feb 19 20:17:00 PST 1999

At 01:25 PM 2/19/99 -0600, you wrote:
>The name is my own <grin>  Robert James MacLeod.
>I believe each component can be documented (many times over).
>I believe the style, two given and a surname, can be documented.


I figured I would reply to the list since some of the basics I've covered
here should be of interest to folks doing name consultation.  I have put
the information needed for the submission form first, then commentary on
the name itself.

Let me state up front, that I believe that this name should be registerable
under the current rulings in the College of Arms.  Off the top of my head,
I would interpret this to be a late period name, say 2nd half of the 1500s.  

I've conflicted checked this name in the online O&A and it looks fine.  It
is clear of "Jamie MacLeod" (10/90 Caid) by the addition of "Robert".  I
was actually quite surprised that no one has registered a form of Robert
MacLeod yet.  (The closest was Roberta Nicol MacLeod - 9/84, An Tir).

Here is information for the submission form (I only have Reaney & Wilson
with me, so all the documentation is from it):
	- The spelling "Robert" is dated to 1066 as a given name on p. 380 of
Reaney & Wilson under Robert.  

	- The spelling "James" is dated to 1255 as a given name on p. 252 of
Reaney & Wilson under James.  In the same entry, this spelling is dated to
1187 as a surname.

	- The spelling "MacLeod" is dated to 1227 on p. 292 of Reaney & Wilson
under MacLeod.  (This citation references Black, so the usage is almost
guaranteed to be Scottish.)
[here ends what needs to go on the form]

[Here begins the detailed name discussion:]

The only real comment I have to make is that despite the fact that 2 given
names are very common today, they were rare to non-existant in period in
England & Scotland.  Even so, the College of Arms is still currently
registering them.

[I thought I'd mention this since I didn't learn this bit of information
until several years after my own name was registered.  :)  ]

"But I see <given name> <given name> <surname> in some records," you say.
Well, here's the deal.  

In most cases, when you see what looks like
	<given name> <given name> <surname> 
in records, what you are seeing is a double patronymic.  

For example, take the Welsh name "Jeuan Eigon ap Meuric" (which is dated to
1391 on p. 306 of Reaney & Wilson under Merrick).  In this case, it is very
likely that Jeuan is the son of Eigon who is the son of Meuric. 

I've just finished writing my class notes for the Period Name Construction
class I will be teaching at Westgate tomorrow.  (Looking forward to seeing
some of you folks there!)  In writing my handout, I went through large
sections of Black's "Surnames of Scotland" looking for examples of how
names were constructed.  This name is a mix of English and Anglicized Scots
Gaelic, which is quite period.  In Black, the closest construction I could
find was a double patronymic (which are unusual, but not vanishingly rare
in this area & time):
	<given name> <patronymic byname> <patronymic byname>
	ex: Innes McAllane McRonald  (1541, Black, p. 561, MacRanald)

However, since there are plenty of examples of patronymic bynames constructed:
	<given name> <father's given name>
	ex: Gillechad Gillamor  (1153-65, Black, p. 308, Gilmour)

and plenty examples of patronymic bynames constructed:
	<given name> Mac<father's given name>
	Dogal MacHoutre  (1263, Black, p. 509, Machray)

a double patronymic constructed as Robert James MacLeod could be a
reasonable formation to represent Robert son of James son of Leod.

Though this is what "Robert James MacLeod" would represent in period, most
folks in the SCA will think that it means 
	<given name> <given name> <surname>
which was what was intended.  This form came a little later than period in

And now that I've rambled enough... :)

I believe that everyone should pick a name you will enjoy wearing.  If
Robert James MacLeod is it, go for it!  It looks like it should pass just

I look forward to seeing your submission come through.


Lady Mari Elspeth nic Bryan
Bordure Herald, Kingdom of Ansteorra
mka Kathleen M. O'Brien
kobrien at	

Go to to perform mailing list tasks.

More information about the Heralds mailing list