I think it's usually thought that on the whole, people a few generations ago used very few names, mostly very traditional, (except for the Puritans - I heard the other day of a Puritan child named Flee Fornication!) However, in my reading, I've found many names that would make the names of today that are considered "cool" or "unusual" seem boring in comparison. Also, nicknames seem to have been used a lot more and often the nicknames became the person's usual name.
These photos are found at AncientFaces.com. To find them there, please go to the site and run a search on the name.
For an example, see Green and Peas in the family below!
Williams Family Photo, taken 1908, include the parents, six of their children, two sons-in-law, and some grandchildren. The two women, two men, and young children on the right are the two "sub-families" (LOL).
Front row, left to right:
Grandpa Williams, Holdin Williams, Grandma Williams, Mark Smith, Green Smith, Peas Smith, William Thomas Atkins, Fannie C. Atkins, Tyler J. Atkins, Robert H. Atkins.
Back row, left to right: Ben Williams, Edna Williams, Charlie Williams, Sally Ann (Williams) Smith, Mary Lou (Williams) Atkins.
John & Lydia Carey Family Photo taken abt. 1879
Hannah Andrews b Aug 3, 1859
Richard Carey b Mar 5, 1850
Leander Carey b May 10, 1855
Lindley Carey b Sep 27, 1857
John T Carey b Oct 5, 1851
Eliza Carey b Sep 19, 1861
Lydia Carey b Jun 11, 1822
John Carey b Mar 17, 1816
Anna L Carey b Apr 14, 1864
Isaac Carey b Jul 31, 1853
Oelhafen family photo, taken 1890-1914, Tomahawk, Wisconsin.
John William Oelhafen, b 1836
Sophia Mueller Oelhafen, b 1839
Andrew Oelhafen, b 1864
Elizabeth Oelhafen Zastrow, b 1862
Anna Seim Oelhafen, b 1878
John Wm. Oelhafen II, b 1866
William T. Oelhafen, b 1872
Mary Pfeiffer Oelhafen, b 1868
9 siblings, children of Anthony Dutot & Joanna Staples Dutot.
Walter S Dutot, b Aug 31, 1856
Eunice Dutot, b Sep 9, 1836
Louise Dutot, b Dec 1844
Luke Dutot, b Dec 0 1847
James Dutot, b Dec 0 1834
William Dutot, b Dec 0 1839
Delilah Dutot, b Dec 0 1854
Mary J Dutot, b Aug 1841
Jerome B Dutot, b Dec 0 1849
This photo was found in the home of Sallie Parton Austin. It could be of her family (Eli Burgess and Agnes Parton) or of her husband's family (Alvis Austin). Sallie's family came from Jackson County, North Carolina. Their family ties into the Parton, Sutton, Messer, McMahan, and Gunter families. Maybe some of these family members are in the photo. Alvis Austin's family lived primarly in Jackson County, Alabama.
This photo was found with some Clark family photos. Some people believe it to be Joel S. Clark, his wife, Mary 'Polly' Harmon, and their family.
This is a family photo of The Asa Bishop Family. The Bishop and Andress Families came from Alabama.
Asa Bishop, aged 54, b Dec 1828
Martha Ann Andress Bishop, 45, b Oct 10, 1837
Joseph Andress Bishop, 3, b Jan 6, 1879
John Samuel Bishop, