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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Theobald

Number of Babies Named Theobald

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Theobald

How to Pronounce French Names – Anaïs, Étienne, Guillaume, Hélène

how to pronounce French names like anais, etienne, helene, guillaume

At first glance, Guillaume always looks like gobbledygook to me. It’s the French form of William — that much I know — but it takes a few seconds for me to remember that it’s pronounced ghee-ohm, not not gwill-awm or gwee-awm.

And it’s not just Guillaume that trips me up. I find many other French names (Étienne, Edwige, Anaïs, etc.) equally tricky to pronounce.

So for those of us who struggle with French names, here are some simplified rules of French pronunciation, plus names to illustrate each rule.

This list is far from comprehensive, and my pronunciations are just approximations, but hopefully my fellow non-French speakers out there will find it helpful nonetheless.

Rules of French Pronunciation + French Names

The vowel combination “AU” is pronounced like a long o.

  • Paul, in French, is pronounced pohl.
  • Margaux, a French form of Margaret, is pronounced mar-goh.

The letter combination “CH” is typically pronounced sh.

  • Charles, in French, is pronounced shahrl.

The six consonants “D,” “P,” “S,” “T,” “X” and “Z,” when at the end of a word, are typically silent.

  • Arnaud, the French form of Arnold, is pronounced ar-noh.
  • Denis, the French form of Dennis, is pronounced de-nee (remember the Blondie song?).
  • Lucas, in French, is pronounced loo-kah.
  • Louis, in French, is pronounced loo-ee (think Louis Vuitton).

They’re not always silent, though. Here are some exceptions:

  • Alois, the French form of Aloysius, is pronounced ah-loh-ees.
  • Anaïs, a French form of Anna, is pronounced ah-nah-ees.
  • David, in French, is pronounced dah-veed.

The pronunciation of “Ë” (E with a trema) is like the e in the English word “bet.”

  • Gaël and Gaëlle are pronounced gah-el or gai-el.
  • Joël and Joëlle are pronounced zhoh-el.
  • Maël and Maëlle are pronounced mah-el or mai-el.
  • Noël and Noëlle are pronounced noh-el.

The pronunciation of “É” (E with an acute accent) is somewhere between the ee in “see” and the e in “bet.”

  • Noé, the French masculine form of Noah, is pronounced noh-ee.
  • Salomé, in French, is pronounced sah-loh-mee.

The consonant “G” is soft (zh) when followed by “E” or “I” but hard (gh) otherwise.

  • Georges, the French form of George, is pronounced zhorzh.
  • Guy, in French, is pronounced ghee.

The consonant “H” is silent.

  • Hélène, the French form of Helen, is pronounced eh-lehn.

The vowel “I,” and the forms Ï, and Î, are all pronounced ee.

  • Loïc, a French form of Louis, is pronounced loh-eek.

The consonant “J” is pronounced zh.

  • Jacques, the French form of Jacob, is pronounced zhahk.

The letter combination “LL” is typically pronounced like an l.

  • Achille, the French form of Achilles, is pronounced ah-sheel.
  • Lucille, the French form of Lucilla, is pronounced loo-seel.

But in some cases “LL” is pronounced like a y.

  • Guillaume, the French form of William, is pronounced ghee-yohm or ghee-ohm.

The vowel combination “OI” is pronounced wah.

  • Antoine, the French form of Antony, is pronounced an-twahn.
  • Grégoire, the French form of Gregory, is pronounced gre-gwahr.

The vowel combination “OU” is pronounced oo.

  • Lilou is pronounced lee-loo.

The consonant “R,” when at the end of a word, is typically pronounced.

  • Clair, the French masculine form of Claire, is pronounced kler.
  • Edgar, in French, is pronounced ed-gahr.

When the “R” is preceded by an “E,” though, it is not pronounced.

  • Gauthier, the French form of Walter, is pronounced goh-tee-yay or goh-tyay (remember Gotye?).
  • Olivier, the French form of Oliver, is pronounced oh-lee-vee-yay or oh-lee-vyay (think Laurence Olivier).

