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English forenames

Discussion in 'Comments on the latest newsletter' started by At home in NZ, Jul 16, 2020.

  1. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    The heading in the newsletter of 14 Jul 2020 : The varied origins of English forenames.
    Extracts:
    I certainly wasn't surprised to learn that "from the mid-thirteenth to the mid-eighteenth centuries, John, Thomas, Robert, Richard, and William named between them over 70 per cent of the male population" since John and William dominate my tree (in the late 14th century John alone accounted for over one-third of male forenames; Alice was the most popular for girls).

    The spelling 'Cate' was very rare prior to the 20th century, and remains quite rare today – the Duchess of Cambridge is another Kate whose full name is Catherine.
    End of extracts.

    First, a comment:
    I don’t believe she is Kate by choice, I believe it was coined by the media. William has publicly said ‘she prefers Catherine’ and he always refers to her as Catherine.

    Second, I decided to analyse the names in my own trees:
    It was no surprise to me that William came out top at 5.19%
    The combined names of John, Thomas, Robert, Richard, and William are 15.78%

    With the female names it was no surprise to me that Alice did not make the cut at only 1.22%
    and that Mary and Eliza/Elizabeth are 4.92% and 4.25% respectively.

    These are the names I chose to analyse, with the results:
    upload_2020-7-16_17-47-59.png

    Doing that whiled away some time on a very wet and cold winter's day,
     
  2. peter

    peter Administrator Staff Member

    Just to clarify, I wrote that Alice was the most popular name in the late 14th century. It certainly isn't a common name in my tree, but then my tree doesn't start until the 1500s
     
  3. At home in NZ

    At home in NZ LostCousins Star

    I know you did which is why I chose it. I knew I had a few and wanted to see how much less popular it has become.
    I haven't got back any further than the 1600s with any of my trees and I have probably got less than half the number of people than you.

    Another point, while I was compiling my trees I got quite confused at times because so many of my Williams married an Elizabeth.
     

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