What are common colonial names?

John Nathaniel

Roger

Benjamin

Samuel

George

Peter

Henry

Philip

Thomas

William

Charles

Benedict

Arthur

Anthony

Louis

Robert

Tench

Alexander

Richard

Matthew

David

Caleb

Nathan

Augustus

Edward

Lemuel

Enoch

James

When in doubt, look to the New Testament, and the names that look familiar there. This was a common source of naming in Europe back then, and partially why the popularity of some names persist in America today.

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Also, depending on where and when in the Colonial period you're finding names for, Old Testament names and Puritan names were common. Old testament names, like Ira or Ishmael, were popular. Puritan names, like Patience, Humiliation, or Lamentation were used in some circles- these weren't widespread, however. There wasn't a huge name pool, back then. People generally named their children after family members.

Essentially, anything classic and/or regal sounding will do. As for women's names, see below:

Abigail-Abby

Elizabeth-Eliza, Betsy, Bess, Buffy, Libby, Ibby

Mary-Molly, Mamie

Anne

Jane

Martha

Harriet- Hattie

Catherine/Kathryn/Katherine- Kitty

Cecily- Sissy, Illy,

Patience- Patty

Prudence

Phoebe

Joy

Chastity

Candace-Candy

Sarah-Sally

Charlotte- Lottie

Edith-Eddie

Judith-Judy

Esther- Essie

Georgine/Georgette- Georgie, Ettie

Helen

Ellen, Eleanor- Nel, Nelly, Elle.

Isabell/Isabella- Bella, Belle, Issy,

Virgina- Ginny