There were some very interesting names floating around Liverpool in the 1700s and 1800s and some interesting nicknames as well.
For boys there were fairly normal names such as Charles, John, Peter, Jacob but there were also some old school Bible names such as Simeon, Elisha and Elkanah. Elisha always throws people off because we may see that as a female name now.
Another common practice for naming boys was to use the mother’s maiden name, which I think is kind of nice actually. But this could result in some strange combinations. One such local was named Prince Snow. Yes, that was his name. He was around in the 1700s here in Queens County.
Simeon Perkins provides us with some insight into what he named and then subsequently nicknamed his children. He had eight children with his second wife and one with his first. The names are as follows: Boys – Roger, Simeon and John. Girls – Abigail, Elizabeth, Lucy, Mary, Eunice and Charlotte Anne.
These are all very normal names. Some may argue Eunice is not but many people have heard of that name at least. My great grandmother’s name was Eunice.
I find it interesting how Perkins nicknamed his girls. Abigail was nicknamed Nabby, Elizabeth was Betsy and Mary was called Polly. Once I researched these names however, it seems that Polly was a common nickname for Mary and Nabby was popular for Abigail before we all started using Abby.
Perkins’ girls had very classic names but not every girl in that era did. Here are some of the more interesting girls names that were around then: Desire, Fear, Chastity, Charity, Thankful, Prudence, Patience, Temperance and Experience. These names seemed to be more of a fad and often were the names of people from different types of Protestantism.
As we have become a more global community, name fads can resonate across countries speaking the same language. Some names that come and go in vogue are very classic names while others are newer and were relatively unheard of until recent years.
According to a couple baby naming websites the top five boys names of 2012 were: Mason, Liam, Ethan, Jackson and at the top Aiden. The top girls names were: Ava, Isabella, Olivia, Emma and Sophia.
Most of those names are pretty classic names, some with a modern spin (Liam instead of William for example).
Names tend to come and go in fashion in cycles, sometimes even changing which gender they go with. Past names we may giggle about now, may make a comeback. Well, maybe not Fear or Thankful... but who knows?
And just remember, those of us who were named popular names, we will get old. The Brittanys, Zacks, and Katies of the 1980s will some day be the Mabels, Dorothys and Georges of tomorrow.