Early Germanic Names from Primary Sources

Magistra Nicolaa de Bracton of Leicester

The purpose of this article is to provide a hand-list of suitable names for early Germanic personae. Surprise! Franks and Goths ("barbarians" to you uninitiated) had multi-syllabic names! To keep the list short, I have used only two sources. Both are primary sources and are acceptable for use in documentation. I took my own former personal name (Rigunth) from one of them; providing a photocopied page from the book (with the name circled) and a bibliographic citation was deemed sufficient documentation to pass that portion of my name.

You will notice that most Germanic names consist of two elements. It is possible to form new names by combining elements from two names; this is considered acceptable for SCA practices, provided that you can document both elements.

I have not provided page numbers; however, both books have an index of all persons mentioned in the text.

Women's Names from Gregory of Tours' History of the Franks

(available in Penguin classics ) (Merovingian period, 5th-7th centuries)

Albofleda, Amalasuntha#, Audofleda, Audovera, Austrechild, Beretrude, Berthefled, Berthefried, Berthegund, Brunhild, Chlodosind, Chlothsinda, Clotild, Faileuba, Fredegunde, Galswinth, Goiswinth, Ingitrude, Ingunde, Lanthechilde, Leubast, Leubovera, Magnatrude, Marcatrude, Marcovefa, Radegund, Rigunth, Ultrogotha,Vuldretrada.

Men's names from Gregory of Tours (a selection)

Ageric, Agiulf, Alaric#, Amalaric#, Andica, Ansovald, Authari*, Aregisel, Arnegisel, Athanagild#, Athanaric#, Audovald, Austregisel, Badegisel, Berthefried, Berthar^, Bertram, Bisinus^, Chararic, Charibert, Childebert, Childeric, Chilperic, Chlodomer, Chramnesind, Clovis, Dagobert, Dagaric, Eberulf, Ebregisel, Euric, Gararic, Garivald, Godomar, Gunderic%, Gundobad, Gunthar, Guntram, Herminafrid^, Hermangild#, Huneric%, Imnachar, Ingomer, Leudast, Leuvigild#, Lothar, Magnachar, Magneric, Marachar, Merovech, Munderic, Ragnachar, Rathar, Reccared*, Ricchar, Sichar, Sigeric, Sigibert, Sigismund, Sunnegisil, Theoderic#, Theudebald, Theuderic,Thorismund#, Vulfoliac#, Willichar
#-Gothic names *-Lombard names ^Thuringian names %-Vandal names

Women's names from Two Lives of Charlemagne

(also Penguin classics) (Late Merovingian and Carolingian eras, 7th-9th centuries.)
Adaltrude, Adallinda, Bertrada, Fastrada, Gersvinda, Gisela, Gundrada, Hildegarde, Hiltrude, Liutgarde, Madelgarde, Rosamund, Ruothilde, Rothaide, Rotrude, Theoderada, Theodelinda

Men's names:

Adalbert, Bernard, Bero, Burchard, Carloman, Drogo, Engilbert, Gerold , Grimald, Hartmut, Hildebald, Meginhard, Otker, Pepin, Tassilo, Waltgaud, Werinbert

Note: All names on these lists were likely in use in Frankish territories from 5th-9th centuries. Names of saints or names derived from Latin were also in use. These are by no means all possible names for this period.

Copyright 1992, 1997 Susan Carroll-Clark. All rights reserved.