Society for Creative Anachronism
College of Arms

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For the January 2014 meetings, printed March 12, 2014

To all the College of Arms and all others who may read this missive, from Gabriel Laurel, Juliana outgoing Pelican, Lillia incoming Pelican, and Emma Wreath, greetings.

NOTE: The version of this LoAR that was dated March 10, 2014, has been retracted. This is the corrected version that superceded it.

Items listed below in square brackets have not been scheduled yet. For information about future scheduling, please review the status table located on the Web at

The January Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, January 19, 2014 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, January 11, 2014. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Laurel LoItP (10 Oct, 2013), Laurel LoPaD (13 Oct, 2013), Northshield (14 Oct, 2013), Atenveldt (15 Oct, 2013), Outlands (20 Oct, 2013), Middle (21 Oct, 2013), East (22 Oct, 2013), Drachenwald (23 Oct, 2013), Atlantia (26 Oct, 2013), Caid (29 Oct, 2013), Calontir (30 Oct, 2013), ∆thelmearc (31 Oct, 2013), An Tir (31 Oct, 2013), Ansteorra (31 Oct, 2013), Ealdormere (31 Oct, 2013), Meridies (31 Oct, 2013), Trimaris (31 Oct, 2013). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should have been entered into OSCAR by Tuesday, December 31, 2013.

The February Laurel decisions were made at the Pelican meeting held on Sunday, February 23, 2014 and the Wreath meeting held on Saturday, February 22, 2014. These meetings considered the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (06 Nov, 2013), Atenveldt (10 Nov, 2013), Lochac (10 Nov, 2013), Caid (18 Nov, 2013), Calontir (18 Nov, 2013), Outlands (22 Nov, 2013), Ealdormere (25 Nov, 2013), Northshield (25 Nov, 2013), Drachenwald (27 Nov, 2013), Middle (27 Nov, 2013), Meridies (28 Nov, 2013), Gleann Abhann (29 Nov, 2013), West (29 Nov, 2013), ∆thelmearc (30 Nov, 2013), An Tir (30 Nov, 2013), Atlantia (30 Nov, 2013), East (30 Nov, 2013). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals have been be entered into OSCAR by Friday, January 31, 2014.

The March Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in March 2014. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Ansteorra (02 Dec, 2013), Laurel LoPaD (05 Dec, 2013), Lochac (05 Dec, 2013), Caid (14 Dec, 2013), East (19 Dec, 2013), Outlands (20 Dec, 2013), Middle (21 Dec, 2013), Northshield (27 Dec, 2013), Meridies (28 Dec, 2013), Calontir (29 Dec, 2013), Drachenwald (29 Dec, 2013), Artemisia (30 Dec, 2013), Atenveldt (30 Dec, 2013), Ealdormere (30 Dec, 2013), ∆thelmearc (31 Dec, 2013), Atlantia (31 Dec, 2013), Trimaris (31 Dec, 2013). All commentary, responses, and rebuttals have been be entered into OSCAR by Friday, February 28, 2014.

The April Laurel decisions will be made at the Pelican and Wreath meetings held in April 2014. These meetings will consider the following letters of intent: Laurel LoPaD (02 Jan, 2014), [Lochac (06 Jan, 2014)], [Caid (19 Jan, 2014)], Atlantia (20 Jan, 2014), [Outlands (22 Jan, 2014)], [East (25 Jan, 2014)], [Trimaris (26 Jan, 2014)], Drachenwald (27 Jan, 2014), [Ealdormere (28 Jan, 2014)], [Calontir (29 Jan, 2014)], Gleann Abhann (29 Jan, 2014), [Atenveldt (30 Jan, 2014)], Northshield (30 Jan, 2014), [West (30 Jan, 2014)], [An Tir (31 Jan, 2014)], [Meridies (31 Jan, 2014)]. All commentary, responses, and rebuttals should be entered into OSCAR by Monday, March 31, 2014.

Not all letters of intent may be considered when they are originally scheduled on this cover letter. The date of posting of the LoI, date of receipt of the Laurel packet, or other factors may delay consideration of certain letters of intent. Additionally, some letters of intent received may not have been scheduled because the administrative requirements (receipt of the forms packet, receipt of the necessary fees, et cetera) have not yet been met.

REMINDER: Until all administrative requirements are met, the letter may not be scheduled.

* From Laurel: Online Notifications

While Istvan announced the availability of OSCAR integrated online notifications to submissions heralds some time ago, we realized recently, thanks to some questions, that we have never officially announced that they were an acceptable means of doing notifications.

OSCAR notifications are considered part of kingdom records, and so notifications that are picked up electronically via OSCAR do not need to be otherwise saved separately.

Notifications that are not picked up in a timely fashion will need to be followed up some other way as usual.

If anyone has suggestions on making them work better, or making the workflow better, please do contact Istvan - the current system was the first idea, but there have not yet been any suggestions on making it work better.

