Welsh

Family and lineage

Seals could identify people as individuals and as members of a particular social group or engaged in a certain occupation, but they could also act as family identifiers. A prime function of armorial motifs was to identify individuals through their familial connections. Words in seal legends could also act as family identifiers. The use of a patronymic (name of the person’s father) as part of an individual’s name is for example found in a substantial number of name-legends. On occasion seal legends provide information about family connections not apparent in the document, either because the seal-owner chose to use a different name-form or because the seal makes explicit familial connections not apparent in the text.