The letter combination “TH” is typically pronounced like a t (which makes sense, since “H” is silent).

  • Thibault, the French form of Theobald, is pronounced tee-boh.

The letter combination “TI” is sometimes pronounced like an s or sy.

  • Laëtitia is pronounced lay-tee-sya.

The consonant “W” is pronounced like a v.

  • Edwige, the French form of Hedwig, is pronounced ed-veezh.

And finally, just a few more French names that I tend to have trouble with.

  • Anatole is pronounced ah-nah-tohl.
  • Étienne, the French form of Stephen, is pronounced eh-tyen.
  • Geoffroy, the French form of Geoffrey, is pronounced zho-fwah.
  • Ghislain and Ghislaine are pronounced either ghee-len or zheez-len.
  • Ignace, the French form of Ignatius, is pronounced ee-nyas.

*

Those aren’t too hard, right?

That’s what I tell myself…and then I come across Guillaume in the wild and my mind goes blank all over again. :)

If you know French and would like to add to the above (either another rule of pronunciation or a more precise pronunciation for a particular name) please leave a comment.

If you’re not a French speaker, here’s my question: Which French name gives you the most trouble?

Sources: Beginning French Pronunciation, French e, è, é, ê, ë – what’s the difference?, Google Translate

P.S. Interested in seeing how popular the French names above are in the U.S.? Here are some popularity graphs: Alois, Achille, Anaïs, Anatole, Antoine, Arnaud, Clair, Denis, Edwige, Étienne, Gaël, Gaëlle, Georges, Grégoire, Guillaume, Guy, Hélène, Ignace, Jacques, Laëtitia, Lilou, Loïc, Lucille, Maël, Maëlle, Margaux, Noé, Olivier, Salomé, Thibault.


Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1867

providence baby names 1867The 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…

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1867:

Top Baby Girl Names Top Baby Boy Names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Ellen
4. Margaret
5. Sarah
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

Girl Names

Notice how the #1 name, Mary, was bestowed three times as often as the #2 name, Catherine.

  1. Mary, 138 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 46
  3. Ellen, 37
  4. Margaret, 34
  5. Sarah, 31
  6. Annie, 19
  7. Elizabeth, 16
  8. Alice, 15
  9. Florence, 14
  10. Ann, Emma & Ida, 12 each (3-way tie)
  11. Minnie, 11
  12. Harriet & Julia, 9 each (2-way tie)
  13. Anna, Caroline, Carrie, Jennie, Joanna & Louisa, 8 each (6-way tie)
  14. Cora & Eliza, 7 each (2-way tie)
  15. Agnes, Clara, Edith, Rosanna & Theresa, 6 each (5-way tie)
  16. Bertha, Grace, Hannah, Hattie, Jane, Lillian, Maria, Martha, Nellie & Susan, 5 each (10-way tie)
  17. Eleanor, Fannie, Gertrude, Helen, Isabella, Lucy & Rosa, 4 each (7-way tie)
  18. Anne, Bridget, Ella, Emily, Esther, Eva, Lizzie, Mabel, Matilda & Ruth, 3 each (10-way tie)
  19. Ada, Amelia, Charlotte, Dora, Eleanora, Elvira, Henrietta, Jessie, Josephine, Kate, Louise, Lydia, Maggie & Rosella, 2 each (14-way tie)
  20. Abby, Addie, Adelaide, Adelia, Almina, Almira, Amanda, Amey, Amy, Anastasia, Angelie, Annis, Antoinette, Augusta, Aurelia, Bethiah, Cecelia, Celia, Clarissa, Clementina, Corielynn, Cornelia, Drusilla, Effie, Emeline, Estella, Ethelin, Fanny, Florentina, Frances, Gelie, Genevieve, Georgiana, Georgianna, Helena, Honora, Irene, Isabel, Issie, Juliann, Julietta, Katie, Laura, Leah, Leonora, Lillie, Lillis, Lily, Lottie, Luella, Margaretta, Margery, Margret, Marietta, Maude, May, Millie, Myra, Nelly, Phebe, Robie, Rosalthe, Rose, Selina, Sophia, Susanna, Susannah, Vienna, Viola, Vira, Virginia & Winifred, 1 each (72-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. John, 87 baby boys
  2. William, 75
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 50
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 40
  7. Joseph, 30
  8. Walter, 21
  9. Edward, 16
  10. Francis & Michael, 14 each (2-way tie)
  11. Patrick, 13
  12. Arthur & Robert, 12 each (2-way tie)
  13. Frank, Frederick & Henry, 11 each (3-way tie)
  14. Albert, 9
  15. Daniel & Peter, 8 each (2-way tie)
  16. David, Eugene, Howard & Samuel, 6 each (4-way tie)
  17. Alexander, Louis & Stephen, 5 each (3-way tie)
  18. Harry, Herbert, Hugh & Martin, 4 each (4-way tie)
  19. Carl, Edgar, Everett, Jeremiah & Willie, 3 each (5-way tie)
  20. Abraham, Alfred, Clarence, Cornelius, Dennis, Ernest, Ezra, Franklin, Freddie, Jacob, Jesse, Lewis, Luke, Nicholas, Philip, Sylvester, Theodore, Timothy, 2 each (18-way tie)
  21. Abner, Adam, Adolph, Amos, Andrew, Appleton, Archibald, Ashel, August, Benjamin, Benno, Bernard, Bertram, Burt, Byron, Clifford, Davis, Dexter, Dunlap, Edmund, Edwin, Elmer*, Embert, Forrest, Freddy, Gustav, Herman, Isaac, Jeffrey, Jerome, Josiah, Lucian, Malcolm, Matthew, Maurice, Milton, Nathan, Nehemiah, Nelson, Oren, Oscar, Otto, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Reginald, Richard, Sanford, Seth, Shirley, Sullivan, Terence, Theobald, Victor, Wanton, Warren, Weston, Wheelan, Wilford, 1 each (59-way tie)

