Hi! I’m here with another historical name post! I’ve been really interested in researching 19th century Mormon polygamy the last few months, and being a name nerd I’ve been collecting some of the most interesting trends and names. It’s also really interesting to see what happens with sibling names in polygamous families with anywhere between forty to sixty kids: you see a lot of siblings with repeated names (sometimes because a child died in infancy, but also you might literally have three living brothers with the same name), and sometimes there’s a really wide variation in styles (often with different mothers in a polygamous family having identifiable styles, but sometimes it’s really just all over the place).
Some intriguing name themes or trends I’ve noticed:
Mormon Religious Names!
These are names honoring either figures from the Book of Mormon or Mormon historical leaders. I’m not Mormon and don’t live in an area with a high Mormon population so these were really unfamiliar to me at first. Not sure if these names have much usage in the modern era even in the Mormon community, because a lot of them are very distinctive.
Hyrum (variant of Hiram that took off to the exclusion of the more common spelling in Mormon communities because that’s how Joseph Smith’s brother Hyrum spelled his name)
Don Carlos (Joseph Smith also had a brother named Don Carlos, it’s unclear to me why their parents named him that, but it seems to have taken off among Mormons)
Heber (after prominent early Mormon leader Heber Kimball)
Moroni (Angel Moroni)
Mahonri Moriancumer (Book of Mormon figure, I have found two examples of children named this)
Nephi (Book of Mormon)
Helaman (Book of Mormon)
Lehi (Book of Mormon)
Teancum (Book of Mormon)
Alma (Book of Mormon, this is a male name in Mormon use though I was more familiar with it for women)
For girls, you see a lot of really frilly or celestial-feeling names, which seems to have been a 19th century trend in general. I’ve seen Parinthia, Celestia, and Flora Bell Birdie as sisters (one of their brothers was Orion!) Also Sophronia, Prescendia, and Minerva.
Lots of matchy twin names, especially same initial (Alva & Alma probably the matchiest I’ve seen). While these were all singletons, I also saw one woman who had Alvin, Alfred, and Albert.
Also including a list of all Brigham Young’s children, so you can get a look at what a (particularly large) polygamist family’s sibset might look like. This list is in birth order, ranging from 1826 to 1870, and includes children from eighteen different mothers. I included a couple notes about more unusual names.
Elizabeth, Vilate (this is a girl, I think it’s a variant of Violet), Joseph, twins Brigham & Mary Ann, Alice, Luna, John, Brigham Heber (went by Heber), Edward, Oscar, twins Hyrum & Joseph, Moroni, Mary Eliza, Ella, twins Alva & Alma, Fanny, Emily, Marinda, Clarissa Maria (went by Maria), Jeanette, Zina, Evelyn, Hyrum, Caroline, Ernest, Nabby (female), Willard, Eudora, Mahonri Moriancumer, Emmeline, Chemira/Shamira/Shimara (she seems to have used all three spelling variants at different points, no idea where this name came from), Julia, Alfales (male), Brigham Morris (went by Morris), Phoebe, Jedidiah, Artie, Joseph Don Carlos (went by Carlos), Louisa, Susa, Lorenzo, Miriam, Albert, Feramorz (male, no idea where this name came from), Alonzo, Josephine, Clarissa, Ida, Charlotte, Ruth, Phineas, Laura, Daniel, Rhoda, Ardelle, and Fanny.
Anyway, I hope other people found this as interesting as I did!