Names are important for a variety of reasons. On an elemental level, they help avoid confusion: (you're George, he's Freddie). Linnaeus understood this and, as a result, we have a universal system for classifying organisms. This system allows a botanist in Australia to communicate with a colleague in Ulan Bator and both will understand they're talking about the same plant. It works for animals as well.
In humans, names accomplish a great deal more. They carry social and psychological consequences. They establish identity. Society takes names seriously. In almost every culture there is a naming ceremony for a newborn child. It's a ritual complete with all the trappings of any serious cultural ceremony.
Once the ceremony is over, the child is more or less stuck for life with the name. Depending upon the popularity of that name, the child will either ride that name to the crest of popularity, build what's commonly called "character" by fighting against it until he or she can rise above it, or be shunned by the peer group. For example, consider one girl given a family name, such as DaLoyd or Brownda, and another given a currently popular name, such as Emma or Anna. Their future course is already charted before they're out of diapers.
If you write historical fiction, you may feel a bit like the first example in the preceding paragraph. Where do your books fit in B and N? That's the first question an agent will ask you when you pitch your manuscript. Do they fit anywhere? You stammer and stumble and your answer sounds like a cross between an apology and an argument.
"My book is a cross between X and Y" or "My book is A meets B."
You can't answer the question, because there's no place for your book. You're the also ran, the wannabe. Genre fiction labels books to make things convenient for the publisher, the book store, and the reading public. Where's the lobby for Historical Fiction? Why are we the DaLoyds and Browndas of the trade?
Bookstores have sections for mysteries, romances, occasionally Westerns, and then the vast dumping ground labeled "literature." Most historical fiction finds itself consigned to this area, and this makes finding titles in your specific period, let alone historical fiction as a whole, Sherlockian.
The minor question: How do you find works of historical fiction when you browse Amazon, B and N, Borders, or your Indie book store? How do you learn what authors you're going to love or hate?
The major question: How will you ensure your title stands out amongst the thousands of books moldering away in the general lit stacks?