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Choosing an authentic name is an important part of establishing your character. There are plenty of examples of names in chronicles, sagas and other sources. The PASE website ( provides an excellent resource - a database of all named individuals evidence in England from the sixth to the late eleventh centuries.

As well as personal names, early medieval individuals were often identified further:

  • patronymics showing family relationships (eg 'Harold Godwinesson', 'Leif Erikssen', 'Darach ap Llywellyn ap Owain ap Gruffudd ap Lywellyn ap Iaian', 'William fitzOsbern'). Welsh/Brythonic characters are particularly encouraged to be able to quote their genealogy for several generations.
  • nicknames saying something about the individual (eg 'Edith Swan-neck', 'Erik the Red', 'William the Bastard').
  • place names showing where an individual lived or held land (eg 'Godric of Crediton', 'Urse d'Abitot').
  • titles indicating offices or ranks (eg 'Ansgar the Staller', 'Regenbald the chancellor').

Lists of Names