Popular Baby Names in 17th- and 18th-Century New England

Caitlin GD Hopkins posted about historically popular baby names in Boston, MA and Windsor, CT at her blog Vast Public Indifference earlier today. Using a book of birth records for Boston, she came up with the top male and female names given to babies born in Boston in 1710:

Mary
Elizabeth
Sarah
Abigail
Susanna
John
William
Thomas
James
Samuel

Then she used church records from 1635 to 1680 to come up with a similar list for Windsor, CT (which is about 100 miles southwest of Boston):

Mary
Sarah
Elizabeth
Abigail
Hanna
John
Samuel
Thomas
Nathaniel
Joseph

Caitlin noted an interesting “secular/Biblical divide” between baby names chosen at the two locations. Her post is worth a read. (As is her cool series on synonyms for “died” in early American epitaphs. One example is “Was Found Lashed to the Mast of His Sunken and Ill-Fated Vessel.”)

2 Responses to Popular Baby Names in 17th- and 18th-Century New England

  1. I like the names Elizabeth and Sarah. These are my kids name.
    I am glade I found them in the same place.

  2. She’s posted a follow-up with more good name commentary.

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