Medieval English Names

This is my master post of Middle Ages names from England! I got inspired because I needed to research late medieval-era British names for a project. This might also be helpful if you’re a high fantasy novel in the English medieval vein.

My sources include battle histories, subsidy rolls, and A Dictionary of English Surnames. I also included just a few names from the King Arthur legends. They’re mostly 14th century names, but they would’ve been in use long before and long after that century.

MEDIEVAL ENGLISH NAMES | authentic medieval name list | image of male and female from the middle ages

This used to be one big medieval name list, but it was too hard for people to navigate, so I’ve finally gotten around to breaking it up.

Here’s the list of Medieval Male Names.

Here’s the list of Medieval Female Names.

Here’s the list of Medieval Last Names.

I hope these serve as a good reference for medieval names! Bookmark this post or pin it on Pinterest so you can always find it. Happy writing!

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28 thoughts on “Medieval English Names”

  1. Pingback: Master List: Medieval Names from England | To My Imagination and Beyond

  2. i don’t even write historical fiction, but coming to Basil and Jocelyn, i now have firm images of them in my head. not quite lords and ladies stuff, but not quite paupers, either. but definitely star-crossed lovers … what have you done to me? LOL

    1. Those are both from Arthurian legend, if I recall correctly! I only have a handful of those in here, because they may or may not be authentic, although they have a nice sound to them. 🙂

  3. Sidney
    Allison
    Beverly
    Cassidy
    Darcy
    Lynn
    Emery
    Whitney
    Hilary
    Kim
    Shirley
    Lauren
    Michele
    Reese
    Shelly
    Aubrey
    Gale
    Blair
    Carol
    Dana
    Kelly
    Lindsay
    Ashley
    Sandy
    Jocelyn
    Courtney
    Meredith
    Shannon
    Leslie
    Evelyn
    Vivian
    Stacy
    Addison
    Kelsey
    Leigh
    Tracy

    All used to be exclusively male names. Many through the 1800’s and early 1900’s.

  4. Amongst the many fine names are a few Saxon: Edwin, Aldred. Any reason Edward and Alfred are not on this list? At least 6 Medieval English kings were named Edward.
    Nicely done otherwise.

  5. Darlene Eutsler Lewis

    Enjoyed this short list of names and the comments. I have two names to add, perhaps you have them in your book–Dingman and Hamby. Both are in my ancestral lines. Research disclosed that Dingman or Ding Man was the man who was the spear thrower in battles. Hamby immigrated to Scotland and England from France along with William the Conqueror.

    Definitely want to know where I can get a copy of the book.

  6. Pingback: 5 Interesting Links for 01-29-2016 | Tales to Tide You Over

  7. I’m not in the Society for Creative Anachronism, but I respect the enthusiasm and scholarship of its members–and because to be officially in the SCA, you need to have an appropriately historical name, which are adjudicated for authenticity, they have great resources for names–articles that break things up by geographical region and era. Worth checking out for writers of historical fiction:
    http://heraldry.sca.org/names.html

  8. Another good source for Medieval names: any of the variety of Catholic websites that list saints of the day with biographies. Just check the hagiography (saint’s biography) to make sure the saint was canonized prior to the date of your story, and you can safely use it. The canon lists have a variety of differences for regions, so if your novel takes place in England, you probably won’t have a Polish saint name. Irish and Welsh spellings of the names differ significantly from the ones on the Roman calendar, so do little bit of research if you are setting your novel in one of those countries. For instance, St. David is St. Dafyd in Wales. The name of any saint who was canonized prior to the 8th century anywhere in Europe will probably have a fair number of people named after him or her in any Catholic (or formerly Catholic) European country.

    Yes, you can name a male character with a female saint name and vice versa. People were often named for the saint of the day of their birth/baptism regardless of whether the genders matched. Girls were often named after their fathers, so they often ended up with “boys” names. There were (and still are) a fair number of Mary/Marie/Marias and Magdalens who would be male, and a fair number of Michaels, Lukes and Pauls who would be female.

    My favorite site for the information is http://www.catholic.org/saints.

  9. Please list some noble surnames from Medieval to Victorian England there are many connected with the Howard’s, Stuarts,, Tudors, and so forth.

  10. Pingback: Medieval Cooking and Medieval Cuisine: The European Nobility

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