In the history of England, King George I took the throne in 1714 and was succeeded by King George II, III and IV, whose reign ended in 1830. As a result, this time period is popularly known as the Georgian Era and the various aspects associated with it are referred to as Georgian, due to the same reason.
The Georgian Era is particularly remembered for its royal pride and the wave of change that it brought. When it comes to the names, it is not required to say that the Georgians took great pride in that. As a result, it was a highly common practice to name children after their fathers and forefathers, specifically among the upper social classes as well as the aristocracy.
Popular Names for Georgian Era Girls
Thanks to the works of Jane Austen, it is not difficult to say that Elizabeth was one of the most popular names for girls during the Georgian Era. Her heroine from Pride and Prejudice bears one of the most popular names, that became even more important after Queen Elizbeth I took the throne of England.
Apart from Elizabeth, there were a number of other names that were popular among the aristocracy. Naming their children was an important part of their upbringing, and in most cases, the names of the children were decided much before their birth or even conception.
Some of these popular names include Jane, Christina, Martha, Penelope, Evelina, Louisa, Arabella, Charlotte and even Diana. These names were taken by the Georgians from the previous decades and were the most popular ones.
There were a number of other names that became popular during the Georgian Era specifically. As a result, it was common to find these names among the children of the upper and also middle social classes. Some of these names are Isabella, Emma, Lucy, Lydia, Rebecca, Sarah, Teresa, Beatrice, Emily, Alice and Hanna. It was also possible to find a Helen, Joanne, Susan, Eleanor, Sophia or Caroline if one reads the history or literature from the Georgian Era.
Popular Names for Georgian Era Boys
Boys were the heirs of any high-class family of the Georgian Era according to the rules and norms of that society. As a result, it was very important for parents to give their young boys such names that would reflect their social status and family backgrounds almost instantly.
Some of the most important and classy names of the Georgian Era boys include James, William and John. With King George on the throne, George could also make it to the list of the top most popular names of that time. Besides these, Charles, Edward, Robert, Philip, Richard and even Alexander and Hugh were also very popular and frequently found.
It was also highly likely for a Georgian Era aristocratic couple to name their children Arthur, David or Francis. Some other names that were not as common before the 18th century but became common during the Georgian Era include Benjamin, Christopher, Daniel, Matthew, Michael, Nicolas, Martin, Patrick and Stephen.
Surnames during the Georgian Era
Just like their names, the surnames of the people during the Georgian Era were also chosen by them after careful consideration. It could have been a well-thought practice or a mere coincidence, but most of the surnames that the aristocrats and upper-class people of that era took were two syllables long.
Some of them also had three syllables and were completed by prefixes and suffixes that were not rare to find. In some cases, associating a surname with a place was also practised and it was a usual assumption that a person who has a certain surname will belong to that specific place.
The most common surnames that were used by people in the Georgian Era were Radcliff, Pembroke, Fletcher, Stanley, Bolton, Berkeley, Ashbrook, Beaumont, Fitzgerald, Brisbane, Young, Wood, Butler, Steele and Wynn. Besides, finding a Steele, Lyly, Churchill and Huxley was also not very unlikely during that time.
However varied or complex they were, it is a certain fact that the people of the upper classes placed a lot of pride in their names during the Georgian Era. It was a certain fact that names, during those times, were not only a matter of individual identity for an individual.
Instead, they were signifiers of the social status and the legacy of the family that they belonged to. In order to make sure that such a legacy is maintained and carried on by the next generation, children often carried the same names as their parents or grandparents, a practice that determined class and reflected legacy during those times.