In the states for which the schedules of the First Census still exist
there were 27,337 surnames in 1790. Some classification of nomenclature
resulting from an inspection of the names of heads of families as they
appear upon the schedules. This classification has been made because of the
historical value which attaches to such analysis. The heads of families
enumerated at the First Census were practically the founders of the
Republic: it was they who adopted the Constitution which made the Republic
permanent.  Furthermore, the constant increase of interest in genealogy
makes this analysis of especial interest.

    A large preponderance of English and Scotch names appears upon the
schedules of the First Census. The proportion, indeed, is so large that
these two nationalities embrace substantially the entire population, with
the exception of that of certain sections, principally in New York,
Pennsylvania and North Carolina. Moreover, inspection of the names, conveys
the impression that they were largely of Anglo-Saxon origin.

    Many of the names upon the schedules probably have now passed out of
existence, because of an increasing tendency on the part of the public to
avoid striking or fantastic names. Most of those names which tended to cause
a distinct loss of dignity to the bearer have, in the course of a century,
been so modified, with the social advance of the possessors, as to lose
unpleasant characteristics. Many Christian names which were of frequent
occurrence in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and indeed in the
early part of the nineteenth century, have become obsolete. Their use by the
present generation would be regarded as an absurdity. Inspection of the city
directories for several of the larger municipalities shows that many of the
more peculiar and eccentric names reported at the First Census still
continue to be borne; but it is a fact, also, that such names are by no
means so conspicuous at the present time as at the earlier period.

    Those who study the names upon the schedules of the First Census are
impressed by the fact that a large proportion of the total number are
derived from common nouns or other parts of speech related to the daily
affairs, occupations, events, and surroundings of the individual and the
community.It was found that of all families reported in some 3 states, 30
per cent derived their names from parts of speech.
    Two facts are of especial interest in connection with an analysis of
names. The parts of speech which are represented are almost entirely
Anglo-Saxon. They are derived from the most common events of life,
conditions, places, or things, and it may be said that they represent almost
one-third of the population of the United States in 1790. The prevalence of
biblical given names reflects the religious feeling of the period. The
absence of those names which were offensive from the standpoint of politics,
on the other hand, reflects the political prejudices prevailing at that

    The absence of middle names or initials from the schedules of the First
Census is so noticeable as to suggest the practical growth of this custom
after the beginning of the nineteenth century.  The carelessness of
enumerators might in many instances, explain the failure to include middle
names or initials upon some of the schedules, but defects of enumeration in
this particular would not be so general as to result in almost complete
absence of such names. Upon a document of such momentous importance as the
Declaration of Independence, signed by the most distinguished men of the
period, complete signatures were of course to be expected: yet it will be
remembered that upon this document appear the names of but 3 persons having
middle names--Robert Treat Paine,  Richard Henry Lee, and Francis Lightfoot

    It would be of the utmost interest to compare statistics of surnames at
the Twelfth Census with those here presented for the First, but no such
information is available.  Meager as are the statistical data yielded by the
First Census, it is probable that it will long stand as the only census for
which statistics of nomenclature exist.

    Upon making a classification of the names so derived, according to the
meaning of the words, they fall into the following general classes:


(1)  Food and Eating:

Soup, Oyster, Fish, Trout, Salmon, Haddock, Shad, Crab;  Veal, Lamb, Pork,
Savory, Stew; Fowl, Duck, Quail, Goose, Gravy;  Tripe, Tongue, Kidney,
Liver, Hash, Ham, Eggs: Goodbread, Butter, Olives, Radish, Mustard, Cress,
Vinegar;  Corn, Beets, Onions, Beans, Collard, Carrott, Peas, Squash,
Brownrice, Sago;  Waffle, Honey, Pancake, Jam, Mush, Treacle:  Cake,
Custard, Tart, Cheese, Almond, Dates, Shaddock, Melon;  Mints, Fudge;
Coffee, Tea, Sugar, Milk;  Hunger, Food, Meal,  Diet, Slice, Broil, Boiling,
Ginger, Greens, Alspice, Lard, Pepper.

(2)  Drink:

Brandy, Goodrum, Grog, Grapewine, Redwine, Punch, Cider, Port, Negus,
Freshwater, Beer, Booze, Goodwine, Wine.

(3)  Clothing:

Dress, Raiment, Gowns, Frocks, Petticoat, Bloomer, Scarf, Redsleeves, Frill,
Shawl, Bonnet, Feather, Boas, Mitts, Beads, Spangle, Shoe, Highshoe,
Stockings, Coats, Shirts, Waistcoat, Jumpers, Smock, Overall, Collar,
Lightcap, Mitten, Boots, Socks, Brogan, Cap.

