Minutes of the May, 2011 Heralds Meeting

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The meeting was held on Sunday, 8 May 2011, in Stockton. The meeting started at 12:30PM and ended at 2:20PM. In attendance at this meeting were: Owen ap Morgan, Matins; Moira O’Connor, Vesper; Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym, Brachet; Eilis O’Byrne, Baldric; Astrið of Swansvale, Latimer; Maxen Dawel ap Morgan, Exchequer; Caoilinn Rose Maddox, Glora Fjord; Zotikos the Cretan, Danegeld Tor; Frederick of Holland, PaL; and Mikael.

Future 2011 meetings are currently scheduled for June 5 [cancelled], July 10 [held], August 21, September 11, October 23, and November 20. We do not presently intend to hold a meeting in December 2011. 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 conducting some preliminary name research through the West Kingdom heraldic consultation mailing list wkheralds_consults@yahoogroups.com . This list is open to all those interested in West Kingdom book heraldry: both names and devices, and either to contribute or to ask questions. To join the list, please subscribe through Yahoo or at wkheralds_consults-subscribe@yahoogroups.com. If you subscribe by e-mail, you can complete the process by replying to the confirmation e-mail; it is not necessary to log in to Yahoo. Please note that initial posts are moderated and thus may not appear on the list immediately.



Moira, Vesper- Please note that it is important to get court reports finished on time and submitted properly. According to SCA law, an award that is not officially reported and recorded within nine months must be reaffirmed.

Sable Swan is changing in three weeks, as Zaid is taking a break to work on his doctorate.

Vesper is attending Known World in late June, where Emma de Fetherstan (of Ansteorra) is taking on the office of Wreath Sovereign of Arms (in charge of armory.) The search for Laurel has been reopened.

Senior heralds should check that the West Kingdom heraldry web site is up to date, and contact Hirsch about updates and corrections as needed. Keep in mind that the "Words from . . ." pages are available as a means of distributing information.

Anne, Green Cloak – (By phone) There was a shortage of voice heralds at Beltaine. Green Cloak will attend June Crown, but not Kingdom A&S. The pavilion is in the royal trailer for delivery to June Crown. Green Cloak anticipates difficulty attending Purgatorio but can leave the pavilion in the royal trailer to ensure its availability.

Ketiley, Banner- No report.

Eilis, Baldric- Training classes were offered at Southern Shores, but the event was poorly attended and only one person turned up for the Field Heraldry class. All the A&S classes were unattended.

Baldric is travelling to Oertha in May, intends to hold classes at the Golden Rivers championship [originally schedules for June, but now scheduled for late July when Baldric will be unavailable], and generally intends more focused learning activities. While the College has been asked to provide a track of classes at Collegium Occidentalis, this has been declined due to the history of poor interest/attendance.

Owen, Matins – In view of the anticipated lengthy training period involved, Matins is actively seeking trainees in order to develop an eventual successor. It is not anticipated that a changeover will occur any time soon. Trainees need not attend every meeting, but should be willing to commit to active pursuit of knowledge regarding book heraldry and the submissions process.

Astrið, Latimer- Mists Coronet had a total of one consultation. By contrast, there were five or six consultations at [Southern Shores Newcomers'?]. The plan is for a minor presence at Cynagua Coronet, then full consultation at the Golden Rivers event [again, rescheduled to the end of July.]

Gwenhwyfaer, Brachet- Research on the March letters was done by mid-April, so the group took two weeks off. April letters are progressing well.

The East Bay Brachet group has fallen somewhat behind due to illness, but is trying to catch up in view of a scheduled family trip during the summer.

Hirsch, Golem- No report.

Gillian, Seawolf – No report.

Zaid, Sable Swan – No report.

Clare, Stellanordica – No report.

Maxen, exchequer- The College is solvent. Attempting to train the designated successor.


This year's Known World Heraldic and Scribal Symposium [was] held in Atlantia, in High Point, North Carolina on the weekend of June 24-26, 2011. The symposium is a chance to meet top heralds from throughout the Known World and take classes at various levels. Next year's Symposium will be held in the Barony of the Bridge (East Kingdom / Rhode Island).


