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
- 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
- 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
- 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
transcriptions published by
Postles of Leicester University.
14th Century Worcestershire Names, by Aryanhwy merch Catmael
- A couple hundred given names, masculine and feminine.
Officers of Borough Government of East Anglian boroughs, 1272-1460, by
- Lists of civic officers from several East Anglian towns, an appendix
The Men Behind
the Masque: Office-holding in East Anglian boroughs,
1272-1460, which is one of a collection of articles,
Towns. Talan Gwynek comments:
It's a fairly safe bet that the forenames are mostly normalizations, at
least some of which are modern. The early ones would almost certainly have
taken Latin forms in the original documents. The later ones might not have
been Latinzed, but they'd almost certainly have been standardized by the
scribe. The bynames and surnames appear to be genuine, but it appears that
for each person named a single form of the byname has been used
consistently. This stikes me as being a little unlikely for the original
documents, so it may be a modern editorial choice. However, this is still a
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
- 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
- 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.
from 15th Century York, by Karen Larsdatter
- A list of surnames from the 15th century
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
given names appearing in this article, in which I correct some of
- 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
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
Ursula Georges. It was historically published by the Academy of Saint Gabriel.
Copyright on individual articles belongs to their authors.