Sunday, June 14, 2015

Lorenzo's Apprenticeship Contract

The words to my apprenticeship contract with +Mike Goodman.

This indenture made upon 13 June in the fiftieth year of the Society.  By these present letters, witness that Lorenzo Gorla, a free man of Italy, does hereby bind himself as apprentice to Alys Mackyntoich, Mistress of the Laurel, for a term of years, to study such matters as the said Alys has been deemed fit to teach; and further the said Lorenzo does bind himself to be a true and faithful servant for those years and to keep and abide his Mistress’s counsel in all lawful things; and the said Alys does bind herself by these present letters to give to the said Lorenzo such wages, livery and board as is needful to keep and maintain the said Lorenzo as an apprentice should be kept, and to instruct and support him faithfully and lawfully, withholding no secrets; the aforesaid having been done and agreed upon in the presence of witnesses.

Thursday, June 11, 2015

Period or Not . . . Gemstone Names

I was asked by an East Kingdom Gazette reader whether “gemstone” names were used in period.  Broad questions like this are always somewhat hard to answer, because different cultures adopted different naming styles at different time periods.  What I can say is that, in some times and places, parents named their children after gemstones. 

Some examples of gemstone names are below.  Note that these are simply examples.  Not finding a particular time period or culture among these examples does not mean that additional research by a specialist in that language will not turn up evidence of a particular gemstone name.  

The names Ruby[1] and Sapphire[2] are found as female names in late period England.  Pearle appears in late-period England as a male name.[3]

The Italian word for “emerald” is found in records as a male name, Smeraldo[4], and as a female name, Smeralda[5].

Interestingly, “diamond” seems to be the most popular gemstone for period names.  There are 13th and 14th century English examples of Diamanda as a female given name.[6]  Diamond appears as a male given name in 16th century England.[7]  Diamante is found as a female given name in 16th century Germany[8] and 13th century Italy.[9] 

[1] Ruby [no surname]; Female; Marriage; 16 May 1581; Saint Andrew, Plymouth, Devon, England; Batch: M00183-1 (
[2] Sapphire Hill; Female; Marriage; 26 Jun 1638; Morval, Cornwall, England; Batch: M05293-1 (;  Sapphira Norkin; Female; Burial; 12 Oct 1635; St. Dunstan, Stepney, Middlesex, England; Batch: B02857-4 (
[3] Pearle Neale; Male; Marriage; 25 Jul 1621; Saint Andrew By The Wardrobe, London, London, England; Batch: M02232-1 (
[4] Names in 15th Century Florence and her Dominions: the Condado by Julia Smith (SCA: Juliana de Luna) (
[5] Late Period Italian Women's Names: Florence by Julia smith (SCA: Juliana de Luna) (
[6] Diamanda is found in Feminine Given Names in A Dictionary of English Surnames by Brian Scott (SCA: Talan Gwynek) ( dated to 1221 and 1349.
[7] Diamond Diamonde; Male; Christening; 08 Aug 1563; Stoke by Nayland, Suffolk, England; Batch: C06314-2 (
[8] Diamante Garniche; Female; Christening; 05 Apr 1573; Evangelisch, Frankenthal, Pfalz, Bavaria; Batch: K98429-2 (

[9] Feminine Given Names from Thirteenth Century Perugia by Josh Mittleman (Arval Benicoeur) ( 

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Period or Not . . . Valeria and Valerie

Although the name Valeria is often associated with modern fantasy literature and movies, it was a popular female given name in several languages in period.  Valeria is found as a female given name in the 16th century and early 17th century in Spain[1], Germany[2], Switzerland[3], and England[4].  The related name Valerie, although it appears quite modern to our eyes, was also found in late-period England, both as a male name[5] and as a female name[6].

[1]  Valeria Paula Margarida Montras; Female; Christening; 20 Oct 1599; San FelĂ­u, Gerona, Gerona, Spain; Batch: C89274-2 (

[2]  Valeria Wagner; Female; Christening; 23 Feb 1589; KATHOLISCH, BAUERBACH, KARLSRUHE, BADEN; Batch: C95149-1 (

[3] Valeria Gessler; Female; Christening; 17 Sep 1571; Basel, Basel-Stadt, Switzerland; Batch: C73985-8  (

[4]  Valeria Crosse; Female; Christening; 10 Dec 1617; SAINT DUNSTAN, STEPNEY, LONDON, ENGLAND; Batch: C05576-5 (

[5]  Valerie Kettlewell; Male; Christening; 15 Dec 1574; TATTERFORD, NORFOLK, ENGLAND; Batch: C04149-1 (

[6]  Valerie Morgan; Female; Christening; 01 Nov 1620; SAINT MARTIN-VINTRY, LONDON, LONDON, ENGLAND; Batch: C02245-2 (