Englishman John Rolfe (1585-1622) was an early North American settler who helped turn tobacco into a profitable export crop for the Colony of Virginia.
He and his first wife, Sarah, arrived in the New World in the summer of 1609 aboard the Sea Venture, which ended up running aground off the coast of Bermuda thanks to a hurricane.
The colonists stayed in Bermuda, which they found “to be a hospitable place with sufficient food,” for 10 months. While there, they built two smaller ships upon which they could continue their journey to Virginia.
Also while there, Sarah gave birth “to a daughter who was christened Bermuda” after her birthplace (just like Virginia Dare was). Sadly, baby Bermuda Rolfe died before the colonists set sail for the mainland.
John Rolfe went on to have two more wives and two more children. With his second wife, Pocahontas, he had a son named Thomas (who “was presumably named after the Governor, Sir Thomas Dale”). With his third wife, Jane, he had a daughter named Elizabeth.
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!
A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:
Top baby girl names
Top 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
Mary, 149 baby girls
Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
The boy name Bane may have been inspired by the DC Comics supervillain Bane, and the boy name Ranaridh is similar to the name of former Cambodian prime minister Norodom Ranariddh, who died in late 2021.
Finally, in 2020, the top baby names on the island were Nora/Charlotte (tie) and Hudson.
*Nova and Lucas might actually be 4th-place names. My source included conflicting information.