Collected Precedents of the S.C.A.: Marital Bynames

Name Precedents: Marital Bynames

Laurel: Date: ( Precedent:
François la Flamme 2003.12 Submitted as Ellisif Þunnkárr Reinarskona, we have lowercased the byname to use standard transliteration conventions. (See the Cover Letter for the October 2002 LoAR for more information.)

The byname Reinarskona combines the Danish masculine given name Reinar with the Old Norse kona 'wife'. While Danish and Old Norse are related languages, they are not the same language. Therefore, the byname Reinarskona violates RfS III.1.a, which requires linguistic consistency within a name phrase. As the submitter allows major changes, we have dropped this element in order to register this name. [Ellisif þunnkárr, 12/2003, A-West]

François la Flamme 2003.11 Submitted as Fj{o,}rleif Rúnólfswyf, the submitted byname Rúnólfswyf combines the Old Norse Rúnólfs- with the English -wyf and so violates RfS III.1.a, which requires linguistic consistency within a name phrase. The Norse word for 'wife' used in bynames is kona, as in Ŝorvé, Végauts kona, found in Lindorm Eriksson's "The Bynames of the Viking Age Runic Inscriptions" ( In this case, the two elements are separate words, but in transcriptions, bynames that express relationship often take this form. In other sources, they are written as a single word. Therefore, this would be acceptable either as Rúnólfskona or Rúnólfs kona. As the former is closer to her submitted name, we have made that change. [Fj{o,}rleif Rúnólfskona, 11/2003, A-Meridies]
François la Flamme 2003.09 The submitter requested authenticity for 12th C French/Welsh, requested changes for the meaning 'Chiere, wife of Maredudd', and allowed minor changes.

In most cases, an authentic name in period that combined elements from two languages (in this case, French and Welsh) would be recorded all in one language or all in the other language depending upon the language in which the name was recorded.

Clarion provided information regarding Welsh names that appeared in France:

The article "Welsh Names in France in the Late 14th Century" [KWHS Proceedings, 1994] looks at Welsh names in French contexts. In that context names were as the above article indicates that in a French context they "Frenchified" the Welsh names. Thus if the "wife of X" pattern is used in French names (and I do not know if it is), then Chiere <wife of> Mereduc would be a reasonable French name of a woman married to a Welshman and living in France. Mereduc is one of the forms found in the above article.

In a Welsh context, the given name would probably be converted to either a Welsh or English form. I am not certain what that would be.

Hercule Geraud, Paris sous Philippe-le-Bel: d'aprés des documents originaux et notamment d'aprés un manuscript contenant Le Rôle de la taille imposée sur les habitants de Paris en 1292 lists a number of entries that use fame to mean 'wife of', including Ameline, fame Phelipe, de Pontaise (p. 7, column 1).

Based on this information, a fully French form of this name, appropriate for the late 14th C, would be Chiere fame Mereduc. Lacking information regarding how the French feminine given name Chiere would be recorded in Welsh, we are unable to suggest a fully Welsh form of this name.

Lacking evidence of significant contact between French speakers and Welsh speakers in the 12th C, we were unable to make this name authentic for the submitter's requested time period. As the submitter only allows minor changes, and changing the language of a name phrase is a major change, we were unable to change this name to the fully French form Chiere fame Mereduc in order to partially meet the submitter's request for authenticity. [Chiere wreic Maredudd, 09/2003, A-Trimaris]

François la Flamme 2003.08 Listed on the LoI as Natal'ia Dieka zhena Raynovicha, the form showed that this name was submitted as Natal'ia Dieka zhena Rabynovicha. We have made this correction.

The submitter has a letter of permission for her name to presume a relationship with Diek Rabynovich, registered earlier in this LoAR. When indicating a 'wife of' relationship in a woman's name in Russian in period, her husband's given name takes on the same form as it would in a patronymic. For example, Wickenden (3rd ed., p. 202 s.n. Mariia) dates Mar'itsa Fedorova zhena Neelova to 1538-9. Therefore, a name meaning that Natal'ia is the wife of Diek Rabynovich would take the form Natal'ia Diekova zhena Rabynovicha. We have made this correction in order to register this name. [Natal'ia Diekova zhena Rabynovicha, 08/2003 LoAR, A-Atenveldt]

François la Flamme 2003.08 Submitted as Zofeia Iul'iana zhena Iastreyeva, the submitter requested authenticity for Russian and allowed minor changes. [...]

