Medieval Naming Guides: English Names 1300 to 1450

English Names 1300 to 1450

Feminine Given Names in A Dictionary of English Surnames, by Talan Gwynek
This dictionary, by P. H. Reaney, contains thousands of dated examples of full names. Master Talan has collected all the period feminine names cited in this work, which range from the Conquest to the end of our period. This excellent piece of scholarship was previously published in the proceedings of the Known World Heraldic Symposium in 1994. The names are presented here indexed by period: before 1250, 1250 to 1450, and after 1450.

A Brief Introduction to Medieval Bynames, by Arval Benicoeur and Talan Gwynek
A discussion of how descriptive surnames were constructed, illustrated with examples form late medieval England.

"Misplaced" Names in Reaney & Wilson, by Jeanne Marie Lacroix
A list of some medieval bynames in Reaney & Wilson's Dictionary of English Surnames. Mostly 13th and 14th century, but some earlier and later.

Names in the Yorkshire Lay Subsidy of 1301, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
Given names and bynames, with derivational notes, from an early 14th C source written in Latin, with information about name patterns and frequencies.

Names in the 1319 Subsidy Roll of London, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
Masculine and feminine given names and bynames from a document written in Latin.

Two Early London Subsidy Rolls, British History Online
Text of tax rolls from 1292 and 1319, with detailed introduction.

Feminine Given Names from Kent, 1302-1363, by Ælfwyn æt Gyrwum
A list of 30 names of 94 women. The names in the author's source were Latinized and she has preserved those spellings.

Index of Feminine Names in the 1334/5 Subsidy Roll of Kent, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
A list of feminine names from mid-14th century Kent. The spellings have been normalized.

Feminine names from 14th C Exeter, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
The names and bynames of 32 women mention in accounts from the first half of the 14th century.

An Index to the 1332 Lay Subsidy Rolls for Lincolnshire, England, by Mari Elspeth nic Bryan
Indices of given names and surnames recorded in the documents, based on transcriptions published by Dr. David Postles of Leicester University.

14th Century Worcestershire Names, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
A couple hundred given names, masculine and feminine.

The Officers of Borough Government of East Anglian boroughs, 1272-1460, by Stephen Alsford
Lists of civic officers from several East Anglian towns, an appendix to The Men Behind the Masque: Office-holding in East Anglian boroughs, 1272-1460, which is one of a collection of articles, Medieval English Towns. Talan Gwynek comments: The names in this article appear in a more compact format in Douglas Galbi's collection of lists of Given Names in England Before 1800. The date of each name appears in the second column of his database, the full name in the third, and a standard modern spelling of the given name in the fourth column.

Names from late 14th century Cumberland, Names from Hereford, 1379, and Names from Lancashire, 1381; by Douglas Galbi
Part of Galbi's collection of lists of Given Names in England Before 1800, the names on these pages were collected from from Carolyn C. Fenwick, The Poll Taxes of 1377, 1379 and 1381, Records of Social and Economic History, New Series 27 (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 1998). The names appear in a comma-separated database format. In each case, the given name is given in two forms: first in the spelling that appears in the original source and then in a standardized modern form. Two of the lists also include the town in which the name was recorded. All of the given names were originally in Latinized forms; and note that the Hereford names are in the ablative case (hence the -o and -e endings). Few of these Latin forms would ever have been used in daily speech.

Yorkshire Given Names from 1379, by Talan Gwynek
1794 feminine names and 1665 masculine names from a tax roll, sorted by frequency.

Names from Ormskirck Parish, Lancashire: Poll Tax of 1381, by Talan Gwynek
An analysis of names from tax records, with possible vernacular forms and a comparison to sixteenth-century names from the same area.

Index of Names in the 1381 Suffolk Poll Tax, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
A study of given names and bynames from a late 14th century poll tax.

Names from Early English Wills, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
Lists of names found from the earliest extant English wills, dating from the end of the 14th C through the middle of the 15th C. The article contains masculine and feminine given names, bynames, place names, and names of saints.

Given names of women entered in the Guild of the Holy Cross, Our Lady, and St. John the Baptist, Stratford-On-Avon, 1406-1430, by Douglas Galbi
Part of Galbi's collection of lists of Given Names in England Before 1800, the names on these pages were collected from J. Harvey Bloom, ed. (1907), The Register of the Gild of the Holy Cross, the Blessed Mary and St. John the Baptist (London: Phillimore & Co.). The database gives the date of record in the first column, the actual spelling of the name in the fourth, and a standard modern spelling in the last column. The first few hundred names are from the first half of the 15th century.

Names from 15th Century York, by Karen Larsdatter
A list of surnames from the 15th century York Bridgemasters' Accounts. The author plans to expand the article to include more of the data.

The Agincourt Honor Roll, by Family Chronicle Magazine
A list of participants in the 1415 battle, as prepared by a genealogy magazine. It doesn't give its sources, but we contacted them and learned that they scanned the list from Sir Nicolas Nicholas Harris, History of the Battle of Agincourt and of the Expedition of Henry the Fifth into France in 1415 to which is added the Roll of the Men at Arms in the English Armory, 3rd edition (London: Johnston & co., 1833). We don't know what sources that author used. The list is generally pretty good, but don't rely on it absolutely. Some of the names contains errors typical of OCR software, like Williarn for William. I have compiled an index of given names appearing in this article, in which I correct some of the errors.

Surnames from Exeter, 1489, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael.
A collection of about 400 surnmaes of men and women from Exeter who were taxed in 1489.

Names from 15th Century English Chancery Documents, by Alys Mackyntoich.
A collection of names from Middle English, Middle French, and Latin documents from between 1410 and 1462. This article incorporates data from her earlier article, Names from the Signet Documents of Henry V (1413-1422).

English Names from Pre-1600 Brass Inscriptions, by Julian Goodwyn
An analysis of names collected from a survey of English funerary brasses. The data range from the 12th to the 16th century, but are predominantly 15th and 16th century. The article offers alphabetical lists of masculine and feminine given names with frequency counts; I have added lists sorted by frequency, masculine and feminine, using data from the lady's original KWHS article. We've noticed some errors in the article, so it's worth checking the original data in the Monumental Brass index of the Ashmolean Library. Julian included a link to the appropriate section of that website with each citation in her article; unfortunately, the Ashmolean has reorganized the website. The data can be found, organized by county, under the 'catalogue' link.


The Medieval Names Archive is published by the Academy of Saint Gabriel and Sara L. Uckelman. It was historically published by Joshua Mittleman.
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