Minutes of the March, 2013 Heralds Meeting

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Start: 12:01 pm; End: 1:22 pm

The meeting was held at the home of Eilis O'Boirne in Berkeley, CA. In general, all future meetings will be held at Eilis’ house (2322 Russell Street, Berkeley CA 94705; 510-486-0633 -- call for directions). “Road show” meetings, if any, will be announced well in advance.

In attendance: Moira O'Connor, Vesper; Eilis ni Roibeard O'Boirne, Baldric; Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym ap Morgan o Erryrys, Matins; Krysta MacIntyre, PAL; Astrith of Swansvale, Latimer; Frederick of Holland, PAL.

Heralds’ Meetings for 2013: Apr 21, May 19, Jun 15 (Saturday), Jul 14, Aug 18, Sep 22, Oct 20, Nov 24, no meeting in Dec, Jan 5, 2014 (road show at 12th Night).

Walk-in submissions will be held over until the following month unless they arrive early enough to be processed in before the scheduled start of the meeting.

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.



Vesper: Work day happened! Lots of work got done, all roster letters went out!

Matins: No report.

Sable Swan: (written report)

Exchequer: (written report)

Stellanordica: (text report – nothing to report; moving)

Seawolf: (written report)

Greencloak: March Crown next weekend – need lots of heralds!

Banner: will have new books for crown.

Baldric: Tried a class, no one showed up; was some interest, so will try again.

Brachet: Vacant

Latimer: Went to Northern Wolf and did consultation in conjunction with the A&S activities of the event.


The next Known World Heralds and Scribes Symposium will be held in the Barony of Bjornsborg in the Kingdom of Ansteorra (San Antonio, Texas) on June 28-30, 2013. More information to follow.


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.

The office of Brachet is currently vacant, no Brachet meetings are being held.

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 Sovereign of Arms, please be sure to visit the site.

January 2013 LoAR (03 Feb 2013)

Cover letter

From Laurel: Can You Hear A Siren?

The College of Arms has a rank of Herald Extraordinary that has a long and honored history. The rank was formally created and defined in the July 1981 cover letter by Wilhelm Laurel. The intent of the rank is to recognize and reward "... those heralds who have greatly served the College of Heralds and/or the College of Arms and have achieved the highest level of competence in heraldry." Further, each Herald Extraordinary shall have a personal title.

Juliana de Luna has given long and extraordinary service to the College of Arms in many capacities, including her work as the current Pelican Queen of Arms. As such, I hereby bestow upon Juliana de Luna the rank of Herald Extraordinary. She may at her convenience choose and submit a personal heraldic title to be registered to her.

From Pelican: Some Name Resources (an ongoing series)

Household names fall into a variety of categories. This month, we're going to talk about the names used for groups of people in Gaelic. As Sharon Krossa's "Medieval Gaelic Clan, Household, and Other Group Names" (http://medievalscotland.org/scotnames/households.shtml) points out, Gaelic groups of people were inevitably named after an individual. We have no evidence in Gaelic of groups named after animals or items. Inn signs, as are found in English, seem not to have existed in Gaelic, and thus cannot be registered. So, what kinds of groups can be found in Gaelic?

Clans, one common type of group, were named after a single male ancestor. Grammar requires that his name be in the genitive (possessive) case, because it's the clan of that person. The most common pattern is to use simply the given name, making names like Clann Domhnaill or Clann Ghriogair. Occasionally we find more complex constructions, using a man's simple patronymic byname (as in Clann Mhic Dhuibhne) or a given name and descriptive byname (as in Clann Eoin Duibh).

Scots forms of these names exist as well. Some documentary forms include the 1384 Clenmcduffe, 1617 Clangregour, and 1633 Clane Eane (all from the Records of the Parliaments of Scotland to 1707 at http://rps.ac.uk/). These appear to be simple transliterations of the Gaelic Clann Mhic Dhuibhne, Clann Ghriogair, and Clann Eoin, and are not evidence that clan names were created from names found in Scots but not Gaelic.

Krossa's article also describes Gaelic household names, using the terms luchd taighe (literally "house-people") or teaghlach ("household") followed by the full name or the patronymic byname of the household head in the genitive case. The article has several examples following this pattern. This pattern is quite rare in the SCA; it would be great to see some submissions following this pattern!

From Pelican: Gaelic Matronymics

Under the Rules for Submissions, matronymics in Gaelic were a step from period practice because they were relatively rare and seem to have only appeared in descriptions after a patronymic byname. Under the Standards for Evaluation, steps from period practice no longer exist in names. Instead, each pattern must be ruled registerable (and compatible with period practice) or unregisterable.