The byname element Iastreyeva was not correctly constructed. Nebuly explains:

[T]he element Iastreyeva is undocumented. The documented form is Iastrebova or Iastrebtsova, and there is no evidence presented for the b to become a y. Secondly, the word zhena, which indicates that she is a wife, should follow the name of her husband as in the examples given by Wickenden on pp xxvi-xxvii.

We have changed Iastreyeva to Iastrebova as noted by Nebuly.

The byname zhena Iastrebova is a single name phrase consisting of the elements zhena 'wife' and Iastrebova. All examples of this type of byname that were found by the College had the element zhena 'wife' after the element referring to her husband's given name. Therefore, the construction Iastrebova zhena, not zhena Iastrebova, is supported by these examples.

While changing the order of name phrases in a name is a major change, changing where a particle appears within a name phrase is a minor change. This level of change is similar to dropping a particle (such as mac) in a name phrase, which is a minor change, while dropping the entire phrase is a major change. Therefore, we have placed zhena after Iastrebova in this byname in order to register this name. [Zofeia Iul'iana Iastrebova zhena, 08/2003 LoAR, A-Meridies]

François la Flamme 2003.05 Submitted as Jehanne Feu Chrestienne, Feu was submitted as a surname listed in Cateline de la Mor's article "Sixteenth Century Norman Names" ( Information has been found that Feu is used to mean 'deceased' in French records, not as a surname. Sommelier explains:

I believe that Cateline's article is in error and the Feu is not a surname, but rather means "deceased". The two examples in Colm's "An Index to the Given Names in the 1292 Census of Paris" appear to use feu in this manner: Aalèz fame feu Jehan de Londres and Andrie fame feu Jehan de Beaumont. This is also the meaning I have seen in the genealogical research I have done, which covers the late 1600s through the mid-1800s. I don't know about period records, but post-period (1700s and 1800s) it is common to see illegitimate children simply identified as <name> fille/fils <mother' name> in civil registration records (birth, marriage, and death records). If the mother is dead, this becomes <name> fille/fils feu <mother' name>. Feu does not appear in Dauzat.

Lacking evidence that Feu was used as a French surname in period, rather than as a notation meaning deceased, Feu is not registerable as a surname.

Since the submitter allows dropping of Feu, we have dropped this element in order to register this name. As both Jehanne and Chrestienne are feminine given names, the name Jehanne Chrestienne is a given name with an unmarked matronymic byname. Based on the examples found by Sommelier, this name would also be registerable as Jehanne fame feu Chrestien 'Jehanne wife of the deceased Chrestien'. Chrestien is found as a masculine given name in Colm's article cited by Sommelier above. [Jehanne Chrestienne, 05/2003 LoAR, A-Atenveldt]

François la Flamme 2003.05 Note: she has a letter of permission for her name to presume a relationship with Tvorimir Danilov. [Ed. Note: the construction indicates she's the wife of Tvorimir Danilov] [Elena Tvorimirova zhena Danilova, 05/2003 LoAR, A-An Tir]
François la Flamme 2003.02 Regarding Thorgeirrson, the LoI stated that, "The submitter is using this as a marriage name, as Haakon Thorgeirrson is her legal husband." There are two problems with this name. First, no documentation was presented for this relationship other than this statement in the LoI. Lacking such evidence, the submission is not eligible for the Grandfather Clause. (See the Cover Letter for the October 2002 LoAR "Clarification of the Grandfather Clause" for more details.)

Were documentation provided as required for the Grandfather Clause, her husband's Norse patronymic byname would still not be registerable with a feminine given name. Precedent states:

As is explained in the 22 February 1993 Cover Letter, we have extended the principle in two ways. First, we allow the original submitter to register further instances of the problematic element provided that they introduce no new violations of the rules; and secondly, we extend the allowance to the original submitter's nearest kin. [Roxanne Blackfeather, December 1995 LoAR, R-East]

Throughout period, bynames were literal in Scandinavia. Metron Ariston explains:

[This byname] would not in period have been used as to indicate the wife of someone whose patronymic was Ŝorgeirsson as married women in Scandinavia retained their own patronymics as they do to this day in Iceland. And, if you changed it to the period Ŝorgeirsdóttir, you would be implying she was her husband's sister, which I suspect she does not want to be. (Also note that the heading on Haakon'[s] name submission has the patronymic as Thorgiersson, not the form used here.)

