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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 Cleopatra.

In the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, a fashion developed (particularly in England and the German-speaking principalities) for naming children after figures from classical history and mythology.  As a result, we have evidence of women named Cleopatra in England[1] and in Switzerland[2].

If you are interested in other names from classical history and mythology for which we have evidence of use by real people in the sixteenth and early seventeenth centuries, I have a published article on these names.

[1]  Cleopatra Ashton; Female; Marriage; 10 Feb 1647; Saint Andrew By The Wardrobe, London, London, England; Batch: M02232-1 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:NVJH-8P8)
[2] Cleopatra Ruch; Female; Christening; 06 Feb 1530; Basel, Basel, Switzerland; Batch: C73987-0 (https://familysearch.org/ark:/61903/1:1:FV8V-GMP)