Heraldic Resources on the Web
Since the Society for Creative Anachronism practices a unique style of
heraldry, the best place to look for information on these matters is
the Society for Creative Anachronism' s website
(http://www.sca.org/heraldry/welcome.html). The Heraldry Page
can take you to individual Kingdoms' College of Heralds sites, many of
which have articles and links to all aspects of heraldry. Cruise this
site at your leisure; new links and articles are always being added.
Many of the sites listed therein are interesting, but some of the most
valuable areas are:
Rules for Submission, Administrative Handbook for the College of Arms,
and Glossary of Terms
The Rules for Submission state the rules used by the College of Arms to
judge submissions of name and armory. The Rules for Submission is
rather daunting, but most of the reasons that submissions are returned
are cited from the RfS.
Many of the Rules also include examples which illustrate how an
individual rule ought to be interpreted.
The Handbook defines what can be registered, what is protected, submission
procedures, and heraldic responsibilities in the SCA.
The Glossary defines many technical terms used in SCA heraldry and includes
tables of reserved/restricted charges, proper colorations for charges,
default postures, and misused terms.
This is a nearly complete list of all the names and armory registered
by the S.C.A. College of Arms (it is usually only a couple of months
out-of-date, with the most recent registries waiting to be entered).
Like a true Armorial, it is arranged by the bearer's name. It is an
interesting place to see what names are common in the S.C.A., although
don't assume all names registered by the college in the past are still
capable of being registered.
This is a nearly complete list of the names and armory registered by
the College of Arms, arranged alphabetically by charge types. It
features the blazons (word descriptions) only. It is a good place to
see how popular certain charges are in S.C.A. armory, and it is the
primary site to check for conflicts in regard to device or badge
Even for a non-herald, the site is fairly easy to navigate; key words
are highlighted and defined.
Archive of Laurel Letters
These are the monthly Letters of Acceptances and Returns prepared and
distributed by the Laurel Sovereign of Arms; again, only blazons are
included. In addition to showing names and armories that have been
registered, these letters also include the submissions that were
returned, the reasons for return, and often commentary on submissions
that were registered.
A Heraldic Primer
This is a series of self-taught lessons in heraldic design. The reader
can proceed as slowly or as quickly as he/she feels comfortable.
Pictorial Dictionary of Heraldry, 2nd Edition
This book was written by Bruce Draconarius of Mistholme and Akagawa
Yoshio; it contains most of the heraldic charges found in S.C.A. and
provides both simple, clear illustrations of these charges and a brief
description of the charges, including their histories in real world and
S.C.A. armory. It is available through Free Trumpet Press West
(From the Administrative Handbook for the College of Arms)
Many of these reference books are out-of-print and/or very difficult to
Alfgar the Sententious. Fabulous Heraldry.
Balfour-Paul, James. Ordinary of Arms in Scotland [Lyon I].
Boutell, C. Boutell's Heraldry.
Brault, Gerald J. Early Blazon.
Brooke-Little, J.P. An Heraldic Alphabet.
Chesshyre and Woodcock, The Dictionary of British Arms, Volume I [the new Papworth].
d'Ormonde, Herveus, Combined Ordinary of various small ordinaries.
d'Ormonde, Herveus, Combined Ordinary of various small ordinaries, Volume II.
Foster, Joseph. The Dictionary of Heraldry: Feudal Coats of Arms and Pedigrees.
Fox-Davies, A. The Art of Heraldry.
Fox-Davies, A. The Complete Guide to Heraldry.
Fox-Davies, A.C., Heraldic Badges.
Franklyn, Julian. Shield and Crest.
Friar, Stephen. A New Dictionary of Heraldry.
Gayre, Robert. Heraldic Cadency.
Gough, Henry, and Parker, James. A Glossary of Terms Used in Heraldry.
Hawley, W.M. and Chappelear, Kei. Mon: The Japanese Family Crest.
Innes of Learney, Thomas. Scots Heraldry.
Louda, Jiri and Maclagan, Michael. Heraldry of the Royal Families of Europe.
MacDermot, Alison, Public Heraldry: An Ordinary of the Civic and Corporate Heraldry of
England, Scotland, and Wales.
Moncreiffe, Ian and Pottinger, Don. Simple Heraldry.
Neubecker, Ottfried. Heraldry: Sources, Symbols and Meaning.
Papworth, John W. Papworth's Ordinary of British Armorials.
Reed of Robertland, David. An Ordinary of Arms, Volume II (1902-1973)\/} [Lyon II].
Rietstap, J.-B., Armorial Général.
Rothery, Guy Cadogan. Concise Encyclopedia of Heraldry.
Scott-Giles, C.W. The Romance of Heraldry.
Smith, Whitney. Flags: Through the Ages and Across the World.
Vuong Manh. A Military Ordinary.
von Volborth, Carl-Alexander. Heraldry: Customs, Rules and Styles.
Woodward, John and Burnett, George. Woodward's Treatise on Heraldry British and Foreign.
Medieval Names Archive
The SCA website's Heraldry locale can direct you to the Medieval Names
Archive (or just use http://www.panix.com/~mittle/names/). It was
created and is maintained by a former Principal Herald of the East
Kingdom and has a growing number of "acceptable" name resources papers
there. Some are merely lists of names taken from period sources like
tax rolls, and others are very detailed and elaborate treatises on name
construction. I cannot recommend the site and its resources highly
enough, for the information it contains and for its convenience to
anyone with computer access. With the resources available on this
site, there is no reason that anyone should have to fall back on the
"books to be avoided," listed below. The site also provides good
alternative sources for the standard name books (listed below) that are
out of print, rare, or difficult to find for the average submitter or
Academy of Saint Gabriel
The Academy of Saint Gabriel is a private name consultation group,
comprised of a number of SCA heralds with a remarkable number of
resources and knowledge. While the group's research is exemplary, there
is sometimes a long wait (weeks to months) required for the research to
Name Books That Do Not Require Photocopies to Laurel
(Appendix H: Administrative Handbook of the College of Arms)
This is a list of "standard books" that do not require photocopies to
be sent to Laurel. The Laurel office has copies of all of these books,
and urges the Kingdom Colleges to acquire copies of any they do not
have. Note: the ame submission forms must contain the header name and page
number and edition of the book in which the reference name is found.
Bahlow, Hans. Deutschland
Black, George F.
The Surnames of Scotland.
Brechenmacher, Josef Karlmann.
Etmologisches Wuurterbuch der Deutschen Familiennamen.
Dictionnaire tymologique des Noms de Famille et des Pr noms de
Dauzat, Albert and Rostaign.
Dictionnaire tymologique des Noms de Lieux de la France.
The Concise Oxford Dictionary of English Place-names.
Emidio. dizionario dei cognomi italiani.
Emidio. dizionario dei nomi italiani.
Fucilla, Joseph G.
Our Italian Surnames.
Geirr Bassi Haraldsson.
The Old Norse Name.
Welsh Personal Names.
Johnston, James R.
Place-Names of Scotland.
The Surnames of Ireland.
Melcon, R. P. Gonzalo Diez.
Morgan, Peadar. Ainmean Chloinne:
Scottish Gaelic Names for Children.
Morgan, T.J., & Morgan, Prys.
Les Noms de Personne sur le Territoire de L'Ancienne Gaule du VI au
Corrin, Donnchadh & Maguire, Fidelma.
Reaney, P.H. and R. M. Wilson
A Dictionary of English Surnames.
A Dictionary of Irish Place-Names.
Searle, William George.
Oxford Dictionary of Christian Names..
Sloinnte Gaedheal is Gall: Irish Names and Surnames.
Bibliography of Standard References
(Appendix E: Administrative Handbook of the College of Arms)
(The names found in these sources may not be registerable, but the
sources will help determine if the names are appropriate and period
Chamber's Biographical Dictionary.
Daiches, David et al. Penguin
Companion to Literature.
Dictionary of National Biography.
Harvey, Paul (Ed.)
Oxford mpanion to English Literature.
Manguel and Guadalupe.
Dictionary of Imaginary Places.
Penguin Encyclopedia of Places.
New Century Cyclopedia of Names
Oxford Classical Dictionary.
Shapiro, Max S. and Hendricks, Rhoda
A. Mythologies of the World: A Concise Encyclopedia.
The Tolkien Companion.
Webster's Biographical Dictionary.
Webster's Geographical Dictionary.
Concise Dictionary of Medieval History.
Names Sources to Be Avoided in Documentation
(Appendix F: Administrative Handbook of the College of Arms)
The books in this (non-comprehensive) list "should be regarded with
deep suspicion, and avoided wherever possible" (Cover Letter, 8 June
85, p.4) for the purposes of documenting names in the SCA. This is not
to say that these books are "bad" books for the purposes for which they
were written, only that they are not good sources for the purpose of
documenting names for registration in the SCA.
In addition to the books named specifically on this list, others which
should be avoided are any by Alfred J. Kolatch, and most books with
the word baby or children in the title or books of the what to
name your baby in [language] type. The only regular exceptions to this
Welsh Names for Children, which is a paperbound edition of
his more scholarly work; items therein containing dates may be presumed
to be accurate. Items therein without dates may be presumed to be
modern for purposes of the SCA. Woulfe's
Irish Names for Children is also a good name source. It
includes much information concerning Saint's names (which can be
assumed to be period) as well as `ancient' names (which may also be
assumed to be period).
Etymological Dictionary of Family and Christian Names.
Irish First Names.
Coghlan, Ronan, Ida Grehan and P.W. Joyce,
Book of Irish Names The Book of Irish Names.
Dellquest, Augustus Wilfrid,
These Names of Ours: A Book of Surnames.
Dunkling, Leslie and William Gosling,
The New American Dictionary of First Names.
Hanks and Hodges,
Dictionary of First Names.
Hanks and Hodges,
Dictionary of Surnames.
Kolatch, Alfred J.,
The Jonathan David Dictionary of First Names.
Loughead, Flora Gaines,
Dictionary of Given Names.
Name This Child: A Dictionary of Modern British and American Given
or Christian Names.
New Dictionary of American Family Names.
A Treasury of Names (also published under the title
What to Name the Baby).
History of Christian Names.
The New Age Baby Name Book.