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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Charles


Posts that Mention the Name Charles

Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1868

19th-century Providence, Rhode Island
19th-century Providence

Years ago, I discovered three documents with relatively complete lists of births for the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for the years 1866, 1867, and 1868. I’ve already created Providence’s baby name rankings for 1866 and 1867 using the first two documents, and today (finally!) I’ve got the third set of rankings for you.

Let’s start with some stats:

  • 1,762 babies were born in Providence in 1868, by my count. According to the introduction of the document I’m using a source, however, the total number is 1,866. I don’t know how to account for this discrepancy.
  • 1,617 of these babies (791 girls and 826 boys) had names that were known at the time of publication. The other 145 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps these babies died young and never received a name.
  • 284 unique names (143 girl names and 141 boy names) were shared among these 1,617 babies.

And now, on to the names!

Top 5

A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:

Top baby girl namesTop baby boy names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Sarah
4. Ellen
5. Margaret
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. Charles
5. George

All Girl Names

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 39
  3. Sarah, 38
  4. Ellen, 31
  5. Margaret, 28
  6. Elizabeth, 25
  7. Alice, 24
  8. Anna, 20
  9. Ann, 16
  10. Emma, 14
  11. Eliza, 13
  12. Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
  13. Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
  14. Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
  15. Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
  17. Anne, Carrie, Hattie, Ida, Mabel & Nellie, 6 each (6-way tie)
  18. Eva, Joanna, Lydia & Rosanna, 5 each (4-way tie)
  19. Abby, Charlotte, Emily, Jessie, Josephine, Lillian, Lizzie, Louisa, Louise, Marion, Phebe, Rosella & Theresa, 4 each (13-way tie)
  20. Anastasia, Bertha, Edith, Gertrude, Isabella, Nettie, Pearl, Rebecca & Susanna, 3 each (9-way tie)
  21. Ada, Almira, Edna, Fannie, Flora, Frances, Helen, Henrietta, Inez, Laura, Lelia, Lillie, Lottie, Maud, Priscilla & Virginia, 2 each (16-way tie)
  22. Addie, Adelaide, Adelicia, Adeline, Agatha, Allene, Amanda, Amy, Angelica, Antoinette, Arabella, Augusta, Aurelia, B.*, Belle, Bessie, Betsey, Catharine, Celia, Claudia, Della, Eleanor, Eleanora, Estella, Estelle, Esther, Eudavelia, Eulalie, Evelyn, Francenia, Genevieve, Georgia, Honora, Imogene, Jesse, Juliette, Kate, Leonora, Lilla, Lillias, Lorena, Luella, Luetta, Magdalena, Marian, Marietta, Matilda, Mercy, Minerva, Miriam, Myra, Myrtis, Nanoan, Nora, Pauline, Reberta, Rhoda, Roberta, Rosa, Rose, Ruth, Sabrina, Sophia, Stella & Winifred, 1 each (65-way tie)

*What do you think the “B.” might have stood for?