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 have changed location and are now in Walnut Creek on Wednesday nights. If you are interested, contact the Latimer Herald, Astrið of Swansvale (Gretchen Lebednik) at .


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 Elisabeth, the incoming Laurel

As my highly esteemed predecessor says, the decision has not yet been made regarding a new Laurel so I will be filling in on an interim basis for six months. With such an outstanding staff to work with I trust I can get up to speed again very quickly.

Mistress Olwyn has a lot to be proud of in the achievements of her tenure as Laurel. I am very pleased to follow in her footsteps and grateful for the good order the office is in. Because of her hard work this transitional phase will be relatively simple and we all benefit. Thank you, Olwyn. Very, very much.

Rather to my own surprise, I am looking forward to the next few months. Although it was tiring and had its moments, my previous tenure was also wonderfully rewarding and the people I met and worked with are some of the most intelligent and interesting I have ever known. I appreciate the opportunity to work with you all again for a while, after which I will cheerfully, nay gleefully, resume my retirement.

From Laurel: The Wreath Transition (and Continuing Pelican)

We are pleased to announce that Emma de Fetherstan will be the next Wreath Queen of Arms. She will step up at the Known World Heralds and Scribes Symposium in June as scheduled. We are also pleased to announce that Juliana de Luna will continue to serve as Pelican Queen of Arms.

From Pelican: Some Name Resources (A Series)

In Irish Gaelic, there is often confusion between literal bynames and inherited family names. While literal bynames dominate in the early part of our period, family names begin to appear by the 10th century. The first kind of family names were clan affiliation bynames, which for men take the form Ó followed by the name of clan founder in the genitive (possessive) case, like Ó Conchobhair or Ó hAodha.

The most typical kind of literal byname describes a man as his father's son (again using the father's given name in the genitive case): mac Conchobhair or mac Aodha. As time went on, family names that use Mac begin to appear; this are sometimes indistinguishable in form from literal bynames. The difference from our point of view is whether the name after mac is the father of the person in question or some ancestor further back in time.

By the time we get to the 16th century, an awful lot of the names that are recorded are inherited family names rather than literal bynames. Therefore, we have to be careful in looking at the names in Woulfe and other sources for late period names; only some of them allow the construction of literal bynames, while others are only registerable as family names. One tip in recognizing the difference: family names are often written, especially by modern scholars, with the relationship terms (like Mac) in capital letters, while literal byname are almost always in lowercase. So if you're looking at a source that has both Mac and mac, that's probably why.

This distinction matters a great deal when we get to women's names, because the constructions for women's literal bynames and women's family names are different. The literal byname form for a woman, used when the name in question is her father's given name, is inghean followed by the father's given name in the genitive case, like inghean Chonchobhair or inghean Aodha. Additionally, the first letter of the father's name often has to be lenited, a softening of the sound often written by adding an h after the letter in question. But a literal byname can only exist when the name is constructed from a given name still in use or a handful of special bynames that were used to create literal bynames. Other kinds of constructions can only be used to create family names.

Women's names take different forms; a woman can never be known in Gaelic as mac X or Ó X. Instead, family names for women generally take the form inghean followed by the masculine form of the family name in the possessive form, meaning "daugher of the X family." The forms are inghean Uí or inghean Mhic; the second words are the possessive forms of the masculine Ó and mac. Examples include inghean Uí Chonchobhair, inghean Uí hAodha, inghean Mhic Conchobhair, or inghean Mhic Aodha. Don't forget that the rules for lenition are based on context, so that C is not lenited after a word that ends with -c like mhic. A woman's name in Gaelic always must have the inghean.

So, when you're constructing women's names in Gaelic, you need to be careful. If you're using a source for given names, like Mari Elspeth nic Bryan's "Index of Names in Irish Annals," you can construct either literal bynames (using inghean) or family names (using inghean Uí or inghean Mhic). If you're using a source with family names, like Woulfe, you need to figure out if the family name can be used to construct a literal byname, or else stick to the appropriate family name form (using inghean Uí when the masculine Ó is documented and inghean Mhic when the masculine Mac is documented).

