ANSTHRLD - Household Names

Timothy A. McDaniel tmcd at
Thu Feb 8 09:00:43 PST 2001

Magnus / "doug bell" <magnus77840 at> wrote:
> It must be said that household names are an SCA invented anachronism
> not found in history.

Yes and no.

The SCA heraldic term "household name" covers a multitude of groups,
some of them with period exemplars (tourneying companies, say, or a
company of soldiers) and some somewhat modern (adult unrelated people
who just want to hang together: I dimly recall hearing of some
loosely-related confraternities in period, but I have no data to hand)
and some entirely modern.

(It's rather like the armory term "badge".  In period, it was a type
of armory: it was used to mark retainers and certain types of
property, and appeared on certain banners.  In the SCA, "badge" means
"everything except the primary registered 'device' [another misused
term] of the bearer", which includes period badges, but also other
armory as well: group battle flags, other flags like populace ensigns,
imprezzas, award and order insignia, ...)

> And keep in mind with households the SCA College can return a name
> for arcane and perverse reasons.

In my experience, I believe that that is false.  If a return appears
"arcane and perverse", it's almost certainly because you don't
understand the reason.  There are a lot of people who don't understand
extrapolating from known data to a hypothetical -- who think that "Inn
of the White Hart" is enough to justify "House Silvery Words", to
invent an example.

Further, that comment helps neither the submitter nor the College.
Heralds have a bad-enough unjustified reputation in re "mysterious
rules" and arbitrariness without anyone piling on.  Mind you, if I
thought the rep WERE justified, then I would support such comments --
but I think it is not.

> It is a good idea to send as much evidence as you can find.

I agree in principle.  After all, at worst someone will have to wade
thru irrelevant evidence to discard it before sending it up to
Laurel.  However, if you have the one crucial piece and DON'T send it
up, it could be a return.

I would add only one caveat: if you find yourself photocopying more
than, oh, maybe 10 pages for a name element, you might want to think a
moment about your copying and postage budget, and think about
contacting an experienced herald, because you might be on the wrong
track.  I think that only the most obscure or hard-to-justify names
would require so many pages.

Oh, and PLEASE copy double-sided.  The local herald's postage budget
will thank you.  The Asterisk Herald and Laurel Queen of Arms filing
cabinets will thank you.

Also, please take a highlighter and highlight the applicable words or
names, to make the wading easier.

Daniel de Lincolia
Tim McDaniel is tmcd at; if that fail,
    tmcd at is my work account.
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