French Names and Armory

This is a collection of books on French names and armory. Books on Breton names are referenced in the Other Celtic Languages entry. Early Germanic and Roman names are referenced in the entry for Old German and Old English.


Bourin, ed., Genese medievale de l'anthroponymie moderne Tours : Université de Tours, [1989]

This is a series of publications, of which at least four volumes exists. Volumes 1 & 2 and volumes 3 & 4 were combined for publication. They are collections of highly techinical and detailed analyses of early medieval naming, similar to the Spanish names studies in "Anthroponimia y Sociedad." (AN)

Catledge, Scott. An Index to the Given Names in the 1292 Census of Paris. In "Proceedings of the 1996 Known World Heraldic Symposium." Free Trumpet Press, 1996.

A very useful list of names from a period of interest to many people. (AF)

Chambers, Frank M. Proper Names in the Lyrics of the Troubadours. Studies in the Romance Languages and Literatures.

This is a listing of not only people, but places and things, as well as magical people who are not human. Interesting for someone who knows the field, but not for the beginner.(JA)

Dauzat, Albert, Dictionnaire Etymologique des Noms de Famille et Prénoms de France, Libraire Larousse, Paris, 1987.

A comprehensive dictionary of French given and surnames. Most entries are undated, but the large majority are acceptable SCA names. Although it is in French, it can be used by someone who doesn't know the language. It is currently in print. (AF)

—. Les Noms de Famille en France.

This is a French version, in French, of Reaney's Origins. While there is an index, the book is virtually useless to anyone who does not read French. If you can read French, it is a wonderful book. Recommended if you read French. (JA)

— & Rostaing. Dictionnaire Étymologique des Noms de Lieux de la France. Paris, 1963.

An excellent book on French place names with variant spellings. It is written in French. Very useful if you can read French; useful even if you can't. Recommended. (JA)

Evans, David Ellis. Gaulish Personal Names: a study of some continental Celtic formations.

Clarendon Press: Oxford, 1967. A book containing information on early French names. (AF)

Lebel, Paul. Les Noms de Personnes en France. Presses Universitaires de France: Paris, 1968.

A book about the history of French personal names written in French. There are some dates, but no index, which makes the book very difficult to use if you don't read French. Not recommended unless you read French. (JA)

Morlet, Marie-Therese. Dictionnaire Etymologique des noms de famille Paris : Perrin, 1991.

A highly detailed French name dictionary, with many dates. Highly recommended. (AN)

—. Les Noms de Personne sur le Territoire de L'Ancienne Gaule du VI au XII Siecle. Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique: Paris, 1972.

This book is in three volumes. The first contains names from Germanic sources, the second names from Latin sources, and the third from both German and Latin sources. All of the books are in French. They are complete with dates, derivations, and much commentary. Very, very useful if you read French, useful even if you don't. Highly recommended. (JA)

—. Etude d'anthroponymie picarde, les noms de personne en Haute Picardie aux XIIIe, XIVe, XVe siecles Amiens, Musee de Picardie, 1967.

Highly detailed analysis of naming practice in late-period Picardy, with statistical analyses, lists of names, variant forms, and everything else you might want. A must-have for anyone researching French names. (AN)

Perouas, Louis. Leonard, Marie, Jean et les Autres. Les Prenoms en Limousin Depuis un Millenaire. Editions du Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique: Paris, 1984.

A book about French personal names, over the last 1,000 years, written in French. There is an index, and some dates, but it is not very useful unless you read French. Recommended only if you read French. (JA)

West, G.D. An Index of Proper Names in French Arthurian Prose Romances. U. of Toronto Press: Toronto 1978.

A comprehensive work of names in Arthurian legends, which must have cost West much time and treasure. (Pedro de Alcazar)


Pastoreau, Michel.

M. Pastoreau is one of the two people who I know are doing medieval heraldic research in France. His books, in French, are magnificent studies of the usage, development, and significance of heraldry. They include Coleurs, Images, Symboles and Figures et Coleurs. I don't have precise publication data on either.

Popoff, Michel, Armorial Lalaing, Documents d'Héraldique Médièvale 3, Paris: Editions du Leopard d'Or, 1989.

This is a wonderful pamphlet which includes a facsimile of a 16th century roll of arms, with names, blazons, and discussion compiled by the author. Leopard d'Or seems to be the publisher for heraldry in France; this is one of a series of similar works, and they have published a great deal of other useful work, all in French so far as I know. The author is one of the two people of whom I know who are doing medieval heraldic research in France.

This page maintained by Jim Trigg (known in the SCA as Blaise de Cormeilles), This page last modified May 21, 2000.