Forenames

Ascertaining the “given name(s)” of an individual is not always easy.  For example a document may just give an initial, the name replaced by an abbreviation that is ambiguous or the person may use a “nick-name”.  That said, analysing the given names can give useful indications.  An example is shown in the following table which gives the occurrence of a name as a percentage as found in the Ancestry Census indices for the GRAY and GREY names. [The data being dated 08 December 2009]

 1851185118611871189118911901
Ann7.17.97.77.46.75.85.3
Elizabeth766.165.654.5
Margaret3.73.73.63.23.23.13.1
Mary7.67.87.47.36.665.5
Sarah2.92.82.92.62.421.7
George3.53.73.843.93.83.7
James5.55.45.24.94.74.54.2
John8.27.97.77.26.56.25.7
Thomas3.83.73.63.53.332.7
William7.57.27.57.37.26.76.4
This would seem to show that the use of these names decreases over the decades.  One exception would seem to be George.  However, further work would be required to understand the significance of these trends.