Feminine Personal Names from 13th and 14th century Yorkshire

by Wendi Dunlap (known in the SCA as Wenyeva atte grene)

(The PDF version of this article is here.)

The following list is drawn from two sections of the Court Rolls of the Manor of Wakefield. Wakefield is in what was historically the West Riding of Yorkshire.

The manor court rolls contain records of much of the business that was done in the manor, including the levying of fines and settlement of disputes. Women as well as men pleaded their cases in the manor court sessions.

While women's names are not as common in the Rolls as men's names, there are many to be found. The names here are from two different periods: 1274-75 and 1350-52. First, I've listed each name in alphabetical order, and how many of the name can be found in each period. See below for the names in order of popularity: 1274-75 and 1350-52.

Some of these names are themselves variants of other names here; for example, Mariota is a diminutive of Mary, and so are Malle and Malyna. If the forms were substantially different, I kept them separate here, but keep in mind that in certain cases we are dealing with multiple forms of the same name. (April 2011: I've just edited the table to make these relationships more clear.)

If you need further information about these names, for many of the names I have provided links to Talan Gwynek's excellent resource Feminine Given Names in A Dictionary of English Surnames, which contains examples of a great many names from this period, and provides useful etymological information as well as other forms of these names.

(A note regarding the forms of these names: The original documents are in Latin. I am working from an English translation. The editors of the 1350-52 volume seem more likely than that of the earlier volume to list the names in their Latin documentary form: e.g. Cecilia, which may have been something like Cicely in the vernacular. Names in the earlier volume have typically been normalized by the translator, so, for example, Parnell is the normalized form of the Latin version, Petronilla. In the future I plan to replice the normalized forms here with the Latin forms from the original.)

(See also Annot, Anot)
1274-75: 21
1350-52: 29
Aleysia, Alice, Alicia
(See also Alot, Alote)
1274-75: 17
1350-52: 33
Alot, Alote
(See also Aleysia, Alice, Alicia)
1274-75: 2
Amabel 1274-75: 2
Amice 1350: 1
(I do not have access to the original text, but I wonder if this is in fact Annora with the nn misread as m.)
1351: 1
Annabel, Anabel
(Annabella once in 1352)
1274-75: 2
1350-52: 6
Annot, Anot
(See also Agnes)
1274-75: 2
1351: 1
Avice 1274-75: 3
Beatrice, Beatrix 1275: 1
1350-52: 8
Cecilia, Cecelia
(See also Cicely)
1350-52: 11
Christiana 1274-75: 2
1350-52: 2
(See also Cecilia, Cecelia)
1274-75: 4
Dionysia, Dyonisia
(See also Dyota)
1351: 3
(Two of these may be the same woman)
(See also Dionysia, Dyonisia)
1275: 1
Elizabeth 1350-52: 6
(Elena once in 1352)
1275: 1
1350-52: 4
Emma 1274-75: 3
Eugina 1275: 1
Eva 1274: 1
1350-52: 4
(See also Juliana)
1275: 2
Gemma 1275: 1
Godyth, Godith 1275: 1
Hawisia 1275: 1
Idonea 1352: 1
(one Isabel)
1350-52: 16
Isolda 1275: 2
1350-52: 3
Ivett' 1274: 1
(See also Jonetta)
1350-52: 24
(See also Johanna)
1274: 1
(See also Gelle)
1274-75: 4
1350-52: 7
Lettice 1274: 1
Magge (also here)
(See also Margaret, Margery)
1274: 2
(See also Malyna, Mariota, Mary)
1274: 1
(See also Malle, Mariota, Mary)
1274: 1
(See also Magge)
1350-52: 10
(one Marjory in 1275)
(See also Magge)
1274-75: 8
1350-52: 33
(See also Malle, Malyna, Mary)
1275: 1
1350-52: 2
(See also Malle, Malyna, Mariota)
1275: 3
(See also Maude)
1350-52: 24
(See also Matilda)
1275: 7
Meriilda, Miriilda 1275: 1
Modest 1351: 1
Nalle 1275: 1
Olive 1350: 1
Parnell 1275: 1
Quenilda 1275: 1
Sabina 1350: 1
Sarah 1275: 3
Sibyl 1275: 1
Susannah 1275: 1
(usually identified in the Court Rolls by husband's name e.g."the wife of Adam")
1274-75: 10
1350-52: 45
Wymark 1275: 2

Names in order of popularity, 1274-75

Agnes 21
Aleysia, Alice, Alicia 17
Margery, Marjory 8
Maude 7
Cicely, Juliana 4
Avice, Emma, Mary, Sarah 3
Alot, Alote; Amabel; Annabel, Anabel; Annot, Anot; Christiana; Gelle; Isolda; Magge; Wymark 2
Beatrice; Dyota; Ellen; Eugina; Eva; Gemma; Godyth, Godith; Hawisia; Idonea; Ivett'; Jonetta; Lettice; Malle; Malyna; Mariota; Meriilda, Miriilda; Nalle; Parnell; Quenilda; Sibyl; Susannah 1

Names in order of popularity, 1350-52

Aleysia, Alice, Alicia; Margery 33
Agnes 29
Johanna, Matilda 24
Isabella, Isabel 16
Cecilia, Cecelia 11
Margaret 10
Beatrice, Beatrix 8
Juliana 7
Annabel, Anabel, Annabella 6
Elizabeth 6
Ellen, Elena; Eva 4
Dionysia, Dyonisia; Isolda 3
Christiana, Mariota 2
Amice; Amora; Annot, Anot; Idonea; Modest; Olive; Sabina 1


Court Rolls of The Manor of Wakefield, 1274-1297. Ed. and trans. William Paley Baildon. Vol. 1 (first series). Leeds: Yorkshire Archæological Society, 1901.

Court Rolls of The Manor of Wakefield, 1350-1352. Ed and trans. Moira Habberjam, Mary O'Regan, Brian Hale. Vol. VI (second series). Leeds: Yorkshire Archæological Society, 1987.

Wendi Dunlap/Wenyeva atte grene, 29 January 2007; revised 19 April 2011

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© 2007, 2011 Wendi Dunlap