A couple of days ago, in my post about Rhiannon, I mentioned the Mabinogion.
The first person to translate this collection of medieval tales into English was Lady Charlotte Guest (1812-1885). She wasn’t a native Welsh speaker, but learned the language after marrying Welsh businessman John Josiah Guest at the age of 21 and moving to Wales.
That marriage produced 10 children. Here are the names:
Charlotte Maria (b. 1834)
Ivor Bertie (b. 1835)
Katherine Gwladys (b. 1837)
Thomas Merthyr (b. 1838)
Montague John (b. 1839)
Augustus Frederick (b. 1840)
Arthur Edward (b. 1841)
Mary Enid Evelyn (b. 1843)
Constance Rhiannon (b. 1844)
Blanche Vere (b. 1847)
Many of the above, including Bertie, Montagu (without the e) and Vere, are family names on Charlotte’s side. Charlotte’s father Albemarle got another interesting family name.
Here are definitions for the four Welsh names:
Gwladys – A form of the old Welsh name Gwladus. It might be based on the Welsh word gwlad, meaning “country.”
Merthyr – From the Welsh word merthyr, which means “martyr.” Records show that Thomas was born in the town of Merthyr Tydfil.
Enid – Found in the Welsh legend of Geraint and Enid. It might be based on the Welsh word enaid, meaning “soul.”
Rhiannon – Found in the Mabinogion. It might mean “divine goddess” or “maid of Annwfn.”
If you could add an 11th name (first + middle) to this set, what combination would you choose and why? Gender is up to you.
The names below are “one-hit wonder” names that ranked among the 1,000 most popular U.S. baby names only once — sometime during the 1880s.
This list is much longer than the 1940s and 1950s lists, but it’s also probably a lot less reliable. Why? Because the SSA‘s baby name data for the late 1800s and early 1900s is pretty skewed. As a result, a lot of random names (and misspellings) managed to rank among the statistical “top 1,000” during this period.