Stuck for a name for your characters. Look no further than your own family tree.

Love this idea! I started to investigate my family tree a while back and never thought about doing something like this. ❤

Smorgasbord - Variety is the spice of life

One of the problems with writing short stories and also novels with a cast of thousands is trying to find original last names for your characters.

First names are a different issue as you have to choose names that reflect the time you are writing about. I doubt there were many girls given the names Sharon and Tracy in the 1500s or Darren and North!

However, most surnames have a long and illustrious history and go back hundreds of years and one of the places that is a treasure trove of names to use in your writing, is in your family tree.

I researched my own for both maternal and paternal lines over ten years ago, and because there was little actual history attached to the names you find, I decided to research the names origins too. It is not essential but quite useful to know where the names originate…

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2 thoughts on “Stuck for a name for your characters. Look no further than your own family tree.

  1. I often refer to my (old) class rosters, always at least 2 years old and never using the same first-last combination as an actual student. Working on a couple decent sized campuses in rather diverse cities means the list is always a good mix of European, African, and Asian origin names, and a fair bit of S. American and Middle Eastern origin as well.

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