* From Pelican Emeritus: The Obligatory Thanks

I have had a great three and a half years doing this job. It would never have gone so smoothly had it not been for the capable help of many people. I want to thank first the behind the scenes computer types: Istvan Non Scripta, Daniel Troll, and Reis Codex. Without you three, the Letters of Acceptances and Returns would never have gotten done. The ability to say "Reis, you fix it" and to know that it would be done is priceless. Wu and Shauna kept the paperwork in order and made sure that we caught the little mistakes along the way. Thanks for all your help.

I want to thank my staff, who helped me with meetings, researched items for me, proofread, and generally tried to keep me from making mistakes: ∆lfwynn, Alisoun, Richenda, Mari, Lillia, Marie, Gisela, Istvan, Ursula, Shauna, Brunissende, Jeanne Marie, Elsbeth, Alys, Helena, Yehuda, Nicolas, Illuminada, Gwenllian, Aryanhwy, Daniel, Elisabeth, Margaret, Herveus, and Katla. Without you, my decisions would have been the poorer and my mistakes far more numerous.

Thanks to my partners in this madness: Istvan and Emma as Wreath; Olwynn, Elisabeth, and Gabriel as Laurel; Marie for taking over as Palimpsest on very little notice and finishing up SENA; and especially to my predecessor Aryanhwy, to Mari for stepping in for a few months, and to Lillia for being brave enough to take my place. You've made this job a joy.

Finally, special thanks to Richenda, who supported me endlessly through this. I'm so glad that you're in my life.

To all the rest of you: it's been an honor and a privilege to work with you. I look forward to continuing to comment and working with all of you in the College of Arms.

* From Pelican (Emeritus): Some Name Resources (an ongoing series)

When I started writing these in June of 2010, little did I know how much material we'd cover. I hope that you've found these useful, and that you've enjoyed reading them at least as much as I've enjoyed writing them.

To conclude this series, I want to point out a few criteria that you might use in judging name resources, whether articles, books, or online resources. The first thing I look for in a resource is spelling variability. If names are always spelled in the same way, that's a sign that the source has been normalized. Normalized forms are not always a problem, but many editors also modernize the names and sometimes Anglicize them. Thus, you can have a source about period people, sometimes even one that includes period texts, that still doesn't give us the period name forms. This is a particular problem in languages that use special characters, like accented letters or other diacritical marks; editors often silently add them, even in historical periods when they were not used or were not used consistently. Along with that, I expect period documents that refer to people to use different forms of names (with and without titles and bynames, for example) as they mention the same person again and again. A document that always uses exactly the same phrasing to talk about a person is one that's probably been altered by a modern editor.

Good name information is dated information. In general, an article or book that has few specific dates is a problem. You have to be careful with this, as sometimes dates are hidden in plain view. For example, italicized forms in Woulfe are dated to Ireland in the time of either Elizabeth I or James I. Similarly, italicized forms in Geirr Bassi are dated to Iceland in the settlement period (9th-10th century).

For a few times and places, dated names are hard to come by. Our work on Arabic and Mongolian names largely depends on articles that include longer time periods than we prefer. However, the sources from which these data are taken cover long periods of time and do not always date people's lives clearly enough to attach dates to an individual name citation. So, where more precisely dated material is not available, using less precisely dated citations is acceptable. But do make sure that there are good reasons to think the citation is period: names and bynames have continued to be created (and to be spelled in different ways) after the end of the Renaissance.

* From Pelican: Greetings and Thanks

Hello! I am Lady Lillia de Vaux, and started as Pelican on the first of the year. I'd like to thank Gabriel Laurel and the rest of the team for their help during the transition. I'd especially like to thank Juliana for being a great mentor, teacher, and friend, and for encouraging me to take on the job.

For those who don't know me, I reside in the Shire of Hartshorn-dale, East Kingdom (Philadelphia suburbs). I've been a herald since approximately 2006, and served as the East's submissions herald for several years. I look forward to working with the College, and hope to see many of you this year at KWHSS, Northshield's heraldic symposium, Pennsic, and other events.

* From Pelican: Acceptable Batches for FamilySearch Historical Records

A name submission this month relied on a B batch record at FamilySearch ( This batch had previously not been ruled acceptable as sole documentation for a name element. We are correcting this omission: B batches from the indexed records at FamilySearch are now acceptable as documentation. Otherwise, the information in the September 2012 Cover Letter is still valid:

In general batches beginning with C, J, K, M (except M17 and M18), or P are acceptable. If you use another batch, please address why you believe it to be a period spelling of the name. For example, I batches are taken from indices created at various points in the past. Thus, some names in this batch are normalized, and earlier indexes may reflect out of date scholarship. When citing an IGI record be sure to include the batch number.

