Historical Names For My Story


I already wrote one book with three side stories to ‘The Council Of Twelve’ series. After completing book 9 in the series and an additional book that doesn’t belong to ‘The Council of Twelve,’ I felt the need of writing another story, making one of ‘The Council of Twelve’ side characters the protagonist.

The story takes place in middle Europe in the 13th century during the peak of the ‘Danubian Monarchy’ when parts of the extended grounds and population started rebelling and founded their own country.

Now, I needed names that were popular during that time. I know one or two of those first names that survived until our current times, but, of course, that story doesn’t only have two characters.

So, what did I do? I do what many of us do at first: we Google!

What I found out was quite interesting. There are a few websites with middle-European names, but:

They start delivering from 14th – 15th century. I was a bit confused at first, but then it dawned on me… The rebellion started end of the 13th century. It took several hundred years until the country in question was founded entirely. Therefore, it is evident that there was no source from that early state.

I permitted myself to use first names from the 14th century since I considered that the first names didn’t change that much.

Writing that story had been a lot of fun so far. However, it needed some getting used to, juggling with these very antiquated names, like:

Siboto

Heidenreich

Rupertus

Gottfried

Eberhart

Hermine

Levian

There are other examples, of course. But to my surprise, a few first names survived until this current time and even have crossed the ocean.

Theodor

Thomas

Martin

And just in case you’re wondering, I purposely chose to write the Germanic version of the names since, as I mentioned, the story takes place in Europe.

I do admit; I am fascinated by some older and old-fashioned names. I think it’s a bit sad that some of them have almost ‘disappeared.’ Well, some of the names I understand are not used anymore, but some others I love:

Prudence

Phoebe

Elizabeth

Genevieve

Esme

Agnes

Florence

Edith

Esther

Ellen

Martha

Nellie

Pearl

Rose

Cordelia

Abraham

Albert

Ambrose

Barold

Benedict

Edward

Jasper

Franklin

Elijah

Gael

Milton

Neville

Julien

Marshall

Reginald

Spencer

Tobias

Winston

Maude and Wilbur don’t belong to my favorites, but that’s only a detail. At this time, I wanted to complete that side-story with characters playing in the 13th century and not being named ‘Jessica’ and ‘Heather.’

It’s always a good idea to create unique characters, and why not name them equally impressive?

What names do you like? How do you name your characters? Do the names of your characters have meanings, or are they ultimately picked out of your fantasy? Let us know in the comments.

18 thoughts on “Historical Names For My Story

  1. The story I’m working on takes place in the 1970s, and I was born in 1954, so giving my characters era-appropriate names is easy — no historical research necessary. Characters I like get names I like, or they get named for people that I like or admire. Characters I dislike often get named for people from my past who screwed me over (I call it revenge naming). Sometimes I have to do research online when I’m naming imaginary towns. Since it’s a work of fiction, I need town names that sound plausible, but are not real places. More challenging than it sounds!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. LOL – Same here… In my current book the villain gets a name that’s quite similar to my ex-boyfriend’s name. Ohhhh…. he’s facing such a bitter end in the book. Aren’t we blessed we can do that kind of revenge without ever being legally prosecuted for that? 😀

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Finding names is so much fun. It can also make or break a story. If the names don’t fit the time the characters are born, or sound too “made up” it totally ruins the story for me. I always do my research. When naming my two characters (and believe me, they are characters) Eleora and Tellias it was so much fun digging into early British and Roman names. Good article. I enjoyed it and learned some from it too.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Good job. And thanks for letting us see into part of your creative process. I’ve had to do my own names research from time to time with settings in the 1800s and even Native American names based on the tribes. A lot of work some days, but so well worth ir.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I agree. I spent quite a while on trying to dig up these names… I was quite disappointed, when my research ended, before I reached the time I wanted to… but then, I think I did pretty well with my guesses.

      Like

  4. I had to research Ancient Germanic name, ancient Roman names and Ancient Celtic names for one book. The most difficult were the Celtic ones. All the sites I could find were either modern, or Ancient Irish! I needed English ones. In the end I used Welsh names in the main, reckoning that there would not be too much change.
    The next book I needed Danish (Viking) names, The Vikings were not one people, but came mainly from Norway and Denmark. I found mainly Norwegian ones! Anglo-Saxon names were easier to find.
    One thing I had trouble with was finding out how Vikings addressed each other. Anglo-Saxons addressed each other as Goodwife, or Goodman, but the net is silent about how the Vikings addressed each other.

    Liked by 1 person

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