All Boy Names

  1. John, 112 baby boys
  2. William, 68
  3. James, 64
  4. Charles, 52
  5. George, 45
  6. Thomas, 37
  7. Frederick, 25
  8. Henry, 23
  9. Joseph, 22
  10. Edward, 19
  11. Daniel & Patrick, 18 each (tie)
  12. Robert, 17
  13. Frank, 16
  14. Francis, 15
  15. Walter, 13
  16. Michael, 11
  17. Albert, 10
  18. Arthur, 9
  19. Benjamin, Peter & Samuel, 7 each (3-way tie)
  20. Freddie, Harry, Herbert & Stephen, 6 each (4-way tie)
  21. Edwin, Lawrence, Lewis, Martin & Timothy, 5 each (5-way tie)
  22. Bernard, Edmund, Eugene, Louis, Philip & Richard, 4 each (6-way tie)
  23. Alfred, Augustus, Christopher, Eben, Horace, Howard, Hugh, Jeremiah, Matthew & Willard, 3 each (10-way tie)
  24. Abel, Barney, Byron, Dennis, Edgar, Ferdinand, Gilbert, Luke, Max, Nathaniel, Owen, Roger, Solomon & Victor, 2 each (14-way tie)
  25. Alden, Alexis, Allen, Alrick, Amos, Andrew, Ansel, Anson, Archibald, Asa, Ashby, Bartholomew, Calvin, Carlos, Clarence, Clark, Clarke, Clement, Clifford, Collyer, Crolander, Darius, David, Earl, Elisha, Ellis, Eri, Ernest, Erwin, Eusebe, Everett, Felix, Forrest, Foster, Franklin, Fred, Gardner, Jacob, Jason, Jerome, Jireh, Joaneto, Josiah, Jubal, Justin, Lawson, Lodovic, Louis, Lucien, Lyman, Major, Malachi, Manuel, Melbourne, Monroe, Morey, Morris, Myron, Nelson, Nicholas, Olney, Orville, Oscar, Pendleton, Ralph, Reuben, Rolfe, Rowland, Rufus, Simeon, Simon, Steven, Stewart, Theodore, Ulysses*, Volney, Warren, Whiting, Willie & Winchester, 1 each (80-way tie)

*Ulysses was likely named in honor of Ulysses S. Grant, who was elected president in 1868.

Twins

Finally, nineteen sets of twins were born in Providence in 1868. (All of these twin names are accounted for in the rankings above.)

Girl-girl twinsGirl-boy twinsBoy-boy twins
Caroline & Harriet
Lucy & Lydia
Mary & Rosanna
Margaret & Mary
Lizzie & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Anne & Thomas
Emma & Charles
Florence & William
Hannah & Josiah
Ida & John
Isabella & John
Jennie & Horace
Charles & William
Francis & Robert
George & John
James & John
James & Stephen
(blank) & (blank)

Have any thoughts about these rankings, or any of the specific names above?

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of the Names of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence. Number three. Providence: Millard & Harker, 1870.

Popular Baby Names in Belgium, 2020

According to data from Statistics Belgium, the country’s most popular baby names last year were Olivia and Arthur.

Here are Belgium’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 548 baby girls
  2. Emma, 529
  3. Mila, 489
  4. Louise, 432
  5. Lina, 411
  6. Alice, 361
  7. Sofia, 359
  8. Mia, 353
  9. Anna, 350
  10. Juliette, 332

Boy Names

  1. Arthur, 587 baby boys
  2. Noah, 564
  3. Jules, 543
  4. Louis, 499
  5. Lucas, 467 (tie)
  6. Liam, 467 (tie)
  7. Adam, 443
  8. Victor, 412
  9. Gabriel, 384
  10. Mohamed, 345

In the girls’ top 10, Sofia and Mia replaced Elena and Lucie.

The boys’ top 10 includes the same names, but in a different order.

In the girls’ top 100, the names that saw the largest increases in usage were Alba (+142%), Capucine (+55%), and Lea (+45%).

In the boys’ top 100, the names that saw the largest increases were Otis (+68%), Oliver (+34%), and Charles (+31%).

In each of Belgium’s three main regions, the top baby names were…

  • Flanders (about 58% of the population): Olivia and Noah
  • Wallonia (about 32%): Emma and Gabriel
  • Brussels-Capital Region (about 11%): Sofia and Mohamed

Finally, here’s a selection of baby names that were given to just 5 babies each in Belgium last year:

Rare Girl NamesRare Boy Names
Aubane, Bibi, Célou, Diyana, Emmelien, Frauke, Hadia, Ianthe, Jitte, Kessy, Lumi, Minthe, Noussayba, Oana, Phéline, Rokaya, Sabina, Thilly, Vaiana, Ylana, ZinebAurian, Baziel, Camiel, Dalil, Elyan, Fabrice, Haris, Imraan, Jorik, Kabir, Leart, Maëlio, Nélio, Ole, Peter, Runar, Shimon, Tiesj, Virgile, Yllan, Zayi

In 2019, the top two names in Belgium were also Olivia and Arthur.