We hereby rule matronymics in Gaelic compatible with period practice. This is based on two lines of evidence. The first is the number of examples using matronymic descriptions/bynames in the Annals. More details about these names can be seen in Mari Elspeth nic Bryan's "Index of Names in Irish Annals: Matronymic Bynames" (http://medievalscotland.org/kmo/AnnalsIndex/Matronymic.shtml). This is further supported by Anglicized Irish sources that have Gaelic-derived matronymic bynames. Diademe was able to identify a few from "Names Found in Anglicized Irish Documents" by Mari ingen Briain meic Donnchada. Two examples are Katherine ny Joan ny Acheim and Andrew m'Grany fitz James (where Grany is a spelling of Grainne). Given this variety of data, matronymic bynames in Gaelic will remain registerable.

From Pelican: Adjacent Letters or Sounds and Conflict under SENA

SENA PN3C1, which describes how changes to two syllables make two names clear of conflict says "If the changes only affect adjacent letters or sounds, they must affect more than two letters or sounds to be considered under this allowance." This appears to have created a great deal of confusion among commenters comparing the submission Marie de Blois to the registered Marie du Bois.

The confusion resides in how we consider consonant clusters at the beginning (or end) of a syllable. Some commenters implicitly or explicitly argued that the "sound" at the start of the word Blois was "adjacent" to the change in the previous syllable and thus the names were not different under PN3C1. This is not a reasonable reading of the rule given how sounds work.

In French (and indeed in most other languages), one may have multiple letters representing a single sound like ch. This is often called a digraph. Some English digraphs include th, sh, and ng; vowel pairs like ow, au, and ay can also be considered digraphs (a lot of these are actually diphthongs, but are understood by listeners as a single sound). These digraphs are treated as single sounds under SENA and are adjacent to the sounds before and after them.

Alternately, one may also have multiple letters representing a group of sounds that are pronounced sequentially in a cluster, like \bw\ and \blw\ in this case (written as Boi and Bloi respectively). Some English consonant clusters are gl, tr, spl, and str. These consonant clusters consist of multiple sounds. Under SENA, each sound is considered to be adjacent to at least one other sound within the consonant cluster. Thus, a change that affects the middle of a three-consonant cluster (like adding the l in French \blw\) affects a sound that is adjacent to the other sounds in the consonant cluster. It is not adjacent to a vowel sound that precedes or follows that consonant cluster.

In English, there are also vowel pairings that represent two different sounds, though most create two separate syllables: words like hiatus, naïve, and cooperate all have adjacent vowels that are two separate sounds. Thus, the sound represented by the a in hiatus is not adjacent to the sound represented by the h.

From Pelican: What Searle is Good for and What Searle is not Good for

This month, a name was submitted with documentation from Searle. In August of 2008, Pelican ruled that "Searle in general should not be relied upon as the sole source of documentation for an Old English name." The kingdom, unable to confirm the spelling of the name in PASE or other sources, changed it to a similar name they could document.

The use of Searle was discouraged for good reason. Searle took names from a variety of times and places and normalized them all to late period West Saxon spellings. This includes names from elsewhere in the Anglo-Saxon kingdoms, but also includes continental names. Sometimes the standardized forms are quite different from the documentary forms. As such, the spellings in this source are often forms that are not attested or even plausible given our knowledge of Anglo-Saxon sources.

While the spellings are often deceptive, the citations themselves are mostly correct. When Searle claims that a man named Albrius was recorded in 1080, we can't be sure that his name was recorded as Albrius, but we can be relatively sure that a man of some spelling of that name did exist. In this case, PASE used the Middle English form Aubrey rather than the Latinized Albrius and did not include dated citations. Metron Ariston was able to locate the name (in an inflected form) in the late 11th century.

In general, then, a dated citation in Searle should not be understood to be evidence that the specific spelling is dated to that time (or to any time at all). However, it is evidence that a person with some related name (sometimes a cognate in a different language) was recorded in an Anglo-Saxon record at that time. As such, every effort should be made to find the dated form of that name.

From Wreath: Pairs and Sheaves

Two items were pended this month for further discussion of how we handle arrangements of charges within a charge group.

SENA A3D2c requires charges in a group to be in identical postures/orientations or in an arrangement that includes posture/orientation. Precedent says:

In short, 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. [May 2012 Cover Letter]

However, A3D2c goes on to also say, "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." The charges here do not have comparable postures or orientations, but they also are not in a unified standard arrangement, as the two chisels in saltire must be blazoned separately from the crab in order to adequately describe their positioning. [William the Myllwright, R-Atenveldt, Dec 2012 LoAR]

It is possible we have overloaded the term "posture" in this case, as the rule does not explicitly say "posture/orientation" like the rest of the rule. Specifically, this month we are looking at the patterns of "two charges in saltire" and "sheaves of charges", when combined with other charges in the same charge group.

