Behind the Name – Surnames
Of the many online name idea databases out there (think babies), one of the better ones for writers and story character names is Behind the Name. No real need to describe what you’ll find there. But for this Toolbox post, I’d like to bring your attention to a nifty section of the site that gives you ideas for something you don’t really find on those baby name sites:
Behind the Name’s database of surnames is robust enough to be a great starting point for surname ideas for your characters, each with definitions and keywords that you can use with the site’s search functionality. They’re further organized regionally and by other categories (e.g., Jewish). Comprehensive category selections? Heck no, but that’s what Google’s good for, if your needs are that specific, but there’s definitely a lot here to be more than sufficient to the non-anal character namers among you.
Note: If you want random regional surname ideas for more serendipitous fun, check out the Fake Name Generator, which also happens to be the very first Toolbox post.