How popular is the baby name Maud in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Maud and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Maud.
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Henry I, who ruled England from 1100 to 1135, was one of the sons of William the Conqueror, England’s first Norman king.
About two months after Henry was crowned king (on the interesting date 11/11/1100) he married one of the daughters of Malcolm III of Scotland and his Anglo-Saxon wife, Margaret.
Malcolm and Margaret’s daughter had been baptized with the Anglo-Saxon name Eadgyth [Edith], but when she was crowned Queen of England, she used the name Matilda.
From then on, she was known as either Matilda or Maud.
Why the name change?
Because “Matilda” was a name favored by the Normans. As historian Robert Bartlett put it, “A lot of people changed their names [following the Norman conquest] because they wanted to pass in polite society — they didn’t want to be mistaken for a peasant, marked out with an Anglo-Saxon name.”
In fact, Norman nobles liked to mock the couple by calling them Godric and Godiva, both of which are Anglo-Saxon names. “Godric and Godiva were the Jack and Jill of their period.”
Bardsley, Charles Wareing Endell. A Dictionary of English and Welsh Surnames. London: Henry Frowde, 1901.
1,633 babies were babies were born in Providence in 1866, by my count. (The number given by the author of the document is 1,632.)
1,457 of these babies (707 girls and 750 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 176 babies got blank spaces.
234 unique names (123 girl names and 108 boy names) were shared among these 1,457 babies.
And here’s some extra information I forgot to mention in the last post: In 1860, the city of Providence was home to 29.0% of Rhode Island’s population. In 1870, it was home to 31.7% of the population. So each of these 3 sets of rankings (1866, 1867, 1868) ought to account for roughly 30% of the residents of the state.
Now, on to the names…
The top 5 girl names and boy names of 1866 were, unsurprisingly, very similar to the top names of 1867.
Top Baby Girl Names
Top Baby Boy Names
The girls’ top 5 is identical, while the boys’ top 5 includes Thomas instead of George.
As expected, Mary was the front-runner by a huge margin. And, while there were dozens of Catherines, and a single Catharine, there weren’t any Katherines.
Mary, 149 baby girls
Anna & Eliza, 14 each (2-way tie)
Carrie, Emma, Jane & Susan, 10 each (4-way tie)
Grace & Ida, 9 each (2-way tie)
Esther, Martha & Minnie, 7 each (3-way tie)
Anne & Julia, 6 each (2-way tie)
Agnes, Charlotte, Cora, Harriet, Jennie, Joanna, Maria & Rosanna, 5 each (8-way tie)
Back in June, while planning a family camping trip, I posted about the name Acadia. Now that we’re back from that camping trip, I have a few more names to talk about.
For the first half of the trip we stayed at Prince Edward Island National Park in Canada. At our campground, the bilingual poison ivy signs emphasized the words “Caution” (in English) and “Prudence” (in French). Prudence is a vocabulary word in both languages, of course, but these signs gave me the impression that it’s more commonly used in French, which in turn made me wonder how French speakers feel about the name Prudence. Does it sound weird to them? (As weird as the name Caution would sound to English speakers?) Hm.
While doing some genealogical research in one of PEI’s many graveyards, I came across the name Sophus. It belonged to Daniel Sophus Edmonds, 1877-1900. Sophus has the same root as the super-popular Sophia. Both come from the ancient Greek word for “wisdom.”
Halfway through the trip, while traveling back to the U.S. from Canada, we stopped at Hopewell Rocks on the Bay of Fundy in New Brunswick. As I was checking out the rock formations, I idly wondered how many people in the U.S. were named Hopewell. Not many, turns out. I found only a few dozen people named Hopewell, none born since 1980. The total might be as high as 100 if middle names are included.
For the second half of the trip we stayed at Acadia National Park in Maine. The park has hundreds of miles of hiking trails. One of the men who created and mapped these trails was Waldron Bates (1856-1909). He also developed a distinctive type of cairn, unique to Acadia, known as the Bates cairn. The name Waldron, while rare, has appeared a couple dozen times on the national baby name list.
Acadia’s Jordan Pond Gate Lodge (1932), which resembles a 16th-century French hunting lodge, was commissioned by John D. Rockefeller Jr. and designed by prominent New York architect Grosvenor “Grove” Atterbury. No doubt Grove’s given name was inspired by the surname Grosvenor, which comes from the French phrase le Gros Veneur, meaning “the chief huntsman.” Rockefeller later donated the Gate Lodge — and the 45 miles of rustic carriage roads it protected — to the park.
These were probably the 5 most interesting names I spotted during the trip, but there were plenty of others. (Lucy, Maud, Montgomery, and Anne, for instance, were names I saw repeatedly at Green Gables on PEI.)
Have you taken a vacation this summer? If so, did you spot any interesting names while away?
The article also mentioned that, over the years, some names have been outpaced by their diminutive forms — Alfred by Alfie, Frederick by Freddie, Archibald by Archie, Charles by Charlie, Alexandra by Lexi, Sophia by Sophie, Eleanor by Ellie, and so forth.
*Blodwen is Welsh for “white flowers.” The Breton form is Bleuzen, in case you were wondering.