Oddball English Names, 17th and 18th Centuries

One of the sources I used for yesterday’s post on Ono Titchiner was a book full of 17th and 18th century marriage records from Surrey.

In the introduction, the author listed some of the more notable names to be found in the book:

There are some curious and uncommon Christian names from Biblical and Classical sources; amongst those of females, Achsa, Adeliza, Aphara, Anastasia, Aquila, Avarillar, Bathana, Bedia, Bethia, Cassandra, Caroline-Shepherdess, Celeste, Clementia, Damaris, Dionisia, Dufiner, Dulcibella, Eleanor, Emmaritta, Emlin, Euphemia, Grachauna, Gratitude, Hephzibah, Israel, Jacobinea, Jaminia, Juliana, Kimbra, Melior, Milbrough, Pamelia, Parthenia, Paterniller, Pleasant-Furs, Protesia, Silvestria, Sina, Statira, Tamar, Tempearance, Theodosia, Tryphena, “Virgin” [Price]; and amongst males those of Ananias, Bivel, Calverley, Chrusophilus, Demetrius, Deodatus, Derik, Emmet, Eusebius, Ezekiel, Fretwill, Gershom, Haman, Haseldine [Crab-tree], Jonah, Lazarus, Nazareth, “Offspring” [Brown], Ono, Prew, Purchas, Redhead [Eagle], Rulove, Sills [Gibbons], Theophilus, Truth, Uphill, Ward, Wintz, Zacheus, Zenas, Zeuler.

It’s interesting to note that a few of the above (like Juliana and Jonah) are now commonplace.

And I could imagine a few others (Tamar? Lazarus?) becoming trendy in the near future.

Which of these names do you like best?

Source: Bax, Alfred Ridley. Allegations for Marriage Licences Issued by the Commissary Court of Surrey Between 1673-1770. Norwich: Goose & Son, 1907.


3 thoughts on “Oddball English Names, 17th and 18th Centuries

  1. I find it very curious that Eleanor was among the “curious and uncommon” names! Even if it wasn’t particularly popular at that time, it must have been quite familiar to everyone from its historical usage.

  2. Anyone who actually looks up Tamar in the Bible will reconsider, and maybe change their baby’s name to Jezebel or Delilah.

  3. Tamar is relatively common amongst Jews so I beg to differ with bbbarry. It has a nice meaning and at least one fairly positive (or at least nuanced) Biblical character – there are two mentioned, remember. It’s my favourite of the girls’ names.

    I know of a couple Gershoms or Gershons, that’s another Jewish name. And Ezekiel might be the next Elijah? I do like Emmet.

    I have no real reason for liking Demetrius or Lazarus but in this age of Atticuses, I kinda like them.

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