Naming characters, even minor ones, takes some thought. There are lots of hidden meanings and information that can be transmitted by names. Here are eight things I've learned through the years about choosing monikers.
1. If you give random characters names with little or no significance, be sure that you don't over use the choices. I always end up with too many Bills, Bobs, and Mikes that I have to change during revisions.
2. I keep a character master list that's in alphabetical order. It's actually a Word table, and I add columns for each book in the series. I can track which names I used in what book. I can also easily see which characters return in later books. And it helps me locate names I've already used, so I don't have repeats.
3. It is often confusing to readers to have the same or similar names (even similar sounding ones) in the same work. My friend, Kathleen Mix, creates an alphabetical list of characters for each of her books. Her rule is that only one character gets a name that starts with a particular letter. (Example: A: Alice, B: Bob, C: Cherrie...)
4. I try to make sure that my names are age appropriate. If you Google popular baby names by year, you'll see the top names of each year. If a character is in her late 40s and American, Michelle, Jennifer, Heather, and Laurie are all good choices.
5. My friend likes to make all of her character names unusual and unique. She's had multiple editors ask her to change them. It's usually okay to have one unique name or spelling, but multiples often attract the attention of editors.
6. I name my minor characters after friends and family. Sometimes, I sneak in famous names from pop culture. My coworkers often find their names sprinkled through my books.
7. I like to pay homage to literary greats. My sleuth, Delanie Fitzgerald, is named after F. Scott Fitzgerald. Her firm is called Falcon Investigations. I named that after Dashiell Hammett's The Maltese Falcon.
8. I also Google names to see if the meaning fits the character that I'm describing. I look for connotations that the name has to make sure it fits my character.
Best wishes with your writing and your character names.