April 16th, 2016

Late Song Dynasty names?

I'm plotting a story that begins a few years before Kublai Khan invaded China. The name of the main protagonist isn't important for now, since he's not human and isn't expected to have one and will only be addressed with nicknames for a while; but I do need to at least find a name for some of the people surrounding him.

The relevant characters (for now) are two brothers (so I will probably need to name at least their parents as well); they're not particularly important people, let's say a big fish in a little pond sort of family. They'd probably 'rule' over a rural village, which makes the little brother feel like he's more important than he actually is. The older brother is a veteran who's just very glad he's still alive and just wants to be able to enjoy the simple things in life.

I've googled 'song dynasty names', 'chinese names song dynasty', and 'first names song dynasty', and google mostly just gives me back lists of the names of actual people belonging to the Song Dynasty. I did find out about the Hundred Family Surnames page on wikipedia, and since there's no translation of the names I've been going through them slowly (I kinda like "湛; zhàn - deep / clear (water)" and "廉; lián - incorruptible / honest / inexpensive / to investigate (old) / side wall of a traditional Chinese house (old)", so far); and read this article about last names, which was very interesting. I don't really trust sites with lists of names because they're not very accurate as far as my nationality goes, and I would probably end up being very anacronistic even if I do end up picking a name that actually exists...

Do you guys have any suggestions?

I still have A LOT of research to do, since I'm still hopelessly ignorant about the subject, but I feel like establishing names instead of going by '???? 1' and '???? 2' is probably a good place to start.

Thanks in advance!