By Kevin Williams
I first wrote this post back in 2013, so I thought it might be fun to revisit. The reality is, though, that not much changes with the Amish and their traditions, so not much has changed with this post. I wrote a post once about common Amish surnames, but what about common first names? The Amish generally stick with family or Bible names and aren't so swayed by pop culture trends.
Many of the most popular and common Amish names, not surprisingly, have Biblical origins.
Male: Dan, Levi, Amos, Paul, Albert, Jacob, Samuel, Eli, Aaron, Lloyd, Marvin, Elmo, David, and Roy
Female: Emma, Susan, Elizabeth, Nancy, Miriam, Gloria, Barbara, Rebecca, Rachel, Mary, and Katura
Among the Amish certain names are common in specific areas. Leander and Harley seem to be common Amish name that seems to be found in only certain areas, ditto for Swiss names like Verena.Mainstream American male names like Doug, Ted, Mike, Jeff, or Charlie or female names like Amy, Jennifer, and Diane are less common among the Amish. Of course there are going to be exceptions to each example I am using. This post is just a broad-brush overview.
Names among the Old Order Amish seem to be trending towards more unconventional over the past decade or so, but this mirrors a trend occurring in society as a whole. I ran across one Amish family who recently named their son, Turner, and another with a newborn boy named Mason. An Amish family I know recently christened their daughter Sunny Rose. Kind of a cute name:) So as Amish society changes, and the world around it also changes, names once heard of among the Amish will probably become the norm.
Let's look at some names of births in Geauga County, Ohio's Amish settlement over the past year. This is a very conventional, middle-of-the-road community, so I think they are pretty representative.
BOY NAMES: It'saac. Marlin, Jacob, Joseph, Jason,Kenny, Aden, Caleb Ray
GIRL NAMES: Susie, Lorianne, Martha Mae, Ellen, Lorena
It'saac caught me off guard. And Kenny seems a little out of place, but for the most part these are very conventional names. Probably family names.
Can you think of any very common Amish first names that I should have added to the above lists?