Here are two ideas that I think might improve player interaction:
Surnames: In addition to having your name, your character chooses a surname that is passed on to decedents. This would allow friends to identify each other better.
Kin lists: First, I think kin lists should be inherited. That way, players who are seldom on at the same time do not have to go through the trouble of re-kinning if someone dies.
Second, I think there should be different categories of kin to distinguish between close friends, friends, fellow village members, acquaintances, and enemies. Allowing claims to make this distinction would also be very helpful. An added bonus would be the ability to write notes about each person, but this could be done in rl as well.