Have you noticed that the given names of our eighteenth and nineteenth century English, Scottish, Irish and Welsh ancestors were drawn from a surprisingly small pool? But how small a pool? How common were our ancestors’ given names? More importantly, how rare were the less common names? Lists of the most common 10, 20, 50 or 100 names are surprisingly unhelpful unless they include frequency statistics. For example, Jeremiah, was ranked 26th in England in the 1800s but the most useful information is its frequency; it was carried by only one man in 500. Most villages had fewer than 500 males at that time. This webinar focuses on given name popularities, changes in popularity, and the reasons for such changes. It also covers spelling variants, abbreviations, and diminutives. For example, if you don’t know that Polly was a diminutive of Mary or that Nellie was a diminutive of Ellen and Eleanor and Helen, you might struggle to find entries for your ancestors. Our ancestors’ given names and surnames are the gateways into our family history research. Learning more about their names may prove useful in determining their ancestry or finding other family connections.