Main Menu - Misc. - Clothing/Textiles - Medieval Wales - Names - Other Medieval - Publications - Harpy Publications

This page last modified December 25, 2010

Onomastics (the study of names)

This is going to be a very exciting part of my site ... as soon as I get through the mechanics of putting it together. Currently it includes a number of articles I've written on various specific topics. Eventually it will also be the gateway to my database of medieval Welsh personal names.

General Articles

How to Document a Name (to within an inch of its life)

This article specifically concerns the name research and registration process in the Society for Creative Anachronism (although I've been told that it has some use for putting together a logical argument in general).

The Tale of Tangwystyl: or It's Your Name and You Can Change If You Want To

An essay in answer to SCA members who think it's impossible to change their persona names.

Name Blog Essays

A collection of blog entries (originally published elsewhere) on various (mostly modern) name topics.

Celtic Langauges and Cultures


Name Constructions in Gaulish

An article focusing on the structure and grammar of Gaulish names in those examples where we have more than a single name element recorded. Includes a discussion of the relevant grammar as well as issues of Greek and Latin influences on how names are recorded.


The First Thousand Years of British Names

This is a general survey of Brythonic names from the Roman era up through around 1000 CE, although the later information is specifically drawn from Welsh sources. Much of this material would be better served by more focused and in-depth articles on the specific sources.

5-7th Century Names of the Brythonic North

Currently this article focuses on women's names, but I intend to expand it to cover men's names at some future date. The focus is on the names of people associated with the northern Brythonic kingdoms (e.g., Rheged, Elmet, Gododdin), including the names of women who married into those lines.


Early Medieval Breton Names

A relatively brief article on names in early medieval inscrptions.


Cornish (and Other) Personal Names from the 10th Century Bodmin Manumissions

An examination of personal names appearing in legal contracts written in the margins of the Bodmin Gospels in the 10th century. The largest source of Old Cornish personal names, although there are also many English names included.

Welsh - see also the data section

A Simple Guide to Constructing 13th Century Welsh Names: Merioneth

Intended as a brief pamphlet for choosing a "typical" name of the time and place.

A Simple Guide to Constructing 16th Century Welsh Names: Pembroke

Intended as a brief pamphlet for choosing a "typical" name of the time and place.

Women's Names in the First Half of 16th Century Wales (with particular attention to the surnames of married women)

The main thrust of this article was to look at the way women's names are constructed in comparison with the names of other family members to better understand if and how women's names might change on marriage in 16th century Wales. Also useful for 16th c. names in English contexts in general.

Period Welsh Models for SCA Households and the Nomenclature Thereof

An essay intended for people in the Society for Creative Anachronism who want to model either their household or their household name on historic models. An extensive analysis of the structure names of of geographic, political, and social entities in medieval Wales.

Snapshot of a Cantref: The Names and Naming Practices in a Mawddwy Court Roll of 1415-16

One of a number of studies I've done on the names and naming practices seen in a particula data set. Eventually these articles will be listed in a separate section below.



Data from O'Brien's "Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae"

This is a collection of early Irish genealogical texts, dating roughly up to the 12th century. They include a fair amount of legendary material as well as solidly historical lineages, so they need a certain amount of processing and interpretation before being used to research historic personal names. I've distilled several presentations of variable reliability from them so far and have others in the works.

100 Most Popular Men's Names in Early Medieval Ireland

This list is probably fairly reliable simply because of statistics.

Early Irish Feminine Names from the Index to O'Brien's Corpus Genealogiarum Hiberniae

This list has not been researched for the inclusion of legendary figures, so it is not entirely reliable for historic names.


Some Masculine Ogham Names

An analysis and presentation of men's names appearing in Ogham inscriptions. The article explains some of the grammatical issues involved in interpreting these names, as well as offering reconstructed nominative forms for names found only in the genitive. (To the best of my knowledge, there is only one feminine name appearing in Ogham inscriptions, hence the focus on masculine names.)

Some Irish Names in English Records: Names and Naming Practices in the Red Book of Ormond (14th C) and Fitzwilliam Account Books (16th C)

These articles aren't particularly extensive. They were intended more as a "better than nothing" measure for getting a feel for how Irish personal names showed up in actual historic records (in Latin and English) at various times.

A Brief (and Incomplete) Guide to Forming Genitives of Irish Personal Names

This article will help you form a correct genitive for perhaps 95% of the Irish masculine given names you encounter. It also explains a little of what's going on with the declensional classes.


Early Medieval Manx Names

Names found in Ogham, Latin, and Runic inscriptions dating to up through the 12th century.

Manx Names of the Early 16th Century **Not yet available**


A Consideration of Pictish Names

This article was sparked by the simple question: So what do we know about Pictish names? My answer was, "We know virtually nothing about Pictish personal names and here's fifty pages detailing the nothing we know." I enjoy this type of project entirely too much.

Welsh Data

**This is the future home of the Grand Welsh Names Project. This will include both text articles on names and naming practices in particular documents, and more schematic presentations of semi-processed data. Eventually, this will all become a book.**


This site belongs to Heather Rose Jones. Contact me regarding anything beyond personal, individual use of this material.

Unless otherwise noted, all contents are copyright by Heather Rose Jones, all rights reserved.