(4)  Sewing Materials:

Linen, Silk, Poplin, Crape, Lace, Wool, Buttons: Machine, Needles, Pattern,
Pin, Bodkin, Spool;  Threadcraft,  Mendingall, Patching, Whitecotton.


England, Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Holland, Spain, Poland, Athens, Boston,
Canada, Bohemia, Venice, Parliament, Paradise, Bedlam.


(1)  Nationality:

English, Irish, French, German, Prussian, Poles, Spaniard, Malay, Tartar,
Dago, Mussulman, Dutch.

(2)  Kinds of men:

Beeman, Councilman, Countryman, Iceman, Ploughman, Sickman, Shortman,
Smallman, Toughman, Tidyman, Weatherman, Weedingman, Peacemaker,
Houselighter, Woolweaver, Landmiser, Pioneer, Pilgrim, Pagan, Pettyfool,
Passenger, Grooms, Biters, Fakes, Equals, Drinker, Dancer, Kicker, Cusser,
Spitter, Booby, Dunce, Gump, Boor, Crank, Crook, Rascal, Swindle, Knave,
Outlaw, Madsavage, Coward, Hero, Double, Goodfellow.

(3)  Condition:

Hunger, Thirst, Smell, Taste, Anger, Laughter, Comfort, Reason, Clemency,
Justice, Care, Pride, Wit, Pluck, Faith, Devotion, Goodcourage, Fuss,
Flurry, Fury, Thrift, Doubt, Piety.

(4)  Appearance or state:

Short, Shorter, Plump, Comely, Sallow, Supple, Bony, Barefoot, Allred, Busy,
Idle, Careless, Strict, Calm, Gushing, Dumb, Howling, Daft, Looney, Dowdy,
Neat, Empty, Greedy, Fearing, Fearless, Faithful, Fickle, Forward, Humble,
Gadding, Sober, Maudlin, Gaudy, Quaint, Harsh, Jolly, Kind, Severe, Literal,
Final, Wealthy, Miserly, Naughty, Toogood, Sullen, Sanguine, Proud, Prudent,
Rough, Tough, Hasty, Weary, Old, Older, Wordly, Witty, Allright, Proper,
Lazy, Lucky, Upright, Underhand, Measley, Rude, Toobald, Cacklin.

(5)  Bathing:

Coldbath, Towel, Soap.

(6)  Ailments and remedies:

Fatyouwant, Gout, Fever, Crampeasy, Boils, Measles, Swelling, Corns,
Rickets, Gripe, Ache, Cough, Sliver, Blackhead, Warts, Teter, Fits: Surgeon,
Quack; Balm, Physic, Salts, Mixture, Blister, Pellet, Pill.

(7)  Parts and actions of the body:

Head, Brains, Forehead, Cheeks, Nose, Ears, Chin, Beard, Lips, Tongue,
Shoulders, Wrists, Hands, Fingers, Thumbs, Hips, Side, Knee, Leg, Foot,
Heel, Bones, Gullets, Hearts, Kidneys, Bowels, Livers, Glands, Breaths,
Voices, Whisper, Murmurs, Grunts, Howls, Yells, Smack, Caress.

(8)  Relationship:

Brother, Sister, Couples, Husbands, Son, Daughter, Uncles, Cousins,


(1)  Games:

Clubs, Cards, Chess, Faro, Dice, Dance, Waltz.

(2)  Religion:

Preacher, Rector, Church, Chapel, Steeples, Spires, Bell, Clapper, Organ,
Pew, Sermon, Creed, Bible, Psalms, Psalter, Sinners, Blessing, Miracle,
Angels, Heavens, Hell.

(3)  Music and Literature:

Music, Chord, Harmony, Overture, Christian, Singer, Duett, Harp, Fiddle,
Fife, Cornet;  Poet, Rymes, Jingles, Ballad, Parody.

Upon making a classification of the names so derived, according to the
meaning of the words, they fall into the following general classes:


(1)  Kind of house, building material, and belongings.

House, Lot, Brickhouse, Acres, Greathouse, Marble, Mahogany, Oldhouse,
Halfacre, Stonehouse, Longhouse, Newhouse, Laughinghouse, Roof, Brickroof,
Shingle, Gambrel, Gable, Gutters, Spout, Lumber, Brick, Wooden, Plank,
Scantling, Lath, Crack, Cranny, Door, Latch, Knob, Lockkey, Kitchen,
Buttery, Shelf, Furnace, Heater, Register, Porch, Shed, Pump, Corners.

