Popular baby names in 17th- and 18th-century New England

Elizabeth Clarke Freake (Mrs. John Freake) and Baby Mary (early 1670s)

Caitlin GD Hopkins posted lists of historically popular baby names in Boston, MA, and Windsor, CT, at her blog Vast Public Indifference earlier today.

Using a book of birth records for Boston, she came up with the top male and female names given to babies born in Boston in 1710:

Girl names (Boston, 1710)Boy names (Boston, 1710)
1. Mary
2. Elizabeth
3. Sarah
4. Abigail
5. Susanna
6. Hannah
7. Ann/Anna
8. Rebecca, Lydia (2-way tie)
9. Jane, Martha (2-way tie)
10. Johanna, Katherine, Lucy, Margaret, Mercy, Ruth (6-way tie)
1. John
2. William
3. Thomas
4. James
5. Samuel, Joseph (2-way tie)
6. Nathaniel
7. Jonathan
8. Richard, Henry, Daniel (3-way tie)
9. Abraham, Benjamin, Ebenezer, Edward, Francis, Josiah, Robert (7-way tie)

Then she used church records from 1635 to 1680 to come up with a similar list for Windsor, CT (which is about 100 miles southwest of Boston):

Girl names (Windsor, 1600s)Boy names (Windsor, 1600s)
1. Mary
2. Sarah
3. Elizabeth
4. Abigail
5. Hanna
6. Rebecca
7. Ann/Anna, Deborah (2-way tie)
8. Joanna, Martha (2-way tie)
9. Esther/Hester, Mindwell (2-way tie)
10. Hepzibah
1. John
2. Samuel
3. Thomas
4. Nathaniel
5. Joseph
6. Josiah
7. Benjamin
8. Jonathan
9. Isaac
10. Daniel, William (2-way tie)
11. Timothy
12. James

Caitlin noted an interesting “secular/Biblical divide” between baby names chosen at the two locations.

Update: Hopkins just posted a follow-up post with more interesting name commentary.

One thought on “Popular baby names in 17th- and 18th-century New England

  1. I like the names Elizabeth and Sarah. These are my kids name.
    I am glade I found them in the same place.

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