*Elmer, who had the middle initial “E.,” was likely named after Civil War casualty Elmer E. Ellsworth.

Twins & Triplets

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.)

Twins (b/b) Twins (b/g) Twins (g/g) Triplets
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).

Sources:

Male Names in the Domesday Book

Male Names in the Domesday Book

I listed all the female names in the Domesday Book a while back, so today I thought I’d complete the project by listing all the male names.

The male names below appeared in the Open Domesday database just once, except where noted. (For the record, I overlooked entries in which one person’s name was used to refer to another person, e.g., “Aelfric’s uncle.”)

The most-mentioned name within each letter group is in bold.

If you make it all the way to the bottom, your reward is a top ten list. :)

A

  • Abba (2)
  • Abbud
  • Abel
  • Abraham
  • Acard (2)
  • Acwulf
  • Adam (4)
  • Adbrei
  • Adelard
  • Adelelm (4)
  • Adelo
  • Adelulf (3)
  • Adelund
  • Adulf
  • Aedi
  • Aefic (3)
  • Aelbert (4)
  • Aelfric (88)
  • Aelgeat
  • Aelhard (2)
  • Aellic (2)
  • Aelm
  • Aelmer (5)
  • Aelod
  • Aelred
  • Aelric (4)
  • Aelsi
  • Aeschere
  • Aescman
  • Aescwulf (2)
  • Aethelhelm
  • Aethelmer
  • Aethelmund
  • Aethelred
  • Aethelric (2)
  • Aethelsi
  • Aethelstan (3)
  • Aethelward (2)
  • Aethelwin
  • Aethelwold (4)
  • Agenet
  • Agenwulf
  • Aghmund (5)
  • Agneli
  • Ailbern
  • Aildag
  • Airard
  • Aisil
  • Aistan
  • Aitard (3)
  • Aiulf (5)
  • Akeli
  • Aki (3)
  • Akile
  • Alan (6)
  • Albert (5)
  • Albold (3)
  • Alchen
  • Alchere (5)
  • Alcolm
  • Alcude
  • Aldbert
  • Aldchurl
  • Aldelin
  • Aldred (9)
  • Aldstan
  • Aldwin
  • Aldwulf
  • Aldwy (2)
  • Aleran
  • Alfgar (2)
  • Alfgeat (9)
  • Alfgrim
  • Alfheah (6)
  • Alfhelm
  • Alfhere (2)
  • Alfhild
  • Alfkil
  • Alfnoth
  • Alfred (24)
  • Alfrith (4)
  • Alfsi
  • Alfstan (2)
  • Alfwin (3)
  • Algar (21)
  • Algeard
  • Algeat (4)
  • Algot (4)
  • Ali
  • Alling
  • Alli (3)
  • Almer (33)
  • Almod
  • Almund
  • Alnoth (17)
  • Alnuar
  • Alred (2)
  • Alric (22)
  • Alsi (23)
  • Alstan (10)
  • Altei
  • Altet
  • Aluerle
  • Alulf
  • Alun
  • Alvar
  • Alwaker
  • Alward (36)
  • Alware
  • Alwin (76)
  • Alwold (11)
  • Alwulf
  • Alwy (17)
  • Amalfrid
  • Amalgar
  • Amalric
  • Ambi
  • Ambrose
  • Amerland
  • Amund
  • Anbold
  • Andor
  • Andor
  • Andrac
  • Andrew (3)