(2)  Surroundings:

Stable, Barns, Trough, Manger, Coolyard, Brickwell, Coldwell, Cornhouse,
Woodhouse, Milkhouse, Warehouse, Millhouse, Wharf.

(3)  Furniture and Tableware:

Table, Curtain, Vase, Clocks, Desk, Chairs, Cushion, Pillow, Bolster, Box,
Broom, Bucket, Candle, Snuffer, Plate, Platter, Bowls, Newbowl, China,
Silver, Knife, Forks, Spoons, Pitcher, Mug, Saucer.

(4)  Merchandise and Commodities:

Stove, Wood, Coke, Oven, Coal, Fender, Auction, Wondersale, Shovel, Poker,
Hammock, Pickett, Tubs, Ax, Ladder, Mallet, Nuthammer, Hatchet, Wrench,
Level, Nipper, Whetstone, Goouge, Nail, Tack, Awl, Oats, Bran, Shorts,
Husks, Wheat, Mash, Bags, Balloon, Barley, Barrels, Basket, Bench, Bike,
Boiler, Bomb, Brass, Buckhorn, Camphor, Cane, Cap, Chalk, Chopper, Coin,
Coldiron, Combs, Compass, Coop, Coopernail, Copper, Cork, Cowhorn, Cradle,
Cutwork, Dipper, Divans, Files, Filters, Grater, Gravel, Gum, Hammers,
Hassock, Hogshead, Hornbuckle, Hose, Inks, Iron, Irons, Ivory, Junk, Kettle,
Kite, Leeks, Lightwood, Locket, Maize, Tenpenny, Oldshoe, Paste, Pearl, Pen,
Pencil, Pipes, Plough, Powder, Primer, Rags, Rakes, Rattle, Razor, Rivets,
Rockets, Rope, Rug, Satchel, Screws, Sequin, Shot, Sickle, Silkrags, Silver,
Slate, Smallcorn, Snuff, Spikes, Sticks, Stilts, Straw, Tallow, Tarbox,
Ticket, Tiles, Tool, Trap, Trucks, Trunk, Tubes, Turnipseed, Twine, Twist,
Varnish, Wafer, Washer, Weights, Whips, Whitehorn, Wigs, Wire, Yarn, Yoke,
Harness, Hames, Reins, Sulkey, Surrey, Coltrider, Heldebridle.

(5)  Money:

Purse, Money, Cash, Dollar, Milldollar, Penny, Thickpenny, Shilling, Dimes,
Nickles, Pence.
(1)  Color:

Colour, Black, White, Gray, Green, Brown, Red, Ruby, Pink, Purple, Seagray,
Nile, Orange, Tan, Olive, Lavender, Carmine, Blue, Scarlet.

(2)  Objects of Nature or Features of Landscape:

Mountain, Tallhill, Widedale, Lakes, Meadows, Parks, Pastures, Rivers,
Woodsides, Roads, Bridges, Bogs, Forest, Chestnutwood, Hazelgrove, Woodland,
Woodyfield, Wilderness, Fountain, Middlebrook, Marsh, Pool, Pond, Gully,
Ditch, Farm, Taterfield, Bars, Garden, Grass, Longwall, Tanyard, Market,
Maypole, Lowbridge, Drawbridge, Woodendyke, Saltmarsh, Oysterbanks,
Sharpstone, Redstone, Mud, Soot, Smoke, Blaze, Fires, Sparks.

(3)  Trees:

Maples, Oaks, Greenoak, Chestnut, Walnut, Pine, Bay, Willow, Tumbletree,
Redwood, Roots, Sap, Acorn.

(4)  Plants and Flowers:

Plants, Weeds, Vines, Shrub, Mallow, Primrose, Calls, Ivy, Pinks, Parsley,
Marjoram, Wormwood, Fennel, Caraway, Bramble, Brier, Thistle, Barnthistle,
Toadvine, Ragbush, Clover, Seeds, Pollen.

(5)  Fruits:

Fruit, Apple, Pippin, Currants, Cherry, Blackheart, Grapes, Lemons, Peach,
Plum, Quince, Pears, Limes, Berry, Mayberry, Appleberry, Bilberry,
Touchberry, Thornberry, Dewberry, Fortuneberry, Flyberry, Huckelberry,
Rasberry, Winterberry, Wineberry, Rottenberry.