West Kingdom acceptances

Amanda of Southern Shores. Holding name and device (see RETURNS for name). Purpure, on a lozenge argent a leaf vert, a chief argent.

This device is clear of the device of Juliane Hebert, Azure, on a lozenge argent an acorn inverted slipped and leaved vert, a chief argent. There is a CD for the change of tincture of the field and a CD, under Section X.4.j.ii of the Rules for Submissions, for the substantial change of type of the tertiary charge.

Submitted under the name Rhieinwylydd verch Aythan.

Celestria Textrix. Badge. Per chevron azure and vert, a mushroom erminois.

Gavin Woodward. Name and device. Azure, two chevronels braced and on a chief wavy argent, three spruce trees proper.

Katherine d'Aquitaine. Device. Per pale gules and sable, a griffin contourny and a bordure rayonny Or.

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

Leonardo has permission to conflict with the device of Alyna of the Ilex, Argent, a chevron throughout gules between three sprigs of holly vert, fructed gules.

Mari inghean Chuáin. Name and device. Argent, an eagle rising wings displayed gules and on a chief vert three roses Or.

Submitted as Mari inghean Chúáin, inghean Chúáin mixes the Early Modern Gaelic inghean with the Middle Gaelic Chúáin. As the given name is Early Modern Gaelic, the easiest solution is to make the entire name Early Modern Gaelic. The Early Modern Gaelic form of the patronym is Cuán or Cuan (both are found as forms of the saint's name in The Martyrology of Donegal, making the byname inghean Chuáin or inghean Chuain. We have changed the name to the first of the two, as it is closer to the submitted form, in order to register the name.

Myfanwy verch Ieuan. Name and device. Argent, a dragon passant and on a chief indented purpure three compass stars argent.

While the spelling Myfanwy is not clearly dated to before 1600, it is consistent with late period Welsh spellings and can thus be registered.

There is a step from period practice for the use of compass stars.

Patrice of the Misty Fjords. Reblazon of device. Argent, in fess a wyvern erect contourny azure sustaining by the blade a sword inverted sable, a bordure azure.

Blazoned when registered, in January 1995, as Argent, a wyvern erect contourny azure grasping by the blade a sword inverted sable, a bordure azure, we are clarifying the relative sizes of the wyvern and sword.

Sedania de Corwyn. Device change. Per fess Or and vert, two ravens sable and a griffin Or.

Her previous device, Vert, on a fess between three thistles Or, a griffin statant sable, is retained as a badge.

Wolff von Aichhalden. Name and device. Azure, three ermine spots Or, on a chief triangular argent a compass star gules.

Nice 15th century German name!

There is a step from period practice for the use of a compass star.

West Kingdom returns

Rhieinwylydd verch Aythan. Name.

The Letter of Intent characterizes the given name as something which "may have been used in 12th century Wales." This badly misstates what the source says. [Matins has since received an apology from Pelican for making this erroneous claim. The article itself is in error, but I did not misquote it.] Rieingulid appears in a 12th century manuscript as the name of the mother of a 5th century saint who started his adult life as a member of King Arthur's court. This places him solidly in a legendary rather than historical context. The names of people who appear in saint's legends but are not themselves saints are not registerable. Therefore this name must be returned.

Her device has been registered under the holding name Amanda of Southern Shores.


Cover letter

From Pelican: Some Name Resources (A Series)

This month, the issue of undated header forms has come up a couple of times. It's often true that header forms in important resources for naming are undated. One reason is that those books tend to focus on early citations of the name. Therefore, all is not lost if a header form is not dated. But at the same time, you have to demonstrate that the header form is compatible with period spellings (and at a time when the name was in use).