  • Ani
  • Anna
  • Ansculf (3)
  • Ansegis
  • Ansel
  • Anselm (2)
  • Ansered
  • Ansfrid (7)
  • Ansger (7)
  • Ansgered
  • Ansgot (8)
  • Ansketil (18)
  • Anund (4)
  • Ape
  • Aret
  • Aretius
  • Arnbiorn (5)
  • Arnbrand
  • Arnger
  • Arngrim (5)
  • Arni (3)
  • Arnketil (8)
  • Arnold (6)
  • Arnulf (10)
  • Arnwin
  • Artald
  • Arthur (2)
  • Arulf
  • Ascelin (6)
  • Ascored
  • Asford
  • Asfrith
  • Asgot (7)
  • Aski (4)
  • Aslak (2)
  • Asli
  • Asroth
  • Asulf
  • Atilic
  • Aubrey (6)
  • Auesgot
  • Augi (2)
  • Augustine
  • Austin
  • Auti (5)
  • Avelin
  • Avenel (2)
  • Azo (3)
  • Azorin
  • Azur (14)

B

  • Baca
  • Bada
  • Bagot
  • Baldric (4)
  • Baldwin (10)
  • Balki (2)
  • Bark
  • Barn
  • Barni
  • Barth
  • Barthi
  • Basing
  • Baswin
  • Batsveinn
  • Beard
  • Belling
  • Belward
  • Benedict (2)
  • Benzelin
  • Beollan
  • Beorn (4)
  • Beowulf
  • Ber
  • Bera
  • Berard
  • Berdic
  • Berengar (4)
  • Berewold
  • Bergthorr
  • Bergulf
  • Bernard (14)
  • Berner (7)
  • Bernheah
  • Bernhold
  • Bernwulf
  • Berold
  • Bersi
  • Bertram (2)
  • Bertunt
  • Besi
  • Beso
  • Best
  • Bettica
  • Biarni
  • Bicca
  • Bigot
  • Bil
  • Blaca
  • Blacre
  • Blaec (2)
  • Blaecmann (5)
  • Blaecmer
  • Blaecstan (3)
  • Blaecsunu
  • Blaecwin (2)
  • Blanc
  • Blancard
  • Bleddyn
  • Bleio
  • Bletcu
  • Blize
  • Blohin
  • Bo
  • Boda
  • Bodda
  • Bodin (3)
  • Boia (2)
  • Boli
  • Bolla (2)
  • Bolli
  • Boln
  • Bolne
  • Bondi (5)
  • Bono
  • Bordin
  • Boselin
  • Bosi
  • Bosker
  • Boso
  • Bosten
  • Boteric
  • Boti (2)
  • Botic
  • Botwulf
  • Bouville
  • Bovi (2)
  • Brand (3)
  • Brandulf
  • Brandwin
  • Branting (2)
  • Breme
  • Bresibalt
  • Bretel
  • Brian (6)
  • Brict
  • Brictfrith (4)
  • Brictgeat
  • Brictheah (2)
  • Bricthere
  • Brictman
  • Brictmer (9)
  • Brictnoth (2)
  • Brictred (2)
  • Brictric (16)
  • Brictsi (6)
  • Brictstan
  • Brictward (3)
  • Brictwin (5)
  • Brictwold (3)
  • Brictwulf (2)
  • Brictwy (2)
  • Brisard
  • Broddi
  • Broklauss
  • Brorda
  • Brothir (4)
  • Brumage
  • Brun (5)
  • Brunard
  • Brune
  • Brunel
  • Brungar (2)
  • Brunhyse
  • Brunier
  • Bruning (2)
  • Brunlocc
  • Brunmann (5)
  • Brunmer (2)
  • Brunsunu
  • Brunwin (3)
  • Bucca
  • Buggi
  • Bului
  • Burcard
  • Burde
  • Burghard
  • Burghelm
  • Burghi
  • Burgnoth
  • Burgred (5)
  • Burgric
  • Burgwald
  • Burnin
  • Burrer
  • Burro
  • Buter

