Minutes of the September, 2010 Heralds Meeting

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The meeting was held on Sunday, 26 September 2010, in Stockton, CA. The meeting started at 12:25 PM and ended at 2:30 PM. In attendance at this meeting were: Owen ap Morgan, Matins; Moira O’Connor, Vesper; Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym, Brachet; Astridh of Swansvale, Latimer; Zaid al-fallah hajji, Sable Swan; Maxen Dawel ap Morgan, Exchequer; Caoilinn Rose Maddox, Glora Fjord; Zotikos, acting Danegeld Tor; and Frederick of Holland, PaL.

The meeting schedule is November 13 (Saturday at Collegium Occidentalis), December 12, 2010. The first meeting in 2011 will be January 9, 2011 at 12th Night. Meetings start at noon, unless otherwise announced.

PLEASE NOTE: Unless and until specified otherwise, the regular meetings are now taking place in Stockton at the home of Owen ap Morgan, Matins Herald:

2023 Oak Branch Dr
Stockton, CA 95205
(209) 463-6861 (message)
Contact Owen for directions. The drive is approximately an hour from Sacramento and an hour and a half from either Berkeley or San Jose via Livermore.

Walk-in submissions are generally permitted but not encouraged, as they do not allow for advance review and prep work.. If you are bringing the paperwork for a submission to a meeting, please plan to arrive by 11:00 am to allow the file to be pulled or set up. For meetings not held in Stockton (Collegium, 12th Night, etc.) sufficient advance notice to pull any existing file will be required.

We are researching some of the name submissions beforehand through an email list, wknames@yahoogroups.com. This list is open by request to heralds in the West Kingdom who are interested in onomastic (name) research. To join the list, please subscribe at wknames-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.



Moira, Vesper- All named branch heralds have returned roster letters. Some roster letters are being re-sent, as there were apparently problems with the transmittal of some of the messages. Vesper's e-mail may haver reception problems as well. This is being worked on.

Anne, Green Cloak – Voice heralds are needed for upcoming events.

Na’arah, Banner- No report.

Eilis, Baldric- Two heraldry classes are scheduled for Collegium.

Owen, Matins – Needs for Collegium include tables, chairs, power.

Astrið, Latimer- Needs assistance for consultation and preparation of submissions at Collegium.

Gwenhwyfaer, Brachet- Commentary is up to date through the end of August.

Hirsch, Golem- No report.

Maxen, exchequer- We have funds.

Gillian, Seawolf – No report.

Zaid, Sable Swan – Things are going smoothly. Still trying to get the official changeover of the Fettburg herald's office sorted out.

Clare, Stellanordica – No report.


Fall Collegium - pending

VOICE HERALDRY: Greencloak will continue to hold voice heraldry training sessions at the beginning of events to encourage involvement at the event.

MAILING LIST: The West Kingdom College of Heralds has a mailing list for internal communication. Any herald is welcome to join by request. To join the list, please subscribe at wkheralds-subscribe@yahoogroups.com.

ELECTRONIC RESOURCES: Many interesting heraldic links can be found through the SCA Heraldry web page at http://www.sca.org/heraldry, including the Laurel home page, the on-line Armorial and Ordinary (with search capabilities) and The Academy of St. Gabriel (an onomastic and heraldic consultation service). The West Kingdom Heraldry site and the West Kingdom Awards List can be accessed through the West Kingdom site, http://www.westkingdom.org. Heraldic queries may also be addressed to Moira at herald@westkingdom.org -- answers may take a few days.

West Kingdom College of Heralds Minutes are published on the web. They may be read at or printed from the heralds' website at http://heralds.westkingdom.org/Minutes.htm. There is a colored version and a printer-friendly black and white version available.

These meetings comment on heraldic submissions from other Kingdoms. The meetings are held most Mondays at 7:00 pm at 4317 Alderwood Way, Sacramento, CA 95864. Call Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym (Brachet) for more information, (916) 323-4268 or email her, .

These meetings comment on heraldic submissions from other Kingdoms. Please consider attending – you do not have to be able to attend every week. They are a fast way to learn how the Rules of Submission work and how to research armory. These meetings are on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, contact the Latimer Herald, Astrith of Swansvale (Gretchen Lebednik) at or Eilis at 510-486-0633.


The cover letters, acceptances and returns for the past can be found at http://www.sca.org/heraldry/loar/. If you are interested in responding to some of the calls for commentary put out by the Laurel Queen of Arms, please be sure to visit the site.


