Name Pattern Search Hints

Here are some hints for using the Name Pattern Search Form. The purpose of the form is to find items associated with a name, even if you don't know the exact spelling of the name.


The first text entry field is where you type the pattern. The simplest pattern is simply a portion of the name you are seeking. For instance, you could type "Peter" in this box to find all the names containing "Peter". This would bring up items such as Ulf Johannes Peter von Greiffenburg, and even Aelfwine of Peterborough.

You can specify that you want the pattern to appear at the beginning of the name, by placing a carat (^) in front of the pattern. For instance, you could type the pattern "^Peter" to find all names that begin with "Peter". This would exclude the examples above, but would match Peter Bentarrow, for instance.

You can specify that you want the pattern to appear at the end of the name by placing a dollar-sign ($) after the pattern. For instance, the pattern "wing$" would match Arthur Whitewing, for instance.

Some punctuation marks have special meaning in patterns. When your pattern includes punctuation marks such as periods (.) it is a good idea to put a backslash (\) in front of each punctuation mark. For instance, to search for names containing "St." you should use the pattern "St\.".

If you are unsure of a particular letter in a name, you can use wild-cards to find it quickly. For instance, if you are looking for someone Tatiana, you might use the pattern "Tat.ana" in case the person you were looking for happened to spell her name "Tatjana" or "Tatyana"; the period (.) matches any single character. Alternately, you could use "Tat[ijy]ana". The portion in square brackets matches a single character which must be one of the three listed (i, j, or y). To specify a wildcard that matches any character except whitespace, use "\S".

If there are multiple letters that you are unsure of, you can use multiple wildcards. For instance, "M\S\S\Swood" will match "Mirkwood", "Marewood", and "Muirwood". If you are unsure of the exact number of wildcards needed, a plus-sign (+) may be used after any wildcard to indicate repetions. For instance "M\S+wood" will match names containing "Mirkwood", "Maplewood", "Marionwood" and so on.

You can specify accented characters or ligatures in a "narrow" search (see below) by typing a backslash (\) followed by the three-digit "Oct" code. For instance, to find "Æthelric" you can type the pattern "\306thelric".

Search Types

You can specify a name search that is "broad" or "narrow". A broad search finds all items associated with a name. A narrow search excludes those items in which the name appears only as the owner of an order, title, household, or alternate name, as the target of a cross-reference, name-change, or transfer, or as the designation or joint holder of a badge. A broad search often finds more items than a narrow one; since this may or may not be what you want, both types of search are available.

Another difference between broad and narrow searches is in their handling of accented characters and ligatures. In broad searches (as in the name search form) non-ASCII symbols are reduced to their nearest ASCII equivalents. For instance, "Æthelric" is treated exactly like "AEthelric". In narrow searches the "Æ" is treated as a single character which matches "\306" but not "A" nor "E".

You can specify a name search that is "case-sensitive" or "case-insensitive". A case-sensitive search differentiates upper-case and lower-case letters. For instance, the name pattern "And" would match "Andrew" but not "Holland". In case-insensitive search would treat "A" and "a" as being the same, so that "And" would match both "Andrew" and "Holland".

Maximum Number of Items to Display

You can control the size of your search result by typing a number of items (1-500) in this box. If you do not fill in the box, at most 25 items will be displayed. Note that there is a built-in limit of 500 items, which you cannot override.

Display Options

You can specify how you want your search results sorted. Currently there are two options: by name and by date. It is usually easiest to find names when they are sorted by name, but you might want to sort by date if the item you are looking for is particularly old or particularly recent.

You can also specify whether you want dates shown in modern style (Common Era year/A.D.) or SCA style (Anno Societatis). The SCA calendar counts years from the SCA's "First Tournament" (1 May 1966) and traditionally uses Roman numerals.

You can also specify whether you want blazons to be displayed with links to the heraldic glossary. These links are helpful if you are unclear on the meanings of basic blazon terms.

Submitting the Search

The button at the bottom of the form marked "search for items matching the name pattern" is used to launch the search. The server takes no action until you click on the button.

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