How popular is the baby name Hugh 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 Hugh.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Hugh


Posts that Mention the Name Hugh

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.

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

Top Male Names in England, 1560-1621

A while back, I stumbled upon a register of people associated with Oxford University in the late 1500s and early 1600s. The most interesting part? The author of the register included a chapter dedicated to first names and surnames, and that chapter featured a table of male forenames ranked by frequency of occurrence from 1560 to 1621.

The author claimed that, for several reasons, these rankings were “probably…more representative of English names than any list yet published” for that span of time. One reason was that the names represented men from “different grades of English society” — including peers, scholars, tradesmen, and servants.

Ready for the list?

  1. John, 3,826 individuals
  2. Thomas, 2,777
  3. William, 2,546
  4. Richard, 1,691
  5. Robert, 1,222
  6. Edward, 957
  7. Henry, 908
  8. George, 647
  9. Francis, 447
  10. James, 424
  11. Nicholas, 326
  12. Edmund, 298
  13. Anthony, 262
  14. Hugh, 257
  15. Christopher, 243
  16. Samuel, 227
  17. Walter, 207
  18. Roger, 195
  19. Ralph (sometimes confused with Raphael/Randall in the records), 182
  20. Peter, 175
  21. Humphrey, 168
  22. Charles, 139
  23. Philip, 137
  24. David, 129
  25. Matthew (sometimes confused with Matthias), 116
  26. Nathaniel, 112
  27. Michael, 103
  28. Alexander, 98 (tie)
  29. Arthur, 98 (tie)
  30. Laurence, 90
  31. Giles, 88
  32. Stephen, 86
  33. Simon (sometimes confused with Simeon), 83
  34. Daniel, 79
  35. Joseph, 78 (tie)
  36. Lewis, 78 (tie)
  37. Andrew, 69
  38. Roland (also Rowland), 65
  39. Griffith (also Griffin), 60
  40. Evan, 55
  41. Abraham, 54 (tie)
  42. Leonard, 54 (tie)
  43. Owen, 53
  44. Gilbert, 52
  45. Morris (sometimes confused with Maurice), 51
  46. Bartholomew, 46 (3-way tie)
  47. Oliver, 46 (3-way tie)
  48. Timothy, 46 (3-way tie)
  49. Morgan, 45
  50. Martin, 44 (tie)
  51. Rice (sometimes confused with Richard), 44 (tie)
  52. Gabriel, 41
  53. Benjamin, 40
  54. Jeffrey (also Geoffrey; sometimes confused with Godfrey), 38
  55. Ambrose, 36
  56. Adam, 35
  57. Toby (also Tobias), 34
  58. Jerome, 33
  59. Ellis, 30
  60. Paul, 29
  61. Bernard, 28 (3-way tie)
  62. Gregory (sometimes confused with George), 28 (3-way tie)
  63. Isaac, 28 (3-way tie)
  64. Jasper (also Gaspar), 26
  65. Randall (also Randle, Randolph; sometimes confused with Ralph), 26 (tie)

Did the relative popularity of any of these names surprise you?

Entries lower down on the list included Lancelot (23), Jarvis (22) Theophilus (19), Marmaduke (18), Fulke (17), and Cadwalader (9).

The author also included every other Oxford-associated name from that general time period, so here’s a sampling of the rare names that popped up in the register just once:

  • Aegeon, Arundel, Aunstey, Aymondesham
  • Bamfield, Beauforus, Bezaliel, Bulstrod
  • Cadoc, Cannanuel, Chiddiock, Cosowarth
  • Dabridgcourt, Delvus, Deodatus, Donwald
  • Erisy, Esdras
  • Fettiplace, Florice, Fogge
  • Glidd, Gourneus, Granado
  • Hattil, Hercius
  • Jarniot, Jerameel, Jeremoth, Jolliffe
  • Kelamus, Killingworth, Kingsmell
  • Leoline, Levinus, Livewell
  • Maior, Maniewe, Marchadine, Moyle
  • Nargia, Nizael, Noye
  • Ogier, Olliph
  • Peleger, Periam, Pexall, Phatnell
  • Rimprum, Rollesley, Rotheram, Rumbold
  • Scipio, Snappe
  • Thekeston, Thrasibulus, Timoleon, Tournie
  • Ulpian, Umpton, Utred
  • Wallop, Walsingham, Warian, Willgent
  • Yeldard
  • Zorobabel

Source: Register of the University of Oxford, vol. 2, part 4, edited by Andrew Clark, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889.

Name Quotes #91: Wendy, Elliot, Thorlogh

From the 2010 book Runaway Dream: Born to Run and Bruce Springsteen’s American Vision by Louis P. Masur:

Peter Knobler, a writer for Crawdaddy, got an early listen [to “Born to Run”] in Springsteen’s Long Branch house. The place was cluttered with motorcycle magazines and old 45s. Over Bruce’s bed, according to Knobler, was a poster of Peter Pan leading Wendy out the window. The detail is suggestive: “Wendy let me in, I wanna be your friend/I want to guard your dreams and visions.”

From an article called “Khmer Legends” in The Cambodia Daily:

[T]he municipality has recently erected a statue of the fabled Yeay Penh, the woman who is credited with giving Phnom Penh its landmark hill.