Therefore, a name combining any form of Thorgeirrson with a feminine given name is grammatically incorrect and is not registerable. Further, because her husband's name does not have this violation, her name submission introduces a new violation of the rules as prohibited in the precedent cited above. [Alizaunde Thorgeirrson, 02/2003 LoAR, R-Atenveldt]

François la Flamme 2002.10 This name is being returned for multiple issues. Regarding the submitter's wishes, the LoI stated that the submitter intended the name to mean "the white-haired wife of Stefan of the Afumati family." Also, the LoI said that, "The client wants a name authentic to 15th century Romania/Hungary and cares most about having a name from that language/culture."

The first issue with this name is that there is no given name in this name, and so it violates RfS III.2.a, which requires at least one given name and at least one byname in a personal name. Second, by combining the Romanian Stefán with the Hungarian -ne, the element Stefánne violates RfS III.1.a, which requires linguistic consistency within a name phrase. Third, the number of bynames may be an issue depending upon whether the submitter wishes Romanian or Hungarian. No documentation has been presented, and none was found, that a Hungarian name would contain more than one byname. Lacking such evidence, multiple bynames are not registerable in Hungarian.

Since the LoI provided this information to the College, the College had the opportunity to research options for the submitter. Nebuly provided information regarding issues with this name and options that the submitter may wish to consider:

The three biggest problems are that (1) it mixes Hungarian and Romanian elements even within individual phrases of the name (RfS III.1.a), (2) undocumentaed[sic] use of a three element name from Hungary (my research through thousands of period names has never turned up even one case with more than one given and one byname, for more see my article Hungarian Names 101), and (3) lack of a given name (required by RfS III.2.a).

The name also does not mean what the submitter thinks it means. It does not mean "the white-haired wife of Stefan of the Afumati family," but instead "the wife of white-haired Stefan of Afumati."

According to Giurescu (p.412) the byname means "of Afu-mati" (as a locative and not a family name; see P{av}tru{t,}) and is written in modern Romanian as de la Afuma{t,}i (note comma below the letter t). This notation was not used to write period Romanian, and a better transliteration might be de la Afumatsi. However, according to Giurescu (p.100):

His tombstone, in Neagoe Basarab's church at Curtea de Arge{s,}, is a remarkable piece of funerary sculpture; the ruler is represented on horseback, with his mantle floating in the wind, as a knight, and the inscription reminds of his victorious battles.

With this information, it just might be possible to track down a photograph of the statue and inscription to see how his name was actually recorded in period.

Contrary to information given in the LoI, the name Stefán does not appear in Aryanhwy's article on names from Moldavia and Wallachia. In fact, there is no letter á in either modern or period Romanian. The modern spelling is {S,}tef{av}n (note comma under the S and breve over the a). However, Romanian was written in Cyrillic until 1859, so the diacritics are not period.

The period Hungarian form of Stephen is Istvan or Istwan, and Fehér Istwanne would be a fine documentary form for a period Hungarian woman. However, it would mean "wife of white-haired Stephen", and could not be registered in the SCA because it still would lack a given name.

To construct a registerable Hungarian name, the submitter would need to choose a feminine given name, such as Orsolya (there is a list of all the period women's names I've been able to find in Hungarian Feminine Names), and she could then be Feher Orsolya. Alternatively, the submitter could find a period Romanian given name and be [name] de la Afumatsi. Either way, this is a drastic change requiring the addition of a wholly new name element, and the submission would best be returned so that the submitter can select one.

[Fehér Stefánne de la Afumati, 10/2002, R-Middle]
François la Flamme 2002.07 Submitted as Brita Hughs, the LoI noted that she "wishes the name to be Swedish, with the caveat that she primarily wishes it to reflect her marriage to her husband, who carries the SCA name Hugh de Bardenay (recently submitted)." The College found examples of widows whose bynames indicated their husband's given name. This was done by putting the husband's name in the genitive case. It is less clear whether a woman whose husband was still living would have used this form. As we were unable to find a Swedish form of Hugh, we were unable to meet this request.

In English, the byname Hughes is a patronymic that became an inherited surname. No evidence was found that it would have indicated a husband's name. All forms of this byname that the College was able to find in period were spelled Hughes. We have changed the byname to this form in order to register this name.