The two items pended this month had charge groups consisting of three pairs of axes in saltire and two sheaves of arrows and an axe. By current precedent, both are not registerable under A3D2c, as all require different charges within the group to be blazoned individually. However, none of these are postures, they are orientations.

It is tempting to treat the pairs of axes and the sheaves of arrows as single units; however, for purposes of considering number of charges, we count each charge: a sheaf of arrows is three charges, not one charge, and a pair of axes in saltire is two charges, not one charge. However, may we be able to treat them as a single unit for the purpose of arrangement within the charge group?

We could claim that a charge group consisting entirely of pairs of X in saltire or entirely of sheaves of X is an arrangement that includes posture/orientation, as it is an arrangement of pairs or sheaves. However, how would we treat a charge group consisting of some charges in saltire or a sheaf, plus another charge or charges? Treating the two cases separately seems to be splitting hairs way too fine. We would prefer something simple and easy to explain and apply across the board, even if it is not completely compliant with what we see in period armory.

Should we treat two charges in saltire and a sheaf of charges as a single unit only for purposes of arrangement under A3D2c:

The latter two options seem either contrary to period practice, or to be putting too great a burden of documentation on our submitters and submission heralds alike, but they are listed for the sake of completion.

Commenters are encouraged to consider these options, and any that Wreath may have overlooked, and to comment on the upcoming Letter of Discussion that will be posted soon on OSCAR. A more in-depth look at how period armory treated these patterns would be most useful.

West Kingdom acceptances


West Kingdom returns



Cadwalladyr Stone of Stonecroft. Reblazon of device. Argent, a bend checky palewise azure and argent.

Blazoned when registered in February 1975 as Argent, a bend checky barry-paly azure and argent, the checks on bend are not oriented to run parallel to the sides of the bend, as normal, but instead run palewise and fesswise.

Richard of Thistleshire. Reblazon of device. Or, in saltire two thistles slipped proper and overall a cross couped, crossletted on the upper three arms, gules.

Blazoned when registered in January 1973 as Or, in saltire two thistles proper, overall a cross crossletted of the upper three gules, the thistles have stems but no leaves, and the cross is a cross crosslet, except without a crossbar on the lowest arm. It has no difference from a standard cross crosslet.

In Service,
Gwenhwyfaer ferch Gwilym ap Morgan o Erryrys,
Matins Herald

SUBMISSONS – 17 March, XLVII (2013)


Achilles of Sparta -- Name Only

Achilles – According to the website of the Orthodox Church of America (OCA), Saint Achilles, Bishop of Larissa, lived during the fourth century, during the reign of St Constantine the Great. Glorified for his holiness of life and erudition, he was made Bishop of Larissa in Thessaly. St Achilles participated in the First Ecumenical Council, where he denounced the heretic Arius. (http://oca.org/saints/lives/2013/05/15/101392-st-achilles-the-bishop-of-larissa )

The OCA also lists Saint Achilles the Confessor lived the life of a hermit in Egypt, and died during the fifth century. (http://oca.org/saints/all-lives/2013/01/17 )

of Sparta –Sparta, in Laconia, has been known to exist since the 10th Cent. BC. The construction of the byname as a lingua anglica appears to be justified by the terms “Spartiates”, classical Greek for “Spartan” and the name “Spartenos,” documented to 1275 in the Prosopography of the Byzantine World, under “Ioannes Spartenos.” Both of these terms appear to mean “Spartan” or “of Sparta”.

Clotilde d’Avignon -- Device (name registered Dec. 2012)
Argent, a rose branch bendwise with three stems issuant to chief proper, each flowered of a rose purpure barbed and seeded proper, within a bordure vert.
This submission was originally returned from kingdom as those present at the meeting where it was considered felt that it could not be adequately blazoned and that the style was not period. In reply, the submitter provided a reference to Arthur Charles Fox-Davies, The Art of Heraldry (the “large Fox-Davies”), Plate LXXXIV, image #4. The plate is entitled “Arms from the ‘Scheiblerschen Wappenbuche.’” The submitter was not able to find an actual text reference in Fox-Davies. An on-line version of the referenced Wappenbuch (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Scheibler_Armorial) was found which dates to the late 17th century. The emblazon contained therein (#269) was substantially identical to that in Fox-Davies. The arms were identified as those belonging to the von Annenberg family. A further search turned up the fact that the von Annenbergs were the lords of Latsch in the South Tyrol. Latsch (Laces in Italian) still exists as a comune in the province of South Tyrol in northern Italy. The municipal arms of Latsch were granted in 1930 and are apparently the former arms of the von Annenbergs. Using the modern arms for guidance, we have provided the above blazon.

