The name Charlotte is of French origin. It’s the feminine version of Charles meaning “Free Man”; Charles has been around since Charlemagne. Charlotte was the third most popular name in 2022 trailing only Olivia and Emma. As recently as 2000 it ranked 568. That year marked the end of a fifty-year downtrend and the start of the name of Charlotte ascending the popularity ranks. Since name tracking began in the 1880s, Charlotte hovered around the 150th place mark, cracking the Top 100 again in 2011. Along came Princess Charlotte in 2015 (the name has always been popular in England), and the name has been in American Top 20 lists ever since.
That’s the extent of the name research I performed. I’d known that I was going to name my first-born daughter Charlotte well before Charlotte was actually born. Before Princess Charlotte.
My grandmother’s name was Charlotte. Apologies to my nana, who’s name was Verna, but Charlotte has always been a classic and traditional name who’s popularity ranking never mattered. There was no need to over think the naming process. No need to get creative. Charlotte was always going to be Charlotte. In terms of bestowing a name to what will hopefully one day become a great (not just a nice) person, it seemed only natural to honor another great person in my life.
Among many qualities my grandmother was an extremely kind person. She was able to keep a simple view of life and focus on what truly mattered over a lifetime that started in the Roaring 20s and ending in the COVID 20s. She may seem like the sort of person who belongs to a bygone era, however, after a greater examination, you realize she lived the sort of life that extends across all eras. It’s not simply a style that you can look on fondly and recall the past glory days but also a template to emulate for the future. In a separate blog entry, I wrote about permanency of parenthood and how there’s no turning back, only going forward, with the birth of a child. The name Charlotte Hamill will have a positive impact on people’s lives from the 1920s through the 2150 and beyond, assuming Charlotte has grandchildren of her own. That’s two centuries worth of time and I think the best way to pass that time is being a Charlotte.