How popular is the baby name Pearl 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 Pearl.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Pearl


Posts that Mention the Name Pearl

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 (P & Q)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with P-and Q-names…

  • Pacific Ocean:
    • Pacific Pearl Myrick, born in 1848
  • Palamcotta:
    • Emily Sarah Palamcotta Russell, born in 1890
  • Palestine:
    • Charles Owen Palestine Harte, born in 1873
  • Palgrave:
    • Edward Palgrave Thomas, born in 1886
  • Parthia:
    • Honora Parthia Moynahan, born in 1877
    • Parthia John George Wills, born in 1882
  • Pathan:
    • James Pathan Laurie, born in 1883
  • Peeress:
    • Elizabeth Peeress Brown, born in 1874
  • Penelope:
    • Penelope Ribeiro, born in 1857
  • Pennsylvania:
    • Pennsylvania Hall Gilman, born in 1869
  • Percy:
    • Percy George Cooper White, born in 1869
    • Thomas Percy Chenney, born in 1870
  • Pericles:
    • Alfred Pericles Maxfield, born in 1877
    • Ernest Pericles Waite, born in 1878
    • James Pericles Greig, born in 1878
    • Alfred Pericles Fletcher, born in 1883
    • Fanny Pericles Craven, born in 1883
    • Elizabeth Pericles Hutchins, born in 1883
    • Kate Pericles Jewell, born in 1883
  • Persia:
    • Henry Persia Mallet, born in 1854
  • Peruvian:
    • Maria Peruvia Hoxer, born in 1872
    • William Henry Peruvian Foster Davies, born in 1972
    • Peruviana Gudbjorg Krisgansson, born in 1891
  • Peter Denny:
    • Richard Pycroft Denny Gough, born in 1874
  • Peterborough:
    • Peterborough Daniel Brown, born in 1884
  • Pioneer:
    • John William Pioneer Wiles, born in 1858
  • Pleiades:
    • Emily Pleiades Hancock, born in 1872
    • Eveline Pleiades Norris, born in 1873
  • Pleione:
    • Effie Pleione Bunting, born in 1883
  • Pounder:
    • Henry Pounder Glory Levistone, born in 1818
  • Potosi:
    • Charlotte Potosi Botterill, born in 1884
    • Matle (?) Potosi Pogorelsky, born in 1891
  • Priam:
    • George Priam Hay, born in 1871
  • Propontis:
    • Wilhemina Propontis Conolly, born in 1854
  • Prussian:
    • Magdalen Prussian Jones, born in 1882
  • Ptolemy:
    • Ann Ptolemy Dancker, born in 1883
  • Quetta:
    • Clara Quetta Green, born in 1885
    • John Quetta Eales, born in 1886
    • May Quetta Hollett, born in 1886

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

Source: FamilySearch.org

Maine Family with 22 Children

children

Charles and Effie Dickey of Maine married in 1881 and went on to welcome 22 children — 14 girls, 8 boys — from the 1880s until the 1910s.

Here are the names of all the kids:

  1. Emma Mae (b. 1882)
  2. Ada Alice (b. 1883)
  3. Arthur Earness (b. 1884)
  4. Everlena Maude (b. 1885)
  5. Fannie Blossom (b. 1886)
  6. George Elwin (b. 1888)
  7. Fay Edna (b. 1889)
  8. Everett Onward (b. 1890)
  9. Merritt Carnot (b. 1891)
  10. Lema Inez (b. 1894)
  11. Margaret Ellen (b. 1896)
  12. Nina Eudora (b. 1897)
  13. Charles Loring (b. 1897)
  14. Effie Etta (b. 1898)
  15. Mildred Hortense (b. 1900)
  16. Ivan Thomas Nye (b. 1901)
  17. Floyd Merton (b. 1903)
  18. Arline Beatrice (b. 1904)
  19. Theodore Rayden (b. 1906)
  20. Jessie Alberta (b. 1908)
  21. Ila Pearl (b. 1909)
  22. Hilda Bernice (b. 1911)

I think it’s funny that they decided to name two of the children after themselves only after already having a dozen. Maybe they were running out of ideas at that point. :)

Which of the above is your favorite? (I’d have to go with #8’s middle, “Onward.” What an interesting choice.)

Sources: Descendants of 22 siblings plan Maine reunion, Effie Etta Estes Dickey (1866-1950) – Find a Grave

John Tyler’s 15 Children

10th U.S. President John Tyler (1790-1862)
John Tyler: 10th president, 15 children

John Tyler became the unexpected 10th president of the United States upon the sudden death of William Henry Harrison.

He wasn’t a particularly impressive commander-in-chief, but he was notable for at least one thing: having more legitimate children than any other U.S. president.

He married this first wife, Letitia Christian, in 1813. They had eight children:

  • Mary (b. 1815)
  • Robert (b. 1816)
  • John (b. 1819)
  • Letitia (b. 1821)
  • Elizabeth (b. 1823)
  • Anne Contesse (1825-1825) – John Tyler’s paternal grandmother’s maiden name was Contesse.
  • Alice (b. 1827)
  • Tazewell, called “Taz” (b. 1830) – He “was named by the older children after the Tyler family’s close friend, Littleton W. Tazewell.”

Letitia had a stroke in 1839, and died in 1842.

John married his second wife, Julia Gardiner, in 1844. They had seven more children:

  • David (b. 1846)
  • John (b. 1848)
  • Julia (b. 1849)
  • Lachlan (b. 1851) – Julia’s mother’s maiden name was McLachlan.
  • Lyon (b. 1853) – Probably named in honor of Julia’s ancestor Lion Gardiner.
  • Robert Fitzwalter, called “Fitz” (b. 1856) – He was “[n]amed Robert Fitzwalter in honor of Julia Tyler’s ancestor of thirteenth-century England.” (I found several contenders, but my guess is this guy.)
  • Pearl (b. 1860) – She “was originally to be named Margaret, but she was christened Pearl instead.”

The grand total? 15.

Which of the Tyler kids’ names do you like best?

Sources:

Famous Female Names from 1916

Over at The Public Domain Review, I found a collection of 51 novelty playing cards — several incomplete decks, mixed together — from 1916 that feature the images and names of popular movie actresses from that era.

Below are all the first names from those cards, plus where those names happened to rank in the 1916 baby name data. (Two-thirds of them were in the top 100, and over 95% fell inside the top 1,000.)

  • Anita (ranked 151st in 1916)
  • Anna (7th)
  • Beatriz (1,281st)
  • Bessie (56th)
  • Blanche (89th)
  • Clara (39th)
  • Cleo (180th)
  • Constance (213th)
  • Dolores (146th)
  • Dorothy (3rd)
  • Edith (28th)
  • Ella (81st)
  • Ethel (25th)
  • Fannie (116th)
  • Florence (14th)
  • Geraldine (94th)
  • Gertrude (35th)
  • Grace (26th)
  • Helen (2nd)
  • Julia (46th)
  • June (86th)
  • Kate (346th)
  • Kathlyn (731st)
  • Lenore (340th)
  • Lillian (16th)
  • Louise (18th)
  • Mabel (65th)
  • Marguerite (78th)
  • Mary (1st)
  • May (190th)
  • Mildred (6th)
  • Myrtle (58th)
  • Nellie (61st)
  • Norma (111th)
  • Olive (132nd)
  • Ormi (4,982nd)
  • Pauline (33rd)
  • Pearl (57th)
  • Ruth (5th)
  • Viola (59th)
  • Violet (83rd)
  • Vivian (77th)
  • Wanda (138th)

Which of the names above do you like best?

Source: Moriarty Playing Cards (1916) – The Public Domain Review