There are several ways to go about doing this. If it's a language that has dictionaries that deal with period forms, especially with the kinds of collections we see in English (the Middle English Dictionary and the Oxford English Dictionary) or in Spanish (CORDE), then you're in luck. Searching on the preferred spelling is likely to get you somewhere.

Google Books is probably your next best option. You must be careful here, because many books replace period forms with standard modern ones. What you're looking for is a source that includes your desired spelling as well as other spellings for the same name element, or at least a variety of spellings for very similar elements. You have to be careful, because some sources standardize only given names or only placenames. A strategy that I often use is to search on both the form I'm looking for (usually the standard modern form) and a spelling I know dates to period. Once you have found it, be sure that it's a dated form, and not one used only in comments about the document.

Finally, don't be afraid to ask the experts. It's often better to ask before a submission gets to Laurel, as it's easier to engage in a back and forth discussion with the submitter about spellings. But, if all else fails, send it up! There's no guarantee that we'll be able to find the header spelling, but if you don't ask, we won't know. Please, if you do this, be clear about what the submitter wants and what the submitter will accept in the Letter of Intent item. But don't forget: in some languages, commenters have been working miracles.

From Wreath: Tertiary Charges and Difference

For several months we have seen a large number of submissions which attempt to use minuscule tertiary charges and depend on those charges to generate difference. We remind submitters and submissions heralds, that section VIII.3 of the Rules for Submissions says that all charges must remain identifiable and can be rendered unidentifiable by significant reduction in size. The standard for identifiability is whether or not a majority of viewers can identify the charge drawn on a standard-sized submission form at ten feet (about three meters for our metric-enabled folk). If the type of the charge is not recognizable and identifiable at that distance, the submission will be returned for lack of identifiability.

From Wreath: OSCAR and Unintended Consequences

This past month, it was again brought to our attention that a number of heralds are using OSCAR in ways for which it was not originally designed, but which may be highly useful for other heralds.

The first way that it's being used is for documentation. Many heralds, especially newer heralds, do not have the extensive resources of others in the College of Arms. However, a trend is that the same name is frequently popular among multiple submitters. Looking for documentation from sources that appear in Appendix H can be as simple as searching OSCAR for the desired name. This feature should be used with care: check the LoAR to ensure that the documentation was actually acceptable and the name was registered using that documentation. Those with commenting privileges should also check the comments for submissions which have not yet been decided.

Another feature which is enabled by the search function is conflict checking armory which does not yet appear in the Ordinary and Armorial. While this must be done with care, due to misspellings and blazonable variants of the same charge (think: sword, dagger, poinard, rapier, falchion, scimitar, seax, broadsword, greatsword, katana, claymore, etc...), it can be a powerful tool to catch conflicts with recently registered items.

West Kingdom acceptances

Guy Massyngberde. Name and device. Or, a weeping willow tree couped azure between in chief two hedgehogs combatant gules.

The submitter requested authenticity for the 14th-16th century; this is a lovely 15th or 16th century English name.

Eastern Crown has found evidence that the weeping willow was cultivated in Andalusia in period, therefore we will no longer consdier its use to be a step from period practice.

Keith Robertson. Reblazon of device. (Tinctureless) In pale an R-rune conjoined to a chevron inverted couped.

Blazoned when registered, in October 1976, as (Tinctureless) An R-rune set in a chevron reversed, the charges are co-primary charges.

Note that precedent currently would disallow this registration, as ordinaries and non-ordinaries may not be in the same group. That doesn't mean we won't acknowledge when older devices were registered that would violate modern precedent.

Loðh{o,}ttr austmannaskelfir. Name (see RETURNS for device).

Lüthold von Altstadt. Device. Sable, a sinister hand and on a chief dovetailed argent three Cornish choughs proper.

Merced Maggiesbane of Hove. Device change. Or semy of quatrefoils gules, on a bend sable the Arabic for "Gracious is God to his servants" in Arabic script argent.

The text is a verse from the Koran, which was very common on standards and heraldry-like items from medieval Islamic countries.

Please instruct the submitter to draw fewer and larger quatrefoils.

