Popular Elizabethan Names

Elea of British Baby Names recently published a great list of names popular during the Elizabethan era (late 16th century) in the Norfolk region. Here are the top 10 names for each gender:

Male Names Female Names
1. John
2. Thomas
3. William
4. Robert
5. Richard
6. Edward
7. Henry
8. Edmund
9. Nicholas
10. James
1. Elizabeth
2. Margaret
3. Mary
4. Ann
5. Agnes
6. Alice
7. Dorothy
8. Joan
9. Katherine
10. Bridget

I thought it would be fun to compare this list to a couple of earlier historical name lists from England, so here are the most common names from King Henry III’s fine rolls (13th century):

Male Names Female Names
1. William
2. John
3. Richard
4. Robert
5. Henry
6. Ralph
7. Thomas
8. Walter
9. Roger
10. Hugh
1. Alice
2. Matilda
3. Agnes
4. Margaret
5. Joan
6. Isabella
7. Emma
8. Beatrice
9. Mabel
10. Cecilia

And, even further back, here are the most-mentioned male names and female names in the Domesday book (11th century):

Male Names Female Names
1. William
2. Robert
3. Ralph
4. Aelfric
5. Alwin
5. Hugh
7. Roger
8. Godwin
9. Walter
10. Godric
1. Aldgyth
2. Aelfeva
2. Leofeva
2. Wulfeva
5. Bricteva
5. Edeva
7. Emma
7. Godiva
9. Goda
10. Edith

The last two lists may not represent the top given names of their time periods very accurately, but they do give you a sense of how given names in England have changed over time.


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