Most Common Names in the 17th Century
The seventeenth century saw a lot of action. It experienced the good, the bad, and the ugly from the civil war, the invention of the steam engine, a significant improvement in surgery practices, and a new outlook on human anatomy. It also gave birth to better technology like guns that were easier to shoot, and an improved entertainment industry.
There was also a rise in the use of particular names in the century as well. Some of these names are:
Thomas: The name Thomas is Aramaic for the word twin. It is also known from the bible as the name of one of the twelve disciples of Jesus Christ who refused to believe Jesus has risen until he witnessed it. He became popularly known as doubting Thomas. The name also became symbolic from the 12th-century martyr Thomas á Beckett and many people started adopting the name.
Williams: The name Williams is from the German language from the word Wil, meaning the protector or the faithful defender. This name was first borne by knights, and very prominent in England around the early 17th century and eventually made its way around all of Europe. People bearing Williams were expected to be loyal, strong and dependable.
Robert: This is another name that had its peak in the 17th century and has its origin in the old German tongue meaning bright fame. It is from it that names like Roberson and Robertson were born. The 17th had game-changer Roberts like the Jesuit Robert Parsons, chemist Robert Boyle, and Robert Hooke, the scientist superstar.
Blaise: the name Blaise is of both Latin and French origin. It is coined from the word Blaze which means fire. There was also a Saint Blaise who was believed to possess healing power. People started bearing his name because of the Civil War that happened in the 17th century as many required healing. The 17th Century also gave birth to the mathematician and the inventor of the calculator called Blaise Pascal. Most of the modern technology today is based on some of his methods and theories.
Charles: Charles means freedom or free man. The name was first borne by the Holy Roman Emperor Charlemagne, which means Charles the Great. The name was very prominent in the 17th century with the reign of King Charles I and Charles II and is also considered royalty.
Amanda: this name is from old Latin language meaning Worthy of loved or lovable. Most of the 17th-century poets and play writers wrote poems and plays with characters, Amanda. This made the name Amanda very famous and many parents started giving it to their girl babies.
Hannah: the name Hannah or Anna is of Hebrew origin meaning he has favored me or I am his favorite. There is a whole Bible story attributed to the name Hannah, the lady Hannah in the Bible could not bear a child and asked God for a child. Her request was granted. This name was very popular in the 17th century and still is today.
Jacqueline: The word Jacqueline is from both French and Hebrew language. most people consider Jacqueline a female version of the name Jacob, meaning he supplements. It was used in Britain and became a favorite in the late 17th century.
Myra: this was first introduced in the early 17th century and became popular throughout the century. Later versions of this name became Myrah, Mirah, Mira or Mariah. It is of Greek original and a female version of the name Myron.
Jane: Jane is from the Hebrew language as well, meaning God is gracious. It was first introduced by the unwilling queen Jane Grey in the 16th century. This made the eventually become a big favorite among the ladies in the 17th century. The name Jane, however, was not borne by royalty in the 17th century. Most people that favored the name were the commoners. Maybe it was the pull of the Queen Jane story that gave the common girls hope.
Aemelia: Aemelia was a favored lady’s name since the 17th century up to date. Although over the years it has evolved into other versions like Emma, Emmeline, Milly, Emmy, Emma, Amy, Amelia, Ameliya, Amelita, Ameline, Amelina, etc. It is of Latin and Old German origin, and the meaning of Amelia is “rival, eager work”. A blend of two medieval names: the Latin Emilia and the Latin German Amalia, meaning “work”.
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