No conflicts were found.

Gunnar halftrǫll -- Name (see Returns for Device)

Gunnar – Bassi, pg. 10.

hálftrǫll – Bassi, pg. 22.

Hrothgar Utherson -- Name (see Returns for Device)

Hrothgar –This name is found in “Viking Names Found in the Landnámabók” by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Uckelman) where it is found three times under its Danish spelling. However, the submitter wants the English spelling. If the College could help document the English spelling, it would be appreciated.

Utherson – This submitted as Uthersson. We have changed it to conform with previously registered SCA examples of this name. Uther is British/Arthurian. It was registered several times recently, including in 2003 and 2004. In a Welsh context, we find Uther ap Elidar, B&Y 1315. Bromwich, "The Welsh Triads", also notes a couple of examples. Utherson as a patronymic was registered in July 2005 in conjunction with the Norse given name Leif, and again in April 2011 (for Alfarr Utherson) with the following commentary:

“This name mixes English and Old Norse, which is a step from period practice. Uther is registerable as a literary name on the basis of its use in Arthurian literature. Commenters questioned how early the figure of Uther was known, because a literary name cannot (of course) predate the use of the name in literature. The story of Uther appears in Monmouth's 12th century History of the Kings of Britain. Given this, there is not a second step from period practice for temporal incompatibility, and the name can be registered.”

Krysta of Starfall -- Name Change/Appeal/Reclassification

Currently registered as “Krysta MacIntyre”, submitter would like this name to be reinstated as her primary name. At the time the name change (to “Krysta MacIntyre”) was processed, West Kingdom College of Heralds policy did not allow names registered with the College of Arms to be retained as alternates. Krysta of Starfall and Krysta MacIntyre are the same person (mka. T. Krysta Hiller, Krysta T. McGuire, and, currently, Krysta McGuire Scott). The Armorial is unclear as to whether the College of Arms “released” Krysta of Starfall. If the name is still on record as “retained” by the submitter, she would like it to be her primary name of record, and Krysta MacIntyre retained as an alternate. If Krysta of Starfall was released, she would like to resubmit that name and requests that the name be considered as a “grandfathered” exception to the current name formation requirements.

Theodora Xiphilinos -- Name (see Returns for Device)

Submitted as Theodora Xiphilinos of the Byzantine Empire, we have dropped the “of the Byzantine Empire” to avoid any possible conflict with the Empress Theodora.

Theodora – cited to 1059 in Personal Names of the Aristocracy in the Roman Empire During the Later Byzantine Era from the Laurel website.

Xiphilinos – Submitter provides a list of “medieval names” which includes Xiphilinos, but does not provide a date. A search of the internet turns up several references on Wikipedia to Johannes Xiphilinos, a monk and nephew of Patriarch John VIII of Constantinople. The name is also given as John Xiphilinus on several other websites including http://www.roger-pearse.com/weblog/2010/01/02/the-sunday-sermons-of-john-xiphilinus/.

Yngvildr Þorgilsdottir -- Name and Device
Gyronny Vert and Argent, each gyron charged with a needle point to center alternately Argent and Gules.
Yngvildr – was found in Viking Names found in Landnámabók, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Uckelman); http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/names/norse/landnamabok.html.

ÞorgilsdottirÞorgils was found in Viking Names found in Landnámabók, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael (Sara L. Uckelman); http://www.ellipsis.cx/~liana/names/norse/landnamabok.html.

Device: no conflict found.


Gunnar Hálftrǫll -- Device

Per pale indented Argent and vert pappelony sable, in dexter a skull gules within a bordure indented sable.
Device has several problems: pappelony must be a color and metal; the skull is colored brown in the submitted forms, and will need to be recolored as red. An additional improvement to the emblazon would be to make the widths of the indents uniform on the per pale division, and a more uniform indent on the border as well.

Hrothgar Uthersson -- Device

Sable vetu ploye gules, a valknut Or.
Device has color on color, so will be returned. There is “fieldless, a valknut Or”, so there will need to be a divided field and something else to clear it. “Per pale gules and sable, a vulknut and a border Or” is also already registered.

Theodora Xiphilinos [of the Byzantine Empire] -- Device

Gules, a cross between four furisons, the two in base inverted, Or.
Conflict: Gules, a cross between four furisons Or. Additionally, the device was not submitted on the proper form, in the correct size, and so would be returned administratively in any case.

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