Edythe Edythe Chapman was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in New York in 1863. Edythe Sterling was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in Missouri in 1886. Edythe was also a character name in multiple films, including Told in Colorado (1911) and The Repentant (1916).
Effie Effie Shannon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Massachusetts in 1867. Effie was also a character name in multiple films, including The Big Diamond Robbery (1929) and The Maltese Falcon (1931).
Efra Efra Cavendar was a character played by actress Dorothy Sebastian in the film The Unholy Night (1929).
Eily Eily Malyon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in England in 1879. Eily was also a character played by actress Gene Gauntier in the film The Colleen Bawn (1911).
Elnora Elnora Comstock was a character played by various actresses (such as Gloria Grey and Dorinda Clifton) in various movies called A Girl of the Limberlost, all based on the novel of the same name by Gene Stratton-Porter.
Elspeth Elspeth Dudgeon was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1950s. She was born in England in 1871. Elspeth was also a character name in multiple films, including Sentimental Tommy (1921) and The Storm Breaker (1925).
Ena Ena Gregory was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Australia in 1906. Ena was also a character played by actress Gloria Payton in the film The Faith of the Strong (1919).
Enid Enid Stamp-Taylor was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in England in 1904. Enid was also a character name in multiple films, including The Chalice of Courage (1915) and Whatever She Wants (1921).
Ernestine Ernestine Gaines was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. Ernestine was also a character name in multiple films, including The Side Show of Life (1924) and Anne of Windy Poplars (1940).
Eugenie Eugenie Besserer was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in New York in 1868. Eugenie Forde was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1920s. She was born in New York in 1879. Eugenie was also a character name in multiple films, including The Black Pearl (1928) and Piccadilly Jim (1936).
Eulalie Eulalie Jensen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Missouri in 1884. Eulalie was also character played by actress Eileen Percy in the film The Pleasant Devil (1919).
A few weeks ago, I got an email from a reader looking for lists of old-fashioned double names. She was aiming for names like Thelma Dean, Eula Mae, and Gaynell — names that would have sounded trendy in the early 1900s. She also mentioned that she’d started a list of her own.
So I began scouring the interwebs. I tracked down lists of old-fashioned names, and lists of double names…but I couldn’t find a decent list of double names that were also old-fashioned.
I loved the idea of such a list, though, so I suggested that we work together to create one. She generously sent me the pairings she’d collected so far, and I used several different records databases to find many more.
I restricted my search to names given to girls born in the U.S. from 1890 to 1930. I also stuck to double names that I found written as single names, because it’s very likely that these pairings were used together in real life (i.e., that they were true double names and not merely first-middle pairings).
Pairings that seemed too timeless, like Maria Mae and Julia Rose, were omitted. I also took out many of the pairings that feature now-trendy names — think Ella, Emma, and Lucy — because they just don’t sound old-fashioned anymore (though they would have a few decades ago).
The result isn’t exhaustive, but it’s a decent sampling of real-life, old-fashioned double names. I’ve organized them by second name, and I also added links to popularity graphs for names that were in the SSA data during the correct time period (early 1900s).
The registrar of Providence, Rhode Island, published a series of documents listing all “of the names of persons deceased, born and married in the city of Providence” during years 1866, 1867 and 1868. The series may have been longer, but these are the only documents I could find online.
I’ve finally finished creating a set of rankings using one of the documents — 1867. But before we get to the rankings, here are some stats:
1,547 babies were born in Providence in 1867, going by the number of babies listed in the document itself. According to the document’s introduction, though, the number is 1,625. Not sure what to make of this discrepancy.
1,431 of these babies (713 girls and 718 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 116 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps they died young and never received a name.
254 unique names (141 girl names and 113 boy names) were shared among these 1,431 babies.
And now, on to the names…
A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1867:
Top Baby Girl Names
Top Baby Boy Names
Notice how the #1 name, Mary, was bestowed three times as often as the #2 name, Catherine.
Twenty-one sets of twins and two sets of triplets were born in Providence in 1867. (All of these names were accounted for above — I just thought it’d be fun to check out the sibsets.)
Abraham & George
Charles & George
Charles & John
Daniel & David
Dunlap & Frank
Eugene & Timothy
George & John
George & William
James & John
John & Martin
Albert & Harriet
Ashel & Ida
George & Grace
James & Mary
Maurice & Ann
Annie & Fannie
Annie & Mary
Ann & Ellen
Jennie & Minnie
Margaret & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Carl, (blank) & (blank)
James, Alexander & Sarah
I’ll post Providence’s 1866 and 1868 rankings as soon I get them done. Until then, here are two older posts featuring uniquely named Rhode Islanders: Aldaberontophoscophornia (b. 1812) and Idawalley (b. 1842).
A while ago I found a book called “A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names” that was published in Toronto in 1888.
I won’t post any of the poems, which are all pretty cheesy, but author George J. Howson does include an intriguing selection of names. He notes that he wrote acrostics for “all the most popular feminine christian names of the day, and many more that, while not in common use, are known to exist in actual life.”
Here’s the list:
Have any favorites?
Hulda/Huldah is one I like. It’s one of those names that I always see on old New England gravestones but never come across in real life. Wonder when that one will become stylish again.
BTW, has anyone ever seen a good name acrostic? Like, one that’s actually well-written and/or thought-provoking? Because I don’t think I ever have.