There are some key points to keep in mind when researching and documenting names and devices.
Remain responsive. This is your submission, not someone else's: while being respectful of the time of others, do follow up on questions and commitments. It is in your
own best interests to help ensure follow-through.
Keep an open mind. While we wish to be helpful and guide you through the process, we must advise based on our understanding of historical plausibility
based on attested names and armory practices of the middle ages in Europe. This means period documentation for names and naming practices, and period
style and composition for armory. While the cultures we emulate had a broad range of practices, they were not based on the aesthetics of the modern era.
All names require documentation, as do some armory submissions. Lack of required documentation is grounds for return.
Documentation is the burden of the submitter. While we are happy to assist and advise, it is ultimately your responsibility to ensure documentation
is provided in a manner we can make use of during submission and commentary.
You are encouraged to make use of consult tables and heraldry nights locally and at Crown and Principality events. However, don't feel limited to just those venues: the internet
has opened up consultation to a 24/7 activity via email and social media such as Facebook.
We encourage you to provide what consultation you may to those who wish it. Please call upon the College to assist you as needed: we want to help, even if the help
is limited to email discussions with you about projects you're assisting with.
Do keep in mind, however, that you are not authorized to accept submissions on behalf of the kingdom, except in the context of a full-service consult table.
There are special requirements, including a good history of reporting, which are considered when making this dispensation.
If you are interested in hosting a consult table without accepting submissions (submitters are sent home with completed forms), there are no restrictions.
You can have up to ten names registered to yourself at a time, including personal names and household names you own.
Name construction varied by culture and followed specific patterns. The patterns that are considered well-known and not in need of further documentation
are listed in SENA Appendix A.
The way names from different cultures intermingled is similarly limited. The mixes that are well-known are listed in SENA Appendix C.
In general, name elements from within a single culture need to be within a 500-year window: an English given name from 1600 paired with an English byname
from 1100 would barely meet that standard, while a byname from 1099 would not.
Name elements from different cultures (where names are known or documented to have mixed) need to be within a 300-year window: SENA Appendix C will tell
you that post-1100, Welsh and French may be combined, and so a Welsh given name from 1234 could be paired with a French byname from 1534, but not one from
1535 or later.
We have a wide range of well-researched name lists from period sources, and it's best to rely on these where possible. But when evaluating new sources of
documentation, we are looking for the following:
Reason to believe the document accurately transcribes the spelling as it existed in period. Handwritten parish records from 1500 are excellent, while
family histories written in the modern era are not. Likewise baby name books, books purporting to explain the meaning of names, and so forth have earned
a poor reputation in this regard.
Place the name was recorded, and the culture the name came from (frequently the same, and usually implied by the document itself).
Gender of the name, since this can impact grammar and how the name as a whole is constructed.
You can have up to ten pieces of armory registered to yourself at a time, including at most one item marked as your device. You do not have to register a
device in order to register a badge; you may choose to register only badges if you wish.
The SCA defines what is known as "Core Style", which is our sense of the typical practices of 13th century England and France. This style has three main
Simple. There's a limit to complexity beyond which we require documentation that the design as a whole follows period examples.
Good contrast. The comments about "color-on-color" you may have heard about stem from this.
To step outside of Core Style, to produce a design of a red bear on a black field for example, requires researching and documenting what is known as an
Indivudally Attested Pattern (IAP). An IAP will provide a pattern that the submission must follow closely: showing a pattern of red beasts alone on black
fields doesn't demonstrate red swords on black fields, nor red birds, nor red beasts surrounded by swords. This is best done with an experienced consulting
herald, and will take some time. Those interested in pursuing this should realize it's intended for those who are truly interested in period armory; it's
not a Get Out Of Core Style Free card.
All armory must be blazonable: We have to be able to describe it in period terms, in such a way that we believe the original image could then be reproduced.
This can be an impediment to novel arrangements for which period manuscripts don't provide a good pattern to follow.