C

  • Cabe
  • Cadiand
  • Cadio (3)
  • Cadwallon
  • Calcebuef
  • Calebot
  • Cana
  • Caradoc
  • Carlman
  • Cave
  • Ceolmer
  • Ceolred (2)
  • Ceolric (2)
  • Ceolstan
  • Ceolwin
  • Ceolwold
  • Charbonnel
  • Cille
  • Claman
  • Clarenbald (4)
  • Claron
  • Cliber
  • Clibert
  • Clodoan
  • Cniht
  • Cnut (6)
  • Cola (7)
  • Colben
  • Colbern
  • Colbert (2)
  • Coleman (4)
  • Colne (2)
  • Colsege
  • Columban
  • Colwin
  • Conan
  • Conded
  • Constantine
  • Corbelin
  • Corbin
  • Corp
  • Costelin
  • Crawa
  • Crin
  • Croc
  • Culling
  • Cus
  • Cuthwulf
  • Cynegar
  • Cyneric (2)
  • Cynesi (2)
  • Cynestan
  • Cyneva
  • Cynewin
  • Cynwold
  • Cynwy
  • Cypping (2)

D

  • Dachelin
  • Daeging
  • Dagobert
  • Danemund
  • David (2)
  • Dedol
  • Deincora
  • Dela
  • Demiblanc
  • Dene (3)
  • Deorc
  • Deoring (2)
  • Deormann (2)
  • Deorsi
  • Deorstan
  • Deorwulf
  • Doda (7)
  • Doding (2)
  • Dodin (2)
  • Dodman
  • Doleswif
  • Dolgfinn (3)
  • Domnic
  • Donald
  • Donewald
  • Dot (2)
  • Dreng
  • Drogo (16)
  • Druward
  • Dubhan
  • Dubhghall
  • Dublel
  • Duncan (2)
  • Dunn (2)
  • Dunnic
  • Dunning
  • Dunstan (4)
  • Durand (12)
  • Dynechaie

E

  • Eadne
  • Ealdormann
  • Ebbi
  • Eccha
  • Ecgfrith
  • Ecgwulf
  • Edda
  • Edelo
  • Edgar (4)
  • Edmer (5)
  • Edmund (9)
  • Ednoth (5)
  • Edred (3)
  • Edric (34)
  • Edsi (4)
  • Edward (22)
  • Edwin (22)
  • Edwold (2)
  • Edwulf (8)
  • Edwy (6)
  • Egbert
  • Egbrand
  • Einarr
  • Einbold
  • Eingar
  • Einulf
  • Elaf (6)
  • Elebolt
  • Elfain
  • Elfin
  • Eli
  • Elinant
  • Elmwy
  • Engelbald
  • Engelbert (2)
  • Engelhere
  • Engelric
  • Enisant (2)
  • Erchenbald (3)
  • Erchenbrand
  • Erchenger (2)
  • Erchenold
  • Erding
  • Erdwulf
  • Erembald
  • Erik
  • Erland
  • Erlebald
  • Erlechin
  • Erling
  • Ermenfrid (2)
  • Ermengot
  • Ermenhald
  • Ernburgis
  • Ernebald
  • Erneis (4)
  • Erngeat (7)
  • Ernsi
  • Ernucion
  • Ernwin (2)
  • Ernwulf (8)
  • Ernwy (7)
  • Ertald
  • Ertein
  • Esbiorn (5)
  • Escelf
  • Esger (5)
  • Eskil (15)
  • Essocher
  • Estan (8)
  • Estgar
  • Estmund
  • Estred
  • Eudo (8)
  • Euen
  • Euing
  • Eur
  • Euremar
  • Eustace (4)
  • Everard (5)
  • Everwin (2)
  • Evrold
  • Ewein
  • Ewen
  • Ewicman

