How popular is the baby name Godric 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 Godric.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Godric


Posts that Mention the Name Godric

Name change: Edith to Matilda

Matilda (or Maud) of Scotland - Queen of England, Duchess of Normandy
Queen Matilda (also called Maud)

Henry I — one of the sons of William the Conqueror, England’s first Norman king — ruled England from 1100 to 1135.

About two months after Henry was crowned king, he married Eadgyth [Edith], the daughter of Malcolm III of Scotland.

When she was crowned Queen of England, Eadgyth promptly dropped her Anglo-Saxon baptismal name and adopted the Germanic name Matilda (which had also been the name of Henry’s late mother).

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.”

Sources:

Popular Elizabethan names

What were the top names of the Elizabethan era?

Elea of British Baby Names recently published a great list of names popular during the Elizabethan era (late 16th century) in the Norfolk region. Here are the top 10 names for each gender:

Male NamesFemale Names
1. John
2. Thomas
3. William
4. Robert
5. Richard
6. Edward
7. Henry
8. Edmund
9. Nicholas
10. James
1. Elizabeth
2. Margaret
3. Mary
4. Ann
5. Agnes
6. Alice
7. Dorothy
8. Joan
9. Katherine
10. Bridget

I thought it would be fun to compare this list to a couple of earlier historical name lists from England, so here are the most common names from King Henry III’s fine rolls (13th century):

Male NamesFemale Names
1. William
2. John
3. Richard
4. Robert
5. Henry
6. Ralph
7. Thomas
8. Walter
9. Roger
10. Hugh
1. Alice
2. Matilda
3. Agnes
4. Margaret
5. Joan
6. Isabella
7. Emma
8. Beatrice
9. Mabel
10. Cecilia

And, even further back, here are the most-mentioned male names and female names in the Domesday book (11th century):

Male NamesFemale Names
1. William
2. Robert
3. Ralph
4. Aelfric
5. Alwin
5. Hugh
7. Roger
8. Godwin
9. Walter
10. Godric
1. Aldgyth
2. Aelfeva
2. Leofeva
2. Wulfeva
5. Bricteva
5. Edeva
7. Emma
7. Godiva
9. Goda
10. Edith

The last two lists may not represent the top given names of their time periods very accurately, but they do give you a sense of how given names in England have changed over time.

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. :)

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Y

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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.