SURNAMES OF THE WHITE POPULATION IN 1790.-- FIRST CENSUS THE UNITED STATES.
INTRO: 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 date. 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 Lee. 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: HOUSEHOLD AND DOMESTIC AFFAIRS (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. NATIONS AND PLACES England, Ireland, Hungary, Germany, Holland, Spain, Poland, Athens, Boston, Canada, Bohemia, Venice, Parliament, Paradise, Bedlam. HUMAN CHARACTERISTICS. (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, Neighbors. GAMES, RELIGION, MUSIC AND LITERATURE (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: PROPERTY (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. NATURE (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, Birdwhistle. (10) Insects and Creeping Creatures: Ant, Beetle, Fly, Bees, Hornet, Roach, Locust, Snails, Grubs, Maggot, Worm, Snake, Turtle, Frog. THE OCEAN AND MARITIME SUBJECTS Seas, Billows, Bays, Breeze, Ship, Sloop, Barge, Bigraft, Anchor, Shoals, Sails, Bunks, Commodore, Mariner, Shipboy, Swab. WAR 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. TIME Months, Weeks, Shortday, Nights, Hour, Winter, Midwinter, August, Yesterday, Tewday, Allday, Always, Friday, Sunday, Monday, Lunch, Supper, Goodnight, Clock, Bells, Christmas, Easter. UNUSUAL COMBINATIONS OF COMMON NOUNS. 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, Witchwagon. STRIKING OR LUDICROUS COMBINATIONS OF CHRISTIAN NAMES AND SURNAMES. 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 Return to CENSUS Main Index Return to BROOKLYN Info Main