F

  • Falc
  • Fargrim
  • Farman (2)
  • Farthin
  • Fastrad (2)
  • Fastulfr
  • Fatherling
  • Fathin
  • Fathir
  • Fech
  • Feche
  • Feggi
  • Fellow
  • Fenkell (2)
  • Fermeus
  • Ferron
  • Fiacc
  • Filiman
  • Finch
  • Finnghall
  • Fin (2)
  • Firmatus
  • Firmin
  • Fish
  • Flint
  • Flohere
  • Flotmann
  • Folkar
  • Forne (2)
  • Forthred
  • Frani (5)
  • Frank (3)
  • Frawin (2)
  • Fredegaest
  • Fredegis (3)
  • Frederic (2)
  • Freond
  • Frewin
  • Fridebert
  • Frienday
  • Frodo (2)
  • Froger
  • Frumold
  • Fugel
  • Fuglo
  • Fulbert (2)
  • Fulbric
  • Fulcard (4)
  • Fulcher (5)
  • Fulco (7)
  • Fulcran
  • Fulcred
  • Fulcric
  • Fulcwald
  • Fulcwin
  • Fulcwy (4)
  • Fursa

G

  • Gamal (9)
  • Gamalbarn
  • Gamalkarl
  • Gamas
  • Gamilo
  • Garthulfr
  • Garwine
  • Gelder
  • Genred
  • Genust
  • Geoffrey (48)
  • Gerald (5)
  • Gerard (9)
  • Gerbert
  • Gerbodo
  • Gerhelm
  • Geri
  • Gerling
  • Germanus
  • Germund (4)
  • Gernand
  • Gernio
  • Gero
  • Gerwy
  • Gest
  • Gethne
  • Gifard (2)
  • Gilbert (33)
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And now it’s time for the…

Top Ten Male Names

Which male were mentioned most often in the Domesday book? The #1 name was William, followed by Robert and Ralph:

1. William (166)
2. Robert (127)
3. Ralph (124)
4. Aelfric (88)
5. Alwin (76)
5. Hugh (76)
7. Roger (73)
8. Godwin (72)
9. Walter (64)
10. Godric (59)

Though the names in the book aren’t necessarily representative of name usage in England overall, it does make sense than William took the top spot. The Domesday Book was created a couple of decades after the Norman Invasion, at a time when the name William was very fashionable, thanks to William the Conqueror.

Early Case of Boy Name “Stolen” by Girls

I discovered this very early case of a male name becoming a female name while reading about medieval English pet names that end with -ot and -et (e.g. Cissot for Cecilia, Ibbot for Isabella):

But the girl-name that made most mark was originally a boy’s name, Theobald. Tibbe was the nick form, and Tibbot the pet name. Very speedily it became the property of the female sex, such entries as Tibot Fitz-piers ending in favour of Tibota Foliot. After the year 1300 Tib, or Tibet, is invariably feminine.

Girl-cats were commonly named Tib during this period. (Boy-cats were called Gib.)

Tib reminds me of Toby, another male nickname used for girls. Toby, short for Tobias, was more popular as a girl name than as a boy name in the U.S. for most of the early 20th century (1910s-1940s).

Source: Bardsley, Charles Wareing Endell. Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature. London: Chatto & Windus, 1897.