Sources: First names for boys and girls | Statbel, Demographics of Belgium – Wikipedia

How did Cara Delevingne get her name?

British fashion model Cara Delevingne in 2014.
Cara Delevingne

Here’s a baby name explanation I’ve never come across before: in-flight magazine!

British property developer Charles Hamar Delevingne — talking last month to the Irish Times at an event celebrating the centenary of the Anglo-Irish Treaty (which his father, Hamar, helped negotiate) — let it slip that he’d named his famous fashion-model daughter Cara Delevingne after the Aer Lingus in-flight magazine Cara:

I remember I used to go backwards and forwards to Dublin a lot, and the name of the Aer Lingus magazine was Cara. I loved the name.

Cara was first published in 1968. The magazine’s title comes from the Irish word cara, meaning “friend.” Cara was discontinued in December of 2020 due to “the impact of Covid-19,” but the airline plans to re-introduce it as a digital publication in the future.

Cara Jocelyn Delevingne (pronounced DEL-ah-VEEN) was born in 1992. Her middle name presumably honors her maternal grandfather, Sir Jocelyn Stevens.

And let’s not forget the distinctive name Hamar. According to one source, Hamar’s birth name was Thomas Hubbard Hamer Greenwood, but he chose to go by “Hamar” — an altered spelling of the maiden name of his Welsh paternal grandmother (Mary Hamer, 1795-1838).

Sources:

Image by U.S. Embassy London from Wikipedia

The 16 Children of William of Orange

William of Orange

Sixteenth-century Dutch nobleman William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was the primary leader of the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).

William had a total of 16 children with five different women (four wives, one mistress). All 16 received traditional first names, but four of his daughters were given location-inspired middle names — symbols of the political alliances between William and “the lands for which he fought.”

Here are the names of all 16:

  1. Maria (born in 1553)
  2. Philip William, (b. 1554)
  3. Maria (b. 1556)
  4. Justinus (b. 1559)
  5. Anna (b. 1562)
  6. Anna (b. 1563)
  7. Maurice August Philip (b. 1564)
  8. Maurice (b. 1567)
  9. Emilia (b. 1569)
  10. Louise Juliana (b. 1576)
  11. Elisabeth (b. 1577)
  12. Catharina Belgica (b. 1578)
  13. Charlotte Flandrina (b. 1579)
  14. Charlotte Brabantina (b. 1580)
  15. Emilia Antwerpiana (b. 1581)
  16. Frederick Henry (b. 1584)

Each of the regions/locations honored with a name responded by “bestow[ing] pensions upon the children”:

This inspired other parents with connections to the House of Orange-Nassau to adopt similar naming practices. For instance, Ernst Casimir I — the Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe — named his daughter Elisabeth Friso (b. 1620). And Henri Charles de Le Trémoille — a direct descendant of William of Orange via Charlotte Brabantina — named his son Charles Belgique Hollande (b. 1655).

Sources:

  • Broomhall, Susan and Jacqueline Van Gent. Gender, Power and Identity in the Early Modern House of Orange-Nassau. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Steen, Jasper van der. Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
  • William the Silent – Wikipedia

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (U, V, W)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with U-, V-, and W-names…

