Inspiration for Authors: Ancestral Names.

IRISH FIREBRANDS: A Novel ~ and Other Works by Christine Plouvier, Indie Author

A Character Name Database at Your Fingertips.

There are between 7,000 and 8,000 names in my genealogical database (not really very many), most of which are French, and some of which are on lines going back 14 generations (the French are prodigious genealogists). When I told the computer to extract all of my direct ancestors on the French side, it came up with 353 people.

I marked all the unique given names (most are forenames; a few are second names), and sorted them into the following table:

A partial list of my ancestors. (I was feeling decorative, so I embellished them by using French Script font).

On this list, there are more than 100 possible names for characters in a historical novel set in France any time between 1500 and 1930.

When I was writing IrishFirebrands, my sister asked me, “Why Ireland? Why don’t you write about France?” (Our…

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