(6)  Nuts:

Nut, Chestnut, Walnut, Hickrynut

(7)  Weather:

Weathers, Dry, Damp, Pleasant, Dismal, Sprinkle, Shower, Rains, Storms,
Gales, Simoon, Hail, Slush, Freeze, Blizzard, Coldair.

(8)  Beasts:

Horse, Hoss, Hossies, Colts, Trotter, Mules, Kicks, Ox, Bulls, Cows, Heifer,
Redheifer, Calf, Middlecalf, Goats, Sheep, Lamb, Cats, Leathercat, Mouser,
Pup, Shoat, Squirrel, Beavers, Mink, Coons, Seals, Sealion, Bear, Bruin,
Cub, Leopard, Tiger, Moose, Lions, Panther, Flippers, Claws, Hoofs, Horns,
Tails, Clatter, Canter, Gallop.

(9)  Birds:

Eagle, Canary, Lark, Woodpicker, Parrot, Peacock, Raven, Sparrow, Starling,
Skyhawk, Stork, Swan, Buzzard, Crows, Snipes, Robins, Hawks, Pheasants,
Rocks, Fowls, Chick, Bantam, Gosling, Geese, Pigeon, Dove, Birdsong,

(10)  Insects and Creeping Creatures:

Ant, Beetle, Fly, Bees, Hornet, Roach, Locust, Snails, Grubs, Maggot, Worm,
Snake, Turtle, Frog.


Seas, Billows, Bays, Breeze, Ship, Sloop, Barge, Bigraft, Anchor, Shoals,
Sails, Bunks, Commodore, Mariner, Shipboy, Swab.


War, Battle, Campaign, Fight, Fightmaster, Cannon, Boom, Guns, Trigger,
Shots, Pistol, Shoots, Swords, Banner, Bugle, Bugler, Fort, Officer, Booty,
Treason, Prison.

                      DEATH  AND  VIOLENCE

Death, Deadman, Hearse, Vaults, Tombs, Moregraves, Duel, Murder, Demon,
Ghost, Mummy.


Months, Weeks, Shortday, Nights, Hour, Winter, Midwinter, August, Yesterday,

Tewday, Allday, Always, Friday, Sunday, Monday, Lunch, Supper, Goodnight,
Clock, Bells, Christmas, Easter.


Beersticker, Cathole, Churning, Clampit, Clapsaddle, Clinkscales,
Cockledress, Coldflesh, Crackbone, Drips, Flybaker, Fryover, Gallivant,
Getstrap, Goodbit, Goosehorn, Graytracks, Hogmire, Honeycomb, Hungerpealer,
Huntsucker, Icebrass, Liptrot, Livergall, Lookinbill, Milksack, Moonshine,
Partneck, Pockerpine, Reedhovel, Scoot, Shamback, Sharpneck, Silvernail,
Slappy, Spitsnoggle, Splitstone, Stophell, Straddle, Sunlighter, Sydebottom,
Sydersticker, Tallowback, Threewits, Trueluck, Wallflour, Willibother,


Joseph Came, Peter Wentup, Joseph Scolds, John Sat, Thomas Simmers, John
Smothers, Sarah Simpers, Ruth Shaves, Barbary Staggers, William Sorrows,
Joseph Rodeback, Christy Forgot, Agreen Crabtree, Christian Bonnet, Truelove
Sparks, Snow Frost, Preserved Taft, Wanton Bump, Adam Hatmaker, Darling
Whiteman, Mourning Chestnut, River Jordan, Moses Rainwater, Christian Shelf,
Sermon Coffin, Boston Frog, Jedediah Brickhouse, Jemima Crysick, Bachelor
Chance, Susannah Boots, Britain Spelling, History Gott, Anguish Lemmon,
Thomas Gabtale, Unity Bachelor, Web Ashbean, Booze Still, Over Jordan,
Thomas Purify, Constant Gallneck, Pleasant Basket, Hannah Petticoat, Balaam
Bell, Abraham Bokay, Cutlip Hoof, Comfort Clock, Jonah Hatchet, Noble Gun,
Hardy Baptist, Sillah Jester, Jacob Worm, Hannah Cheese, Henry Callico,
Abraham Singhorse, Sharp Blount, Mercy Pepper.


SOURCE: (In its entirety) Title:  " A Century of Population Growth-From the
First Census of the United States to the Twelfth 1790-1900.
Department of Commerce and Labor Bureau of the Census.
Publisher:  Washington Government Printing Office-1909.

             Researched and Transcribed by Miriam Medina

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