His previous device, Per bend embattled gules and argent, in sinister chief a sun within a snake involved Or, is retained as a badge.

Vigdis Hakonsdottir. Name and device. Per pale gules and sable, a ram passant regardant Or.

West Kingdom returns

Loðh{o,}ttr austmannaskelfir. Device. Per chevron ployé gules and Or, two ravens respectant argent and a flanged mace inverted purpure.

This device is returned because the charge in base is not identifiable, either to the commenters or to those who attended the Wreath meeting. This is a violation of section VII.7.a of the Rules for Submissions, which requires that "Any charge ... used in Society armory must be identifiable, in and of itself, without labels or excessive explanation."

In Service,
Owen ap Morgan
Matins Herald

SUBMISSONS – 8 May, XLVI (2011)


Anna di Caterina Neri - New name and device

Per bend sinister azure and gules ermined Or, in chief an eagle Or.

The client expressed a preference for the pronunciation "Ah-nuh nuh-Ree".

Anna is an Italian feminine given name. The article "Feminine Given Names from the Online Catasto of Florence of 1427" by Arval Benicoeur (Josh Mittleman) at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/arval/catasto/ attests a single instance of this spelling.

di Caterina is an Italian matronymic. Arval's article "Feminine Given Names from the Online Catasto of Florence of 1427" [supra] attests the base name Caterina as the single most common feminine given name in the data, with 148 instances. The page "Women's names in the patronymic field" by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith) at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/juliana/condado/matro.html cites 55 apparent matronymics formed as di [given name] from the source data, with at least one (di Maddalena) having no masculine equivalent for which it could be an error.

Neri is an Italian family name. The article "A Listing of Family names from the Condado Section of the Florence Catasto of 1427" by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith) at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/juliana/condado/familyalpha.html attests two instances of this spelling from the source data.

The article "Names in 15th Century Florence and her Dominions: the Condado" by Juliana de Luna (Julia Smith) at http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/juliana/condado/ states that "some have all three types of names (a given name, a patronym, and a family name)[.]" As matronyms are also documented, we suppose that the pattern given name + matronym + family name is reasonable.

Described by the submitter as a hawk displayed, we see no reason not to blazon the bird an eagle. The tincture Or need not be repeated if the consensus is that it would still be clear that only the gules portion of the field is ermined Or.

Lucrezia Ana Callista Caracciola da Venezia - Resubmission of device change to kingdom
Sable, a gorgon's head cabossed, winged displayed, and in chief an artist's brush, bristles to dexter, argent.

Her old device, Sable, a wolf sejant reguardant within a bordure rayonny argent., is to be retained.

The first attempt at this design had the wings as small, maintained charges. The second substituted an image modeled on a picture of a shield on the cover of the book Heroic Armor of the Italian Renaissance which had large wings conjoined to the head along the entire height of each side; in combination with the use of hair instead of most of the serpents, we felt that it was not sufficiently recognizable as a gorgon's head. This third attempt was originally sent in with the form printed too small and no artist's signature; we allowed the submitter to remedy these details so it could finally be sent on.

Oliver de Montfort - Device resubmission to kingdom
Argent, a three-headed dog sejant affronty sable and in chief an olive branch, stub to dexter, proper.

[Matins confesses an unfortunate inability to distinguish the brown of the branch from the green of the leaves, even on close examination, leading to an erroneous blazon on the posted LOI.]

The first attempt at this design was returned administratively for failing to provide a line outline copy. The second was returned for the extensive use of argent highlights, including around the outside edge of the charge, which compromised its identifiability. This third attempt was originally sent in without an artist's signature; we allowed the submitter to correct that so it could finally be sent on.

Staffan Arffuidsson - New badge
(Fieldless) In pall three seraphs conjoined at their upper wingtips Or.

Described by the submitter as Or, these were originally colored with a distinct greenish tinge over most of the charges. In e-mail correspondence, the submitter confirmed that Or was intended and that the problem was the use of several old, discolored markers. With the submitter's e-mail permission, we have recolored the forms using a better marker.



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