* From Wreath: Phases of the Moon

The "phases of the moon" motif of a roundel between an increscent and a decrescent has long been considered a step from period practice. As early as August 1989 it was declared "not really period style," but did not seem to be considered a step from period practice until September 1998. We know that the motif of an X between two Ys is a fairly common one in later period English armory. Non Scripta found evidence of a rose between two lions combattant and a mullet between two lions combattant, and Elmet added a fleur-de-lys between two rabbits passant respectant, all in English armory. Orle actually found a roundel between a decrescent and an increscent in Italian armory. We have never considered an X between two Ys respectant to be considered a step from period practice with any other combination of charges, only with a roundel and crescents, which is not consistent. Therefore, we are overturning past precedent. This motif is no longer considered a step from period practice.

* From Wreath: SENA A3D2c and Arrangements, One More Time

A few submissions this month had commenters discussing whether or not they violated "unity of arrangement." SENA A3D2c, Unity of Posture and Orientation, does not actually govern arrangement on the field. Specifically, it states in full:

The charges within a charge group should be in either identical postures/orientations or an arrangement that includes posture/orientation (in cross, combatant, or in pall points outward, for example). A charge group in which postures for different charges must be blazoned individually will not be allowed without period examples of that combination of postures. Arrangements of charges which cannot be blazoned will not be allowed. Some standard arrangements for period charge groups are discussed in Appendix K.

Precedent set on the May 2012 Cover Letter stated that "if the charges in a single charge group do not have comparable postures, they are not in violation of the "identical postures/orientations" part of the rule. The charge group as a whole must still be in a standard arrangement." That last sentence has been interpreted, along with the reference to Appendix K, to mean that only arrangements found in Appendix K are valid. However, we also ruled on the November 2012 Cover Letter that Appendix K is not meant to be all inclusive, and that "charges in a single group split in two by a field division or a central ordinary that are placed to reasonably fill the space available to them and that are similar to period patterns will be considered to be in a default arrangement, and they do not require their exact positioning to be blazoned."

We feel some clarity is in order. An arrangement of charges within a group that is blazonable is registerable, as long as it does not otherwise violate the unity of posture and orientation rule by having different postures/orientations amongst the group. In short, when you have comparable postures/orientations amongst the charges in a group, they should be in the same posture/orientation. For example, three swords in pall and an arrow fesswise has comparable charges in different orientations and would therefore be a violation of A3D2c, but four mullets in chevron and a rose would not. The latter may be poor style, but at this point we are not inclined to further restrict charge group arrangement upon the field.

* Society Pages

On January 18, at Southern Region Scriptorium and Heraldic Symposium, Their Majesties Kenric and Avelina of the East made Yehuda ben Moshe, Elmet Herald, a member of the Order of the Silver Crescent for his heraldic work. The Silver Crescent is the East's order of high merit for service.

On February 8, at Insulae Draconis's coronet tournament, Their Majesties Prothall and Cecilia of Drachenwald made Lady Constanza of Thamesreach, Albion Herald, a member of the Order of Panache, in part for her onomastic skills. The Panache is Drachenwald's award for arts and sciences.

On January 8, Randal Carrick, White Stag Principal Herald, was placed on vigil to contemplate elevation to the Order of the Pelican. He will give his answer at the Outlands Kingdom Arts and Sciences Competition on April 12, 2014.

On February 15, Their Majesties Timothy and Gabrielle of ∆thelmearc have instructed their Silver Buccle Herald, Kameshima Zentarou Umakai, to sit vigil in contemplation of accepting elevation to the Order of the Pelican. Said contemplation will be taking place at the Donnan Party on March 29, 2014 in the Shire of Ballachlagan.

On February 22, Myfanwy verch Rhiannon, long-time herald and heraldic artist, became a member of the Pelican in the kingdom of ∆thelmearc.

Cainder ingen hui Chatharnaig, Trillium Principal Herald of Ealdormere, became a member of the Order of the Pelican at Winter War on March 1, 2014.

* Send What to Whom

Letters of Intent, Comment, Response, Correction, et cetera are to be posted to the OSCAR online system. No paper copies need be sent. All submission forms plus documentation, including petitions, must be posted to the OSCAR online system.

Cheques or money orders for submissions, payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms" are to be sent to John C. Sandstrom, New Mexico State University, PO Box 30006/MSC 3475, Las Cruces, NM 88003.

Send roster changes and corrections to Laurel. College of Arms members may also request a copy of the current roster from Laurel.

For a paper copy of a LoAR, please contact Laurel, at the address above. The cost for one LoAR is $3. Please make all checks or money orders payable to "SCA Inc.-College of Arms". The electronic copy of the LoAR is available free of charge. To subscribe to the mailings of the electronic copy, please see the bottom of for more instructions.

For all administrative matters, please contact Laurel.

Pray know that I remain,

In service,

Gabriel Kjotvason
Laurel Principal King of Arms

Created at 2014-03-12T23:16:03