dear reference desk how does one go about officially registering their name with the sca? do you have to provide documentation no matter the name or only if it’s “uncommon”? how do you define an uncommon name?

Dear Anonymous,

Officially registering a name is super awesome, so first of all – rock on you for doing it.

To register a name, you will go through your Kingdom’s College of Heralds. You can usually find it on your kingdom’s website, or by searching “<kingdom name> heralds” in Google. There is a form you fill out with basic information, the name you want, and your documentation.

So yes. Yes you have to have documentation. Even if your name is John or Katherine.

A lot of documentation for “common” names can be found on the SCA College of Arms website.

Heraldry/name registration isn’t really a magical, lost art form that requires animal sacrifice and perfectly drawn chalk diagrams. It’s just rule-following, forms, and documentation.

Happy registering! <3

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