As the story goes, in the 1370s, Yeay Penh asked her neighbors to raise the mound in front of her home so as to build on top of it a sanctuary to house the four statues of Buddha she had found inside a floating tree trunk. That mound, or phnom, is credited with giving Phnom Penh its name.

[…]

“The problem is we have no proof,” said Ros Chantrabot, a Cambodian historian and vice president of the Royal Academy of Cambodia.

“In all likelihood she did exist or, at the very least, the tale is based on an actual person, since Penh’s hill, or Phnom Penh, is there for all to see,” he said.

[“Yeah Penh” is the equivalent of “Grandmother Penh.” The word yeay in Cambodian is a title used to refer to and/or address an older female.]

From a recent Instagram post by actor Elliot Page (formerly called Ellen Page):

Hi friends, I want to share with you that I am trans, my pronouns are he/they and my name is Elliot. I feel lucky to be writing this. To be here. To have arrived at this place in my life.

From the essay “On Naming Women and Mountains” by Lucy Bryan Green:

My own name scratches and constricts like an ill-fitting sweater. It comforts me to be [at Yosemite National Park] with wild things that do not speak it. As I walk among Steller’s jays and Brewer’s lupine and Douglas firs, I think, you, too, wear someone else’s name. This is also true of mountains, valleys, rivers, and lakes—names within names. I wonder about the people and the motivations behind these names, which I feel hesitant to say aloud.

From a post about Protestant and Puritan names in Ireland vs. England at the DMNES blog:

Tait says one might expect the saint names, pushed by the Catholic church during the Reformation, and English names, handed down to descendants of settlers, to overtake and eradicate the use of Gaelic names as it did in England (315). She found this was not the case. Irish natives and settlers each retained their own naming systems, preserving them both. In the 1660s, she finds the top 6 names used by native Irish families remained largely Gaelic– Patrick, Bryan, Hugh, Owen, Thorlogh, and Shane, while the top names used by the descendants of settlers remained largely English– John, Thomas, William, Robert, James, and Richard (316).

From the 2015 essay “The Name on My Coffee Cup” by Saïd Sayrafiezadeh:

As a frequent consumer of Starbucks…the most contentious aspect for me when ordering coffee—until now, anyway—has been the perpetual misspelling of my name on the side of the cup. The mutations have been many, and they have often been egregious—“Zal,” “Sowl,” “Sagi,” “Shi”—and then once, incredibly, three years ago, at a branch in the financial district, “Saïd,” diaeresis added, prompting me to seek out the barista, whose hand I grasped with deep feeling but who, frankly, seemed perplexed that anyone would have difficulty spelling my name. He was Latino, I think, and he told me that he had a best friend named Saïd, spelled identically, which would explain his astuteness. Never mind the backstory, I was delighted by the outcome. I photographed the cup for posterity, and then, for good measure, tweeted it for the world to see.

Other tweeted misspellings include Saíd, Syeed, Sai, Saii, Sahi, Sie, Säd, Sia, and Sam.

Popular and Unique Baby Names in Quebec, 2019

According to Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2019 were Olivia and Liam.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 11 boy names of 2019:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 549 baby girls
  2. Emma, 517
  3. Alice, 513
  4. Charlie, 499
  5. Charlotte, 497
  6. Lea, 465
  7. Florence, 418
  8. Livia, 407
  9. Rosalie, 354
  10. Beatrice, 343

Boy Names

  1. Liam, 695 baby boys
  2. William, 659
  3. Thomas, 648
  4. Leo, 596
  5. Noah, 585
  6. Logan, 561
  7. Nathan, 505
  8. Felix, 492
  9. Raphael, 489
  10. Edouard, 482 (tied)
  11. Emile, 482 (tied)

In the girls’ top 10, Rosalie re-entered and ousted Zoe (now ranked 15th).

In the boys’ top 10, Raphael and Emile replaced Jacob (now ranked 12th).

Here are some of the baby names that were bestowed just once in Quebec last year:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Allegresse, Berangere, Clarity, Daxia, Elixanne, Fenskerly, Gersia, Hugh-Laury, Izalie, Judicia-Wonder, Klermona, Lyriel, Merope, Nelsy, Ophelia Gipsy, Pleroma, Qetzia, Ryzlene, Sarassie, Tulugaq, Umi, Virgo, Waapikun, Xochitl Lilou, Yrina, ZackaelleAzai, Bonheur, Chalifix, Delson, Espoir, Fesley, Guerby, Heliodore, Inupak, Jeff-Smart, Keawolf, Light-Shine, Miami-Liam Zion, Nendley, Osric, Pelly, Quintus, Ronnoco, Skysun, Tiki Bolt, Ulrick, Vainqueur, Wibnerley, Xayren, Yalas, Zephyr Meteor

Background and/or possible explanations for some of the above:

  • Allegresse (allégresse) means “elation, joy, gladness” in French.
  • Hugh-Laury…a reference to English actor Hugh Laurie?
  • Merope is one of the seven Pleiades.
  • Tulugaq means “raven” in Inupiaq.
  • Bonhuer means “happiness” in French.
  • Espoir means “hope” in French.
  • Vainqueur means “conqueror” or “victor, winner” in French.

(More of Quebec’s unique baby names can be found on my Patreon page!)

In 2018, the top two names in Quebec were Emma and William.

Sources: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names, Wiktionary