> while perusing a book entitled "Irish Kings and Their Wars" I had run
> across a name, which is the earliest reference I had found to my name,
> it is spelled Earca.
Documenting a name means showing that it existed in period in the form
in which you'd like to use it, and that you're using it the same way it
was used in period (as a personal name if it was a personal name, as a
byname if it was a byname, etc.)
>. A history book only makes
good documentation if it cites the exact form of the name found in
original documents from the place and time to which you're documenting
it. For the comfort of modern readers, historians often standardize
spellings to their modern forms, making their books useless for our
purposes. (A woman listed as "Yzabels Bontemps" in a 14th-century tax
role, for instance, might be called "Isabelle Bontemps" in a history
Documentation that a name existed in period needs to come (1) directly
from a primary source (e.g., the original tax role, marriage registry,
or birth record) or (2) from a secondary or tertiary source that
preserves the spellings from primary sources. "Choosing a Society Name:
Hints for Newcomers"
> includes a list of
characteristics to look for when checking sources, to see whether they
are likely to be reliable. (It also has a lot of other tips that could
help you avoid making the most common mistakes people make when looking
for a name.)
I did a little quick searching, and the only place I found "Earca" was
as part of the patronymic "mac Earca"
Fearghus.shtml>), which would mean that (1) it's used as a masculine
name and (2) E-A-R-C-A is given as a genitive spelling (analagous to
"John's" or "Mike's" rather than "John" or "Mike"). I don't know how
it would be spelled in the nominative, but you'd have to find out
before you could make it your personal name, it might not look anything
like "Erika" (of which, by the way, it clearly is not a variant), and
you'd be constructing a man's name. (Which is fine, if that's what you
want. Lots of people in the S.C.A. have personae of the sex opposite
> Now they also have a list of kings whose names I looked through and a
> common reference used to tell of the clan of the Dal Riata whom
> migrated to Scotland later and renamed the clan of kings Dalriada in
> 501 AD.. . .
The Academy of St. Gabriel is a group of volunteers who specialize in
researching historic names and naming practices. They are not a part of
the S.C.A., but their reports can be submitted to the College of Arms
as documentation, and their expertise is respected. Academy Report
explains that tribe names beginning with "Dal" were apparently not used
as bynames in period.
> What I was hoping for (and am having trouble finding) are the words to
> bind the names together. I would like the end result to be Earca Linn
> (decendent of) Dal Riata. The 'decendent of' replaced by the Irish
> Gaelic equivalent.. . .
Using both "Earca" and "Linn", even if you can document each
individually, is not in keeping with historic practice. The evidence
indicates the Irish Gaels didn't start using double given names until
The "words to bind the names together" for a female are "inghean"
("daughter of") and "inghean Uí" ("daughter of a male descendent of").
Unfortunately, those are the only parts of your original idea for a
name that appear to be viable.
You'll save yourself a lot of headaches if you stop, right now, and go
to the Medieval Names Archive guide to Irish and Manx names
>. Creating a plausible
Irish Gaelic name isn't difficult, if you know how to do it. Read
"Quick and Easy Gaelic Names" to learn that. Then move on to the
articles that list documented names and put your new knowledge into
Barony of Bryn Gwlad
Kingdom of Ansteorra