Cover letter

From Wreath: Magen David Adom

A submission this month used a red Star of David on a white background. This is the symbol used in Israel by the Magen David Adom, the Jewish Red Cross affiliate. Magen David Adom is a member of the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and their use of this symbol is allowed and protected under international treaty.

The protection afforded the symbol of the Magen David Adom by international treaty and by national laws is at a much higher level than simple copyright or trademark. By treaty, the symbol of the Magen David Adom has the same protection as the symbols of the Red Cross, of the Red Crescent, and of the Red Crystal. We believe that the symbol of the Magen David Adom should be protected to the same extent as the symbols of the Red Cross, the Red Crescent, and the Red Crystal are protected. Thus, at this time, we are adding to the list of restricted charges the Magen David Adom, "A single gules Star of David on any argent background or in any way that could be displayed on an argent background (such as a fieldless badge)". The use of multiple gules Stars of David may be returned on a case-by-case basis if their placement or usage appears too evocative of the symbol of the Magen David Adom.

[Matins note: This decision has since been challenged as being based in errors of fact regarding the degree of treaty protection afforded the Magen David Adom.]

West Kingdom acceptances:

Dorcas Dorcadas. Reblazon of device. Sable, a three-headed hound rampant contourny, one head reguardant, argent.

Blazoned when registered as Sable, a three-headed hound rampant, one head reguardant, argent, langued gules, the body of the beast is facing to sinister, not dexter. We have followed modern blazon convention and dropped the languing as an artistic detail.

Kriemhild of Stonecroft. Reblazon of badge. Vert, on a mullet of nine points throughout Or a brown turkeycock's head erased proper.

Blazoned when registered, in January 1974, as Vert, a mullet of nine points throughout Or, thereon a turkeycock's head (Gallopavo meleagris) erased proper, the turkeycock's head is brown. It is also nearly entirely on the mullet, with only the tip of the beak and the bottom of the neck protruding, an arrangement termed "barely overall". The emblazon, however, falls within the current allowance for being registered as a tertiary charge, and we have blazoned it as such.

Sighni Ivarsdotter. Name change from Giuliana di Benedetto Falconieri.

The submitter requested authenticity for Old Swedish. Old Swedish is the term for medieval era Swedish, dating from the 13th to the 16th c. As best we can tell, this name is authentic for Old Swedish.

Her previous name, Giuliana di Benedetto Falconieri, is released.

This name was originally pended on the December 2009 LoAR.

West Kingdom returns:



Cover letter:

From Pelican: Transliteration and Old Norse

This month, two different submissions raised the issue of the sorts of spellings we should allow in Old Norse. This is a thorny issue, with a few complications, and so we'd like to ask the College to provide feedback.

"Old Norse" is a problematic term. Linguistically and culturally it is used to refer to three things. First, it is used generically to refer to the cultures and languages used throughout the Scandinavian world before about 1000 AD. Second, it is used to refer to Old West Scandinavian (spoken in Iceland and Norway), as opposed to Old East Scandinavian (spoken in Sweden and Denmark). Documents and names from this range of languages are found both in runic forms and later in the Latin alphabet (that is the alphabet broadly used across Europe).

Finally, "Old Norse" refers to (as Talan Gwynek put it in his "A Very Brief History of the Scandinavian Languages," which can be found at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/talan/scandinavianlang.html) "a scholarly abstraction, a standardized and regularized version of 13th century written Old Icelandic." In other words, nineteenth century scholars created a system that standardized spelling conventions and invented at least one distinction that was not used in period: the distinction between the vowel i and the consonantal j. So, again to borrow from Talan: " the [standardized] Old Norse name Herjólfr actually appears in Old Icelandic and Old Norwegian as Heriolfr, Heriulfr, Heriólfr, Heriolbr, and Heriulfuer."

At the moment, we only register documentary forms found in the Latin alphabet and standardized Old Norse forms. We do not register spellings transliterated from runic forms, for example, except in their standardized Old Norse spelling (which means in standardized Old Icelandic). Likewise, we do not register relatively casual transcriptions of Old Norse names like Bjorn, requiring instead that it be registered as the standardized Old Norse Bj{o,}rn or the documentary Biorn. Similarly , a name that appears in a runic inscription as Þurstain (reflecting Old East Scandinavian pronunciation) will be registered as the standardized Old Norse Þorsteinn.

