Medieval Naming Guides: English

English, Old English, and Anglo-Norman Names

I've collected a large number of articles on this subject, so I've broken it into convenient categories.

Old English (Anglo-Saxon) Names
1300 to 1450
Early 17th Century Names
From the Conquest to 1300
1450 to 1600
English Placenames

Three articles in this collection are especially popular, so they're listed here for convenience.

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. All the pre-1600 feminine names names are presented here indexed by period: before 1250, 1250 to 1450, and after 1450.

Faire Names for English Folk: Late Sixteenth Century English Names, by Christian de Holacombe
An excellent primer on late-period English names, including lists of common men's and women's given names, a list of more than 1000 surnames, and discussion of patterns of name construction.

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.
© 1997-2013. Copyright on individual articles belongs to their authors.
http://www.s-gabriel.org/names/english.shtml