  • Umbria:
    • Umbria Alva Marie Lindh, born in 1889
  • Utopia:
    • Daniel Utopia Thomson Sullivan, born in 1874
  • Valetta:
    • Maggie Valetta Riddock, born in 1887
  • Valiant:
    • Valiant (surname unknown), born in 1980
  • Varuna:
    • Varuna Rowe Kennedy, born in 1874
  • Venture:
    • Avis Cygnet Venture Hilliard, born in 1892
  • Verum:
    • Mary Verum Parry, born in 1863
  • Victory:
    • Victoria Gibbon Baird, born in 1863
    • Jane Frances Victoria Mosley, born in 1883
    • Victory Elcoate Dowle, born in 1884
  • Viscata:
    • Elizabeth Sofia Viscata Drummond, born in 1865
  • Voltaic:
    • Elizabeth Moore Voltaic Boyle, born in 1889
  • Waikato:
    • Ruth Waikato Eswick, born in 1875
  • Waimate:
    • Annie Rose Waimate James, born in 1874
  • Wainsfell:
    • Eliza Wainsfell Trescoth, born in 1863
    • Hugh Wainsfell Garbride, born in 1863
  • Wairoa:
    • William Wairoa Joss Diffey, born in 1877
    • Joseph Wairoa Hill, born in 1879
  • Waitangi:
    • Alexander Waitangi Danks, born in 1876
    • William George Waitangi Connelly, born in 1877
    • Priscilla Waitangi Rundle, born in 1878
  • Waitara:
    • Emily Waitara Morgan, born in 1876
    • James Waitara Jenkins, born in 1877
    • Anne Waitara Adcock, born in 1879
    • Waitara Sarah Clark, born in 1879
  • Walmer Castle:
    • Charles Walmer Bud, born in 1859
    • Jane Walmer Fergusson, born in 1880
  • Waroonga:
    • Mary Waroonga Cook, born in 1883
    • Rose Waroonga Buchanan, born in 1883
    • Alice Waroonga Poffley, born in 1883
    • Elizabeth Waroonga Brown, born in 1883
    • Margaret Waroonga McLaughlin, born in 1885
    • Emily Waroonga Griffiths, born in 1887
    • Emily Waroonga Finlay, born in 1887
    • David Waroonga Griffiths, born in 1887
  • Warren Hastings:
    • Taylor Hedley Warren Hastings Henley, born in 1863
  • Warwick:
    • Ellen Mary Warwick Bourke, born in 1874
    • Warwick Temperley Skinner, born in 1874
    • Warwick Sexton Clifford Timmins, born in 1879
    • James Warwick Davis, born in 1879
    • Annie Warwick Chappell, born in 1884
    • Warwickina Shields, born in 1884
  • Wellesley:
    • Charles James Wellesey Taylor, born in 1858
  • Wellington:
    • David Cowan Wellington McColl, born in 1876
    • George Edward Wellington Duncan, born in 1878
    • Harry Cowan Wellington Haworth, born in 1879
    • William Wellington Chaplin, born in 1882
    • Ida Wellington Cowan, born in 1884
  • Western Monarch:
    • Thomas Western Radcliffe, born in 1876
  • Westmeath:
    • May Westmeath Wright, born in 1884
  • Westminister:
    • Mary Westminster Lucas, born in 1956
  • Wimmera:
    • George Wimmera Bennett, born in 1874
  • Windsor Castle:
    • Bertha Windsor Schultz, born in 1881
  • Winifred:
    • Winifred Hascher, born in 1881
  • Wishart:
    • Emma Wishart Willard, born in 1874
    • Emma Edith Wishart Brown, born in 1874
    • Daisy Constance Wishart Layard, born in 1874
  • Wisconsin:
    • Francis Owen Wisconsin O’Donald, born in 1879
    • Sarah Wisconsin Whitehead, born in 1879
    • Wisconsin Beardall, born in 1880
    • Jennie Wisconsin Cottrell, born in 1882
    • Wisconsin Ward, born in 1883
    • Wisconsin Wolfer, born in 1886
    • Elizabeth Wisconsin Hanlon, born in 1886
    • James Wisconsin Goodall, born in 1886
    • Johanna Wisconsin Cunningham, born in 1887
    • Edward Wisconsin Cothom, born in 1887
  • Wistow:
    • Wistow Tapp, born in 1885
  • W. J. Pirrie (now part of a marine sanctuary):
    • Nora Pirrie Duckworth, born in 1886
  • Wyoming:
    • Wyoming Grainger, born in 1880
    • Wyoming Liddle, born in 1883

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org