The ways in which we deal with other languages not usually written in the Latin alphabet, like Arabic, is far more flexible: we allow several systems of transliteration with varying levels of formality in whether they indicate long marks, emphatic consonants, and even letters like `ayn and hamza, which are written as ` and ' respectively. The situation with Old Norse is a little different; some of the names are runic and are truly transliterated from another alphabet to the Latin alphabet, but others are in Latin alphabet documentary forms. Our rules and precedents are less clear about how to deal with these normalized forms when they are altered from documentary forms in the Latin alphabet.

Given this, should we allow the registration of simplified forms of standardized Old Norse, like Bjorn, that retain the i/j separation but writes both o and{o,} with a single letter? Additionally, should we register spellings that reflect runic spellings more directly than those standardized forms, like Þurstain?

West Kingdom acceptances:

Brígh inghean uí Shéaghdha. Name change from holding name Zelma of Thistletor.

Submitted as Brígh inghean uí Séaghdha, a patronymic byname where the father's name begins with S in a woman's name must be lenited. We have made that change.

The submitter requested that her name be made authentic for Irish in 1300. As the given name was documented under the saint's name allowance, we cannot meet that request. While we allow the registration of saints' names in Gaelic, there was not a pattern of giving children the names of saints in that culture.

The fact that a name is identified as a saint's name in Ó Corrain and Maguire is not sufficient to allow the registration of the Early Modern Gaelic form of that name under the saint's name allowance. Ó Corrain and Maguire were trying to identify old Gaelic names which could be brought into use for modern children, and as such took a variety of ancient names that fell out of use before the Middle Ages. To allow the registration of a saint's name, we must demonstrate that the saint was venerated in the time and place in question.

In the case of Gaelic, there are early seventeenth century lists of saints and martyrs, like The Martyrology of Gorman or Martyrology of Donegal, both of which are searchable in Google Books. The appearance of a saint's name in those sources is evidence that the saint continued to be venerated and will allow the registration of the saint's name in the early modern form (noting that these sources often use earlier spellings of the names). Other lines of evidence, like the names of churches and listings in print dictionaries of saints or the Catholic Encyclopedia are also evidence that the saint continued to be venerated; online listings of saints are not good evidence, as their listings are often created from dubious sources. In this case, commenters were able to confirm the continued veneration of Brígh, allowing the registration of the name.

Collene de Beath. Name and device. Per chevron gules and Or, on a chevron sable three dragonflies Or, in base a frog gules.

Collene is the submitter's legal name.

Giolla Phadraig O Seaghdha. Name.

The submitter requested authenticity for c. 1300 Ireland. We can confirm that the given name was in use at this time; it seems likely that the clan byname was, as it survived to much later times. But we cannot find evidence of its use in c. 1300 Ireland.

Golden Playne, Canton of. Branch name.

The submission did not include the type of designator for the branch (this was later remedied). We remind submissions heralds and submitters that each non-personal name requires a designator. Lack of a designator could lead to return.

Lüthold von Altstadt. Name (see RETURNS for device).

The submitter requested authenticity for late 14th-century German. While the constructed byname is plausible (and hence can be registered and may even be authentic), the submitter might want to know that commenters found that the more likely form for the late 14th century is Altenstadt. Ælfwynn Leoflæde dohtir found that name dated to c. 1368 and to 1326 as Altenstaat in Wolf-Armin Frhr. v. Reitzenstein's Lexikon Bayerischer Ortsnamen while Gotfrid von Schwaben found "1295 ze der Alten Statt, and 1382 Altenstat das dorf" in Diter Berger's Geographische Namen in Deutschland. The latter citations in particular clearly refer to the "old town" of Geislingen.

Saionji no Hana. Name change from Jehanne de Wodeford and badge. (Fieldless) Three fans in pall inverted conjoined at the handles azure each charged with a demi-roundel flat to center argent.

Appearing on the Letter of Intent as Saionji no Harae, the forms have the given name as Hanae. Unfortunately, no evidence could be found of the use of Hanae before 1600. As the submitter allowed the given name to be changed to the related name Hana, which was in use before 1600, we have made that change to register the name.

Her previous name, Jehanne de Wodeford, is retained as an alternate name.

West Kingdom returns:

Lüthold von Altstadt. Device. Sable, a sinister hand and on a chief dovetailed argent three ravens sable.

