Names Searched Right Now:

Category: Historic Names



colonial children

By Linda Rosenkrantz

In the seventeenth century, for some of the most puritanical of the Puritans, even biblical and saints’ names were not pure enough to bestow on their children, and so they turned instead to words that embodied the Christian virtues.  These ranged from extreme phrases like Sorry-for-sin and Search-the-Scriptures (which, understandably, never came into general use) to simpler virtue names like Silence and Salvation.

The virtue names that have survived in this country were for the most part the unfussy, one-syllable girls’ names with positive meanings, such as Joy, Hope, Grace and Faith.  But then, in the late 1990s, a door was opened to more elaborate examples by the popularity of the TV show Felicity, and its appealing heroine.  Felicity (also the name of an American Girl Colonial doll) reached a high point on the girls’ list in 1999, a year after the show debuted, leading parents to consider others long forgotten relics.

Here are the Nameberry picks of the twelve best virtue names:

  1. Amitylike all the virtue names ending in ity, Amity has an attractive daintiness combined with an admirable meaning—in this case, friendship.  It could be a modernized (or antiquated, depending how you look at it) namesake for an Aunt Amy.
  2. Clarity—we like it much better than Charity or—oh no—Chastity.  And Clare makes a nice short form.
  3. ClemencyClemency, the name of a character in one of Charles Dicken’s lesser known Christmas novellas, The Battle of Life, can be seen as an offbeat alternative to Clementine.
  4. Constance was originally used in a religious context which has been lost over the years. There are many Constances found in history and literature: there was Constance of Brittany,  mother of young Prince Arthur who appears in Shakespeare’s King John, a daughter of William the Conqueror, and characters in Goldsmith’s She Stoops to Conquer and Dumas’s The Three Musketeers. Constance hasn’t been much heard in the 21st century—probably because of the dated nickname Connie.  The Puritans also used Constant.

Read More

karacavazos Berry Juice profile image

10 Favorite Colonial Names for Today

posted by: karacavazos View all posts by this author
Colonial Names

By Kara Cavazos @ The Art of Naming

Since tomorrow is Thanksgiving, let’s take a look at some names that were used in Colonial America and could be still considered fashionable today. Colonial names are chock full of history and laced with virtues and biblical associations.

You probably won’t see many boys named Comfort or girls named Modesty today, and something like The-Peace-of-God or Fight-the-good-fight-of-faith wouldn’t exactly work well for official documents. Which led me to wonder what the most usable, wearable names that were favored in early America might be. I narrowed it down to my top 5 boy names and top 5 girl names that date back to the Colonial Era but can still sound fresh today.

I’ve also added a few middle name combo suggestions.

Read More

thanksgiving names

Yes, most of the 102 Pilgrims who arrived on the Mayflower in 1620 and celebrated the first harvest feast in Plymouth were named John and William and Mary and Elizabeth, but there were some unique appellations on the passenger list as well. Here are some of the most interesting.  By Linda Rosenkrantz

Read More

Post Categories:
Unusual historic names

By Andy Osterdahl

For the past fifteen years I’ve been collecting and categorizing various oddly named American political figures. In July of 2011, I began to share my findings and established the “Strangest Names in American Political History” blog that presently contains biographies of over 560 unusually named elected officials. In a previous article I wrote for Nameberry in July of 2014, I included examples of the origins of a number of particular names. Since that time I have made a number of new and unusual discoveries!

Read More

Popular Names Your Mom Never Heard Of

new baby names

Great news! Your private lists are back! Access them through your member panel. It will be a few more days till you can modify lists or create new ones.

by Pamela Redmond Satran

Any newcomer to the contemporary world of baby names may be amazed at how diverse and – to use a Mom word – different names have become. In the generation since Mom was naming you, the list of US Most Popular Name has expanded to include more ethnically distinct names, words freshly morphed into names, and newly-minted monikers. Mom might not recognize many of today’s Top 500, used for hundreds of babies now but virtually nonexistent in the 1980s.

Warning: If you choose one of these names for your baby, you should expect surprise – or possible shock – from Mom (and Dad too).

Popular baby names today least likely to be familiar to your Mom include:

Read More