A name mixing Swedish and English is registerable with a weirdness. [Brita Hughes, 07/2002, A-Atlantia]

François la Flamme 2001.12 Submitted as Lilias MacLeòid, the submitter claimed MacLeòid under the Grandfather Clause, citing the registration of her husband Daimhín Mac Leóid (reg. 06/95). However, no documentation was included in the submission proving that Daimhín Mac Leóid is her husband. Without such support, she is not eligible for the Grandfather Clause.

In any case, MacLeòid is not registerable to her under the Grandfather Clause:
The issue is the scope of the Grandfather Clause. The basic principle is that an item once registered remains so even if for some reason it ceases to be registerable. As is explained in the 22 February 1993 Cover Letter, we have extended the principle in two ways. First, we allow the original submitter to register further instances of the problematic element provided that they introduce no new violations of the rules; and secondly, we extend the allowance to the original submitter's nearest kin. (Talan Gwynek, LoAR December 1995, p. 20)
There are two issues with the name Lilias MacLeòid that are not present in the name Daimhín Mac Leóid. The first is a mix of Gaelic and English. This is one weirdness, but such a mix is registerable. The second issue is the combination of a feminine given name used with a masculine form of a byname. As bynames were literal in Gaelic, this combination has not been registerable for some time. This registerability violation is not present in the name Daimhín Mac Leóid. Therefore, even if she presented proof of eligibility for the Grandfather Clause, this name would not be registerable.

As the submitter allows any changes, we have changed the byname to the Anglicized form MacLeod. [Lilias MacLeod, 10/01, A-Trimaris]
François la Flamme 2001.11 ... Luaithren was documented from The Book of Irish Saints by Eoin Neeson. On examination, this doesn't appear to be a trustworthy source. Of the twelve saints listed in the photocopies we received, at least three (including Luaithren) aren't corroborated in Farmer's The Oxford Dictionary of Saints or Ó Corráin & Maguire. Seven of the remaining names don't have the Gaelic forms of the saints' names correctly spelled. Additionally, Neeson is not consistent in his headers. Some have Gaelic forms as the first listed header form; others use Anglicized forms, with no indication of which is which. In at least one case (Saint Brioch), Neeson incorrectly describes the saint as being from Ireland. All of these factors combine to render Neeson's book unsuitable for our purposes. Barring documentation of Luaithren from another source, we can't register it at this time.

The submitted byname bean Seabhcir was intended to mean 'wife of the fowler or falconer'. Seabhcir was documented from a Gaelic dictionary. No documentation was presented and none was found that this word was known in Gaelic in period. Barring such documentation, it is not registerable in a name. [Luaithren bean Seabhcir, 11/01, R-An Tir]
François la Flamme 2001.09 Submitted as Elzbieta Rurikovna, the ending -ovna indicates that her father was named Rurik. Her forms say that she intends the name to mean that she is the wife of Rurik, which would take either the form Elzbieta Rurikova zhena ("Elzbieta Rurik's wife") or Elzbieta Rurikovskaia ("Rurik's Elzbieta"). As the latter is closer to her originally submitted form, we have made this change. [Elzbieta Rurikovskaia, 09/01, A-Atenveldt]
Da'ud ibn Auda (2nd tenure, 2nd year) 1995.06 Sineidin is apparently late-period, and Toran, if it was actually used as a personal name, seems to be early. But the discontinuity is not arresting, and this seems the least problematical way to give the submitter a surname that can be interpreted as 'wife of Thorin', that being her husband's registered name. (Sinéidín Bean Thoráin, 6/95 p. 1)
Da'ud ibn Auda (2nd year, 1st tenure) 1992.03 [<given name> bena Cato, bena meant to be Irish for "wife of"] "The byname is improperly constructed. It contains mixed languages that do not appear to have combined this way in period. (Also, according to Lord Dragon the particle should be 'ben' rather than 'bena'.)" (LoAR 3/92 p.12).
Da'ud ibn Auda (1st year of 1st tenure) 1991.06 [Forgalwoman] "Submitted as <name> Forgal's Woman, we have modified the name to follow period practice in forming this sort of byname, which appears not to use the possessive 'X's' ('Tomwyf, 'Smythwyf', both noted in the LoI). While a number of commenters noted that they would much prefer a form which smacked less of 'property', Lord Lanner notes that the OED dates 'woman' as meaning 'wife' in 1450, so if 'wife' is acceptable, so is 'woman'." (LoAR 6/91 p.5).