This device is returned lack of identifiability of the tertiary charges. The beaks and feet of the ravens are argent on an argent background. While we allow minor details of charges to have poor contrast with the field, complete lack of contrast often renders the charges or their posture unrecognizable. In this case, since the beak and feet of a bird are part of the distinguishing characteristics, they must have at least some contrast with the field, if not good contrast.

In Service,
Owen ap Morgan
Matins Herald

SUBMISSONS – 26 September, XLV (2010)


Lleucu Bengam - Device resubmission to kingdom (Nov 2009)

Purpure chapé ployé, a vine fesswise argent and on a chief dovetailed sable a vine argent.

The drawing issues which prompted the previous return have been addressed. While there was no consensus at the meeting whether a chief could be used on a field divided chapé ployé, it does seem the blazon most likely to reproduce this emblazon. If it is considered necessary for registration, this could probably be accepted as a per chevron chapé throughout division, with the move to chief prompted by the sole primary charge in base.


Leonardo Phenix - Device resubmission to kingdom (Apr 2010)

Argent, a chevron gules between three gryphons' heads erased vert.

The reason for the previous return was addressed through a letter of permission to conflict with the registered device of Alyna of the Ilex (9/02 Calontir) Argent, a chevron throughout gules between three sprigs of holly vert, fructed gules. Unfortunately, what was not noticed at the time (nor until after the meeting this time) was that the armory forms submitted were printed too small. The Laurel office can and does return submissions if the image of the armory does not meet the minimum size standards, and while a device does not need to be the full 6" recommended height, 5 3/8" is not close enough. We will need a new set of forms, printed full size, before this can be sent on.

Lucrezia Ana Callista Caracciolo da Venezia - Device resubmission to kingdom (Apr 2010)
Sable, a Gorgon's head cabossed, winged, and in chief an artist's brush fesswise, bristles to dexter, argent.

The previous attempt was returned for redrawing on the grounds that the wings were too small to be significant. Unfortunately, this rendition goes too far in the opposite direction, conjoining wings along the entire sides of the head in such a way that there is no clear separation (to the detriment of identifiability.) The size of the charges contributes to this, as they are too large to avoid being cramped together. Additionally, the head itself appears to have dreadlocks rather than serpents for hair, detracting from its identity as a Gorgon's head.

While the submitter provided a copy of a book cover reported to show "the parade shield of Charles V showing a winged Medusa head" resembling this depiction, no text was copied to confirm that information or to indicate that this was a heraldic representation rather than a merely artistic one. Not all period artwork is suitable for heraldry.

If the submitter were to use a head similar in size and appearance to that in the first submission, with a pair of wings attached to the sides of the head but only at the shoulders of the wings, with the wings the same height as the head (or nearly so) and extending close to the sides of the shield, we should have no further complaint. If the submitter would like a sketch showing what we mean by this, that can be accommodated.

Please note as well that the artist's signature is mandatory on armory forms for reasons of copyright.

Nemis - New name

Registered names must contain a given name plus at least one other element. This submission lacks a given name, as the only documentation provided for the single element regard a Lake Nemi in Italy and a river Nemis in Lithuania. That documentation is not scholarly, providing neither evidence of the antiquity of the spellings nor any reason to conclude that they would even support use of the element "Nemis" as a byname.

Oliver of Southampton / Oliver de Montfort - Device resubmission to kingdom (Apr 2010)
Argent, a three-headed dog sejant affronty sable, in chief an olive branch leaved and fructed proper.

[The name is uncertain: The name forms show "Oliver of Southampton" as the "Society Name" and "Oliver de Montfort" as the "Name being submitted". For a new primary name, the "Society Name" IS the name being submitted. As the armory forms show "Oliver de Montfort" I expect that is what was intended, but this needs to be cleared up ASAP.]

The previous return was administrative (failure to provide a line outline copy of the device form.) Unfortunately, the artistic rendition this time has problems which the previous version lacked and which prevent our sending this on. The dog is rendered with extensive white highlighting. This in itself would not be a problem; the original had it also. The current version, however, has a large part of the highlighting around the edge of the charge, where it bleeds into the like-tinctured field to the detriment of identifiability. At the time we considered this item, there was an absolute ban on detailing adjacent to a background of the same tincture. The Laurel office has decided to be somewhat more generous, but easy identifiability is still required.

Also, the olive branch in the new depiction is shown as just lines with a hint of color overlaid. Heraldic charges need substance, exaggerating narrow charges beyond natural proportions. Please draw the branch with some thickness along its entire length.

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