Anyone know any good sites for general medieval names?

WickedChaos

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I've searched up name generators but they mostly come up with LOTR-esque names, with hyphens and such. Anyone know a good site for names like "Alexander" and such?
 

Redhawk

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WickedChaos said:
I've searched up name generators but they mostly come up with LOTR-esque names, with hyphens and such. Anyone know a good site for names like "Alexander" and such?

I have some good sites I can give you but it won't let me post them in a reply as I haven't posted 15 times yet...I'm a bit new to this site..

You are welcome to contact me if you want me to email them, assuming this is allowed by the site admin....one is especially good and I'd love to see you get it....sure made my life easier!
 

Teresa Edgerton

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A resource that most writers used to have (before everyone started looking up everything online -- which I still think should be an adjunct not the only source, because the information online can be very unreliable) is any What to Name the Baby type book.

I have about five. One is all Celtic names, and the others are more general. You can get them at any chain bookstore. Most will give you the origins of the name, the meaning, and every conceivable variant.

For a medieval English type setting, you can't go wrong with plain old common names like Richard, Edward, Robert, John. They wouldn't have gone in much for names like Alexander, I'm afraid. Probably too foreign. If you look at any of the lists or inventories for the period, you'll see that every village had several Johns, several Williams, several Richards, and so on. Hence the need for nicknames and one of the reasons that surnames began to develop. So that you could have Robert Fletcher, who makes arrows, and Robert Miller, who grinds the wheat, as well as assorted Robs and Robins identified by what they do or where they live or what they look like. You could just about bet that more than half the men in the town or village would be John or Jack.

Although to keep your readers from going absolutely crazy keeping track of everyone you might want to use a little artistic license and introduce a little more variety than that.
 
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Redhawk

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Gothic Names :: The Middle Ages

Men's Names

  • Adam
  • Ailwin
  • Alan
  • Alard
  • Aldred
  • Alexander
  • Alured
  • Amaury
  • Amalric
  • Anselm
  • Arnald
  • Asa
  • Aubrey
  • Baldric
  • Baldwin
  • Bartholomew
  • Bennet
  • Bertram
  • Blacwin
  • Colin
  • Constantine
  • David
  • Edwin
  • Elias
  • Helyas
  • Engeram
  • Ernald
  • Eustace
  • Fabian
  • Fordwin
  • Forwin
  • Fulk
  • Gamel
  • Geoffrey*
  • Gerard
  • Gervase
  • Gilbert
  • Giles
  • Gladwin
  • Godwin
  • Guy
  • Hamo
  • Hamond
  • Harding
  • Henry*
  • Herlewin
  • Hervey
  • Hugh
  • James
  • Jocelin
  • John
  • Jordan
  • Lawrence
  • Leofwin
  • Luke
  • Martin
  • Masci
  • Matthew
  • Maurice
  • Michael
  • Nigel
  • Odo
  • Oliva
  • Osbert
  • Norman
  • Nicholas
  • Peter*
  • Philip
  • Ralf/Ralph*
  • Ranulf
  • Richard*
  • Robert*
  • Roger*
  • Saer
  • Samer
  • Savaric
  • Silvester
  • Simon*
  • Stephan
  • Terric
  • Terry/Thierry
  • Theobald
  • Thomas*
  • Thurstan
  • Umfrey
  • Waleran
  • Walter
  • Warin
  • William*
  • Wimarc
  • Ymbert
Women's Names

  • Ada
  • Adelina
  • Agnes*
  • Albreda
  • Aldith
  • Aldusa
  • Alice*
  • Alina
  • Amanda
  • Amice/Amicia*
  • Amiria
  • Anabel
  • Annora
  • Ascilia
  • Avelina
  • Avoca
  • Avice
  • Beatrice
  • Basilea
  • Bela
  • Berta
  • Celestria
  • Christian(a)*
  • Cicely/Cecilia*
  • Clarice
  • Constance
  • Dionisia/Denise
  • Edith
  • Ellen/Eleanor
  • Elizabeth
  • Emma
  • Estrilda
  • Isabel*
  • Eva
  • Felicia
  • Fina
  • Goda
  • Golda
  • Grecia
  • Gundrea
  • Gundred
  • Gunnora
  • Haunild
  • Hawisa*
  • Helen/Elena
  • Helewise
  • Hilda
  • Ida
  • Idonea
  • Isolda
  • Joan(na)*
  • Julian(a)*
  • Katherine
  • Leticia/Lettice
  • Liecia
  • Linota
  • Lora/Laura
  • Lucia Mabel/Amabilia
  • Malota
  • Margaret
  • Margery*
  • Marsilia
  • Mary
  • Matilda/Maud
  • Mazelina
  • Millicent
  • Muriel
  • Nesta
  • Nicola(a)
  • Philippa
  • Parnel/Petronilla
  • Primeveire
  • Richenda
  • Richolda
  • Roesia
  • Sabina
  • Sabelina
  • Sarah
  • Susanna
  • Sybil(la)*
  • Wymarc
*denotes most common names
 

Redhawk

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I strongly agree with your comment. There is an abundant amount of misinformation on many research sites. Most distressing was the half truths I've seen on sites that are supposed to be learning sites for school age children! (gee, lets start them out with the wrong information, why not? ACK!)

I've learned to cross reference everything several times, it takes me longer, but at least I feel like 2 or 4 concuring gives me a higher chance of passing on "good" information on any project.
 

Teresa Edgerton

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No, no, never cross reference with other online sites. Cross reference with a book or other source. Online sites tend to cannibalize each other shamelessly. Misinformation or misinterpretation can be endlessly passed around from site to site.

Gothic names would work for the Carolingian period, but except in limited cases not for the middle period of the Middle Ages.

So really it depends on what WickedChaos is writing. There are no "generic" medieval names -- they all belong to specific places and periods (the Middle Ages lasted a long time, and the period between the 5th century and the 11th century -- sometimes known as the Dark Ages -- had little in common with the later period). But if the goal is to come up with names that have a "medievalish" flavor for a generic fantasy novel, there are a wide variety to choose from. For that Gothic names would be fine. Or Saxon names, or Old French, or a lot of other names.
 

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