Why so many Mary Ann’s

According to The Top 200 names in England and Wales in 1840, the top ten for girls were Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ann, Jane, Eliza, Emma, Hannah, Margaret, and Ellen.

For the second given name, the top five are Ann(e), Jane, Elizabeth, Mary and Ellen.

For combinations, the top five are:

Mary Ann (16,820)
Sarah Ann (5,806)
Mary Jane (2,322)
Elizabeth Ann (1,734)
Sarah Jane ( 1,136).

With the top male name birth registered in 1840 being William Henry, I wondered how many Mary Ann and William Henry marriages were registered.

From 1840 to 1880 there were 7,024 found. However, FreeBMD gives a warning that “You may have missed some entries because you are searching for more than one first name (in at least some quarters) when there was only one first name plus initials” 


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