quill pen, scroll, candleThis is a recurring series by Mistress Alys Mackyntoich on whether certain names currently can be documented to period based on existing evidence..  There are a lot of names that people think are medieval, but actually aren’t, and others which people think are modern, but in fact are found in the SCA’s period.  If you would like to suggest a name, send an email to the Gazette.

Today’s name is Frasier.

A few people have asked about Frasier (or Fraser or Frazier) as a male given name, usually assuming it to be a medieval Scottish name.  In fact, it does not appear to have been a period given name.  It was a surname found largely in Scotland but occasionally in England.

However, Frasier, Fraser or Frazer can still be registerable as a given name in English and Scots names in the SCA.  There is an established pattern of 16th century English surnames having been used as given names.   Since we do have evidence of Frasier, Fraser and Frazer as English surnames[1], that pattern allows these names to be registered as given names.

[1]  “A history of Northumberland” (A. Reid, sons & co., 1930) (http://books.google.com/books?id=iG0gAQAAMAAJ) at p. 129 lists a Robert Frasyer buried in Newcastle in 1577.  Margrett Fraser was buried in 1596 in Lincoln, England (“England Deaths and Burials, 1538-1991,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/JCGM-HTR), Margrett Fraser, 1596; Batch: B03058-2); Henrie Frazer was christened in 1587 in Devon, England (“England Births and Christenings, 1538-1975,” index, FamilySearch (https://familysearch.org/pal:/MM9.1.1/N54M-THG), Henrie Frazer, 02 Feb 1587; citing ILFRACOMBE, DEVON, ENGLAND, Batch: C05121-1).