I heard on the radio, today, that the most popular name for boys born in Britain last year was Mohommed! I started thinking how fashions in names come and go.

 From research into my family history I found that on my paternal line from the early 18c to the mid 19c the predominant male names were all kings names i.e. Richard, William and John, and the females were Elizabeth, Mary and Sarah. Earlier than this we had a Butterworth and a Hamlet and a Loetetia! On the maternal line they went for Biblical names, Daniel, Joseph, Mordecai etc.

When my great grandfather had his tribe of 24 he had kings queens and queen consorts and a few saints!

The next generation (my parents) they had become a bit more imaginative and had Walter, Harold, Bernard and Hilda, Florence and Louisa amongst them. Flower names were also popular at the turn of the century. We had a family of spinster sisters at church called, Rose, Ivy, Daisy, Lily and Violet. I have seen these names used recently, where in my youth they would have been considered very old fashioned.

In my class at school we had 5 Patricias, 3 Valeries, 2 Shirleys,  Sheilas, Paulines and Marys,  and the equivalent boys were Stanleys, Rogers, Barrys and Trevors, all names rarely given these days and yet we would have thought very old-fashioned some of the names we see popular today such as Emma, Emily,Sarah, those flower names and Freddy, Oliver and Charlie.

In recent years we have seen babies named after places, food, footballers and other celebrities. I wonder what comes next. Will it be the turn of the Beryls, Eunices,Glorias and Elsies or our war time names?

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