How popular is the baby name Degory in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Degory.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Degory

Posts that Mention the Name Degory

Where Does the Pilgrim Name Degory Come From?

Every November, I get a ton of traffic to my Pilgrim names post. And, every November, I look over those Pilgrim names and think to myself, “What’s up with the name Degory?”

So, this year, let’s finally dig into Degory.

First, Pilgrim Degory — who was he?

His full name was Degory Priest. He was about 40 when he sailed on the Mayflower in 1620. He was a hatter by profession, and he had a wife named Sarah and two daughters named Marah and Sarah. (His family stayed behind in 1620, but all three eventually crossed the Atlantic.)

Degory Priest signed the Mayflower Compact in mid-November, but — like dozens of other Pilgrims — didn’t last long in the New World. He died on the first day of 1621.

Where does Degory’s name come from?

It’s a version of a name that’s been spelled many different ways: Diggory, Digory, Digorie, Digery, Digerie, Deggory, Deggary, Degorie, Degorye, Degore, Degarre, and so forth.

Diggory and Digory seem to be the preferred spellings nowadays, at least among writers. Thomas Hardy’s The Return of the Native (1878) includes a character named Diggory Venn, and C. S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia series (1950s) features a character named Digory Kirke.

No one is certain where the name comes from or what it means, but it may have been inspired by the 14th-century English romance Sir Degaré, which may have been based on an earlier Breton tale called Lai d’Esgaré, which points to the Old French word ésgaré, meaning “lost,” “astray,” or “destitute.”

What do you think of the name Degory/Diggory? Usable nowadays, or too unusual?

Sources: Genealogical profile of Degory Priest [pdf], Sir Degare: Introduction

Pilgrim Surnames for Thanksgiving

mayflower compact, 1620
The Mayflower Compact (1620)

Thanksgiving is almost here!

I’ve already posted about Pilgrim names and Pilgrim baby names, so this year let’s try Pilgrim surnames. Specifically, would any of them make good baby names?

Here are the 37 surnames of the 41 men who signed the Mayflower Compact:

  1. Alden (John Alden)
  2. Allerton (Isaac Allerton, John Allerton)
  3. Billington (John Billington)
  4. Bradford (William Bradford)
  5. Brewster (William Brewster)
  6. Britteridge (Richard Britteridge)
  7. Browne (Peter Browne)
  8. Carver (John Carver)
  9. Chilton (James Chilton)
  10. Clarke (Richard Clarke)
  11. Cooke (Francis Cooke)
  12. Crackstone (John Crackstone)
  13. Doty (Edward Doty)
  14. Eaton (Francis Eaton)
  15. English (Thomas English)
  16. Fletcher (Moses Fletcher)
  17. Fuller (Samuel Fuller, Edward Fuller)
  18. Gardiner (Richard Gardiner)
  19. Goodman (John Goodman)
  20. Hopkins (Stephen Hopkins)
  21. Howland (John Howland)
  22. Lester (Edward Lester)
  23. Margeson (Edmund Margeson)
  24. Martin (Christopher Martin)
  25. Mullins (William Mullins)
  26. Priest (Degory Priest)
  27. Rigsdale (John Rigsdale)
  28. Rogers (Thomas Rogers)
  29. Soule (George Soule)
  30. Standish (Myles Standish)
  31. Tilley (Edward Tilley, John Tilley)
  32. Tinker (Thomas Tinker)
  33. Turner (John Turner)
  34. Warren (Richard Warren)
  35. White (William White)
  36. Williams (Thomas Williams)
  37. Winslow (Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow)

Some aren’t too appropriate (I’m looking at you, Crackstone!) but I think many of the others — Martin, Warren, Brewster, Fletcher, Lester — would be great options for Thanksgiving Day babies.

Which of the above surnames would you be most likely to use as a first name?

Source: Mayflower Compact signatories – Wikipedia

Pilgrim Names for Thanksgiving

pilgrim baby names

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!

In honor of the holiday, I thought I’d put together a list of Pilgrim names.

Specifically, these are the first names of all the people (passengers + crew) who traveled to the New World aboard the Mayflower in 1620, plus the number of people that had each name.

According to what we know, the most common names were John for males and Mary for females.

Male Mayflower Names

Bartholomew (1)
Christopher (1)
Degory* (1)
Edmund (1)
Edward (6)
Elias (1)
Francis (3)
George (1)
Gilbert (1)
Giles (1)
Henry (1)
Isaac (1)
James (1)
Jasper (1)
John (15)
Joseph (2)
Love (1)
Moses (1)
Myles (1)
Oceanus** (1)
Peregrine** (1)
Peter (1)
Resolved (1)
Richard (5)
Robert (1)
Roger (1)
Samuel (3)
Solomon (1)
Stephen (1)
Thomas (4)
William (8)
Wrestling (1)
+ 4 anonymous males

Female Mayflower Names

Alice (2)
Ann (1)
Catherine (1)
Constance (1)
Damaris (1)
Desire (1)
Dorothy (2)
Eleanor (1)
Elizabeth (3)
Ellen (1)
Humility (1)
Joan (1)
Mary (6)
Priscilla (1)
Remember (1)
Rose (1)
Sarah (1)
Susanna (2)
+ 2 anonymous females

*More on Degory.
**More on Oceanus and Peregrine.

P.S. Want to see some Pilgrim surnames?