Tale of Norse and the Dragonfly

Norse runs wild up here; I get that, regardless of the decisions that bring most people to that conclusion to that up here, I am in realization that I will be spending a lot of time documenting Norse names.

So let me describe the process a bit more, after all as you have seen from previous posts that it is a bit of column a and a bit from column be, mix in some patronymic and nine times out of ten you have yourself a Norse person in the works.  The trick is time frames, for you see a lot of people would say take one part of the name (regardless if it is given or surname) and mix it for another nationality, for example, like English, or Irish, or Scottish.  The areas where raids are known to have happen.  Here is where the big issue begins, some names that people will find are more modern names that they would like and try to combine it with an older Norse name.  Now with the Standards that heralds use to document names and going over the rules, we have to document name combinations within 300 to 500 years of each other.

So you may be asking yourself “what in the heck can I possibly mean by this?”  Well to put simply put Norse names are usually way early in period time settings so to combine a Norse name (for the example let’s just choose Málfríðr ) cannot and in reality should never be combined with a later period name (say for example an Chogaidh [1200 spelling of an annalized name meaning “of the war”]  So the idea of having a Norse/ Irish name ” Málfríðr an Chogaidh” will never get registered through the college.

Now with that explanation out of the way.  Many use the better method of a total Norse naming system of a given name, and patronymic father’s name.  Now I say father where as it is possible to be named after your mother instead however is a rarity, and more difficult to get registered.

Norse names can be a challenge, and the first place I direct many people to is a great place (http://www.vikinganswerlady.com/ONNames.shtml) This site is wonderful in describing how Norse were named, How their patronymic set up works and with the hyperlinks for both men and women’s names, literally gives you a column a and b set up to choose from. See the next submission I have had and you will see how this works.

One person wishing for a Norse name came to me and was really sold on having Ulf or Ulfblood, in his name.  After a quick search in the known world arms and armorial database has come up with 1407 names with some variation of Ulf in there, so needless to say this took some whittling down.

First was determining how Ulf would be used.  Usually the easiest is to combine that as part of the father’s name in the Patronymic and go from there.  After some searching and questions to guide in the right direction we found Blakkr (Black in Norse) and locked in the given name.  The surname took a bit however with the name Úlfarr (one part Wolf, and the arr which can be warrior depending on translation, gave us the name of Blakkr Úlfarr.  Ok looking good now just need to put a bow on this.

Norse Patronymic set up takes a name that ends in –rr changes one of the r to an s  so –rs and will make Úlfarr into Úlfars and tack on on (to complete the son of part) making this to become Úlfarson.  Put it all together we get Blakkr Úlfarson.

His device is still in flux so when this comes around to the present I will describe how this all goes in together.


The next name we have at this point was my lesson on using the family search webpage.  (located at https://familysearch.org/).  Now this site has very tricky use for those that wish to find a name here, so kids get your heralds permission before browsing cause we will show you the way we like to see this work and document each part or the whole name directly with your or for you.

Elle Pepperell was a complete set up from this site directly, two separate searches, two complete batch files, and where it is a longer lengthy process then with the Norse, I’ll just repeat if thinking about using this site to look for a name, talk to your local herald we will coach your through it.

Elle’s device was fun one to work on and I will describe this each part here:

Let me say this that this is one was one that was very fun to work with.  (Elle if you’re reading this, even with all the decisions, all the facebook exchanges, and all that yes this was fun).  This started with a  chevron, and not just any chevron however a chevron rompu.  This is a type of chevron that has a bit of a twist into it.  (see below)


I find changes in the normal lines of division fun to play with and unique in character.  With this she wanted a dragonfly and roses, at times the order of which changed, and positioning changed a bit.  Once the roses where in place and the dragonfly was in its placed, under normal charge set up a dragon fly is set up to have it look like it is flying upward to the top of the shield, not in this case, to make it all work we invert the dragonfly which is a Step from Period Practice however is manageable.

Now I must defer for a minute to mention Step from Period Practice.  What this means is that we can see documentation of a position of a charge or a setup, which can be shown to be used, however it falls outside the period time that we are going for.  Now in devices you are allowed one SFPP, anymore would result a return for redo.

Unlike most of other devices that I have worked on and some of the ways people like to wish their arms shown, this is one that the shield background itself was the metal silver, and the charges was colored.

Overall a fun device to design and a big giggle that it passed.


Argent, a chevron rompu sable between two roses and a dragonfly inverted gules.


Till next time in service


Conall an Doire

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.