Sta viator, ‘stop traveller’, that is what it means… stop and stay a while in Ava’s corner. My place is the one with the warm campfire, soft sheepskins and good food. Like the big house you see on the home page, a farm dating from the 600s CE and that is where I live and where you are welcome.
Let me tell you how I got the SCA name Ava van Allecmere. Now, doesn’t that sound like a good campfire story? I was born in Alkmaar, a town about 40km north of Amsterdam. It is a very old town, the first settlement dates from the 900s CE.
In those days, Alkmaar was small and had but a few farms, which were owned by the Egmond Abbey, about 8km west. The farms and Allecmere itself were donated by Count Dirk 1 to the abbey in Egmond, this was around the year 985. In the abbey’s books you can find the following phrase (on page 68) listed under Dirk’s gifts to the abbey:
Nichilominus in villa Allecmere vocitata duas mansas, que annis singulis unam libram persolvunt, ex quibus quartam partem manse non habemus.
A rough translation tells you this says: Nevertheless, in the town of Allecmere two houses will be built , annually a fourth part of the revenue will be given (bear with me, this is a very rough translation, but you get the point right? Right!)
So, back in the day, Allecmere wasn’t much to write home about. How different it is today!
The Abbey also received annual tax payments from their tenants. A lady named Ava (on page 81) pays 10 denarios (equal to 10 pennies). I am assuming she was from another hamlet near Egmond, Wimnom, because she is listed among other folk from that place.
Hildegarda dedit pro anima sua dimidium fiertel, que iacet in Wimnon. Ava dedit terram, persolventem 10 denarios. Ivo de Wimnen dedit terram, persolventem 10 denarios, que iacet in Wimnom.
And so, that is how the persona of Ava van Allecmere came into being. Stop traveller, stay a while… and tell me about you!