Our new name is THORNWOOD
All pages pretaining to the name chane are kept for historical refrence.


Two chances to vote: Sunday, December 7 from 1-4 p.m. and Wednesday, December 10

from 7-8 p.m. at Sunset Roundtable Pizza, 1145 E. Sunset Drive, Bellingham

Please bring your current membership card and cast your vote for one of the following names

(in alpha order):

Briarwood, Haresmarch, Thornwood


you may choose to check the box for

I have no preference” or “I abstain.”

The Grand Saga of Shire Name Change

The active members of the Shire of Shittimwoode have engaged in over two years of measured, thoughtful deliberations about changing the name of our Shire. We are deeply committed to honoring the desires of the members of our Shire and making sure that we show respect to all members, and we are dedicated to having complete transparency in the change process. An official group name change is a complex process taking months of effort and involves royalty, the seneschalate, the heralds at all levels, and local populace members, and we do not undertake it lightly. For that reason, we are sharing this FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions) with the larger populace of An Tir.

Why are you changing the name of the Shire?

Several reasons, actually. Our number one reason is recruiting. We are united in wanting the Shire to grow and be strong, and with all the social media of this day and age we need a name that is more attractive to newcomers on local and kingdom websites and Facebook. We’ve done our homework on this topic and many newcomers over the years have told us they were/are put off by a name which sounds either comical or distasteful to the modern ear. Social media sites did not exist when we changed our name originally, so newcomers met the people of the Shire first and could hear firsthand about our history and what it meant to be a Shittite. Now most schoolchildren have the ability to look up information about a proposed new activity, and much of our event information is transmitted electronically. Our name has been blocked by school and government servers in the past and since we are serious about being an educational organization we are taking the steps we believe are necessary to grow.

Will you be able to preserve the history and ranking of the First Shire of An Tir?

Absolutely! The Shire actually started out as the Shire of Fairehaven. Local historians share that Sir Edward Zifran of Gendy moved to the Shire c. 1977 and wanted to have a name for the Shire that no one would ever forget. He found a play on words that ably achieved that goal, though it’s unlikely that Sir Eddie or others anticipated the world change that was about to happen in the days before personal computers and easy internet access.

Where did the name Shittimwoode come from, anyway?

Viscount Sir Edward tells us that he remembers getting the name from a definition similar to this one from The Columbia Encyclopedia: “shittim wood: in the Bible, wood of the shittah tree, probably an acacia, from which the Ark of the Covenant and furniture of the Tabernacle were made. The Revised Version of the Bible calls it acacia wood. It seems to have been held in high esteem. The name shittim wood is also sometimes applied to two plants that are not acacias, the buckthorn and the false buckthorn.” His Excellency had an acacia tree in his front yard when he lived in the Shire. He has stated that if the group wishes to change the name that they should do so – he will not be offended.

Is the Shire united in wanting to make this name change?

The majority has expressed support for a change, but there is not complete unanimity. The Shire has as recently as a year or two ago had only three officers bravely holding on and has been perilously close to abeyance. We now have an influx of both newcomers and veterans who would like to help reenergize the group and bring word fame to our Shire for more than our unusual name. Some of our Shire veterans strongly back a change. Some of our Shire veterans are growing more comfortable with the idea of change when they imagine the Shittimwoode of old – vibrant and filled with fun-loving folks – just with a different name. It’s a process, and takes time.

Did you poll your members?

We did! After voting at an official business meeting to change the name – and after months of discussion – we held a valid poll with 53% of Shire members responding. Of that 53%, 16% responded that they didn’t care one way or another and so were counted as part of the poll validation process but were not included in the yea/nay count. Of the 100% voicing an opinion one way or another, 71% voted to begin the name change process and 29% voted to keep the name.

How are you showing respect to those of the Shire who prefer to keep the name?

We have been very careful to take our time with this change and to make sure that everyone gets a chance to speak their mind. Also, anyone who self-identifies as a Shittite is welcome to continue to do so. In an attempt to honor our past, we will be providing medallions to our veteran Shire members still living in Whatcom County that will show their years in the Shire under the name Shittimwoode. We’re hoping that with time the change will occur organically as it does with personal name changes. Examples would be the kid named “Buzz” in school who decides he wants most people to call him William, but he’ll still answer to Buzz for his old friends. …or perhaps the SCAer who decides to change from one period or ethnicity to another and so changes his/her name and garb and we eventually remember and honor those changes. We all know who these folks HAVE been, we just learn to respect the image of who they want to be now and in the future.

Will you be keeping your current heraldry?

Mostly yes. We are quite fond of our rabbit, and the Warren, and other aspects of our history. We have a long and wonderful lineage! In keeping with our desire to provide a more medieval representation we currently plan to use a heraldic hare rather than the fanged rabbit familiar to some as the Vorpal Bunny or dread Killer Rabbit of Caerbannog of Monty Python fame. Depending on what name is chosen, it’s possible that new heraldry will also be used, though our rabbit will remain in some fashion.

NEW INFO! What is the process required to change the name?

Over the past two years we have taken the initial submissions of 120+ names and have winnowed them down to our three finalists. Those three finalists were sent to our Kingdom Heralds for conflict-checking. All conflicts found have been resolved. Our task now is to have a final vote to select the winning name. Once the votes have been counted by our independent witnesses, our local officers will ratify the vote and send a letter to the Principality and Kingdom Seneschals and the Black Lion Herald asking for the new name to be accepted. As of this posting, our three independent witnesses include Duchess Angharad Banadaspus Drakenhefd, Sir Thorkel fitzHrothgar, and Deputy Principality Seneschal THL Porzia di Corbino Roffo.

Who is on the Shire Name Committee?

Any member of the Shire of Shittimwoode who is a current SCA member and lives in Whatcom County has been welcomed on the committee. Susan of Bellatrix, a long-time member of the SCA, was appointed to lead the committee (you are welcome to email her with any comments or questions). All inquiries will be kept confidential if requested, although Name Change Committee member names are publicly available in keeping with our desire for transparency.

What about our friends Mistress Megan and Mistress Meresigha?

They have kept the Shire going for years – what do they think? Mistress Megan (our former Seneschal for many years) and Mistress Meresigha (our A&S Minister) are active participants in this process and they are both working with the Name Change Committee members to be sure the process is complete, fair and transparent. It is with Meresigha and Megan in mind that we conceived of the medallion idea. Shittimwoode would have passed into the annals of history long ago without their hard work and the work of others. We will continue to honor that work, even as we prepare our Shire to continue to thrive and grow with a name that won’t be blocked by some internet servers.

Seriously, does this mean the people of the Shire have lost their sense of humor?

A rabbit, a knight, a Pelican and a Laurel all walked into a bar … (kidding!) Honest, our essence is unchanged, we’re still a fun-loving group and having a new name will allow us to find and recruit even more individuals who want to learn while doing. Come to Sir Edward’s Memorial Tournament next spring and see how much fun we can be!

NEW INFO! When is the Final Vote?

Please come cast your vote on Sunday, December 7 from 1-4 p.m. or on Wednesday, December 10 from 7-8 p.m. (during the regular business meeting) at Sunset Roundtable Pizza, 1145 E. Sunset Drive, Bellingham. This is a simple majority vote – even a SINGLE VOTE can and will change the outcome so please come and participate in this historic event!

Name Change Voting open to active members of the Shire of Shittimwoode only.

Active member is defined as a person holding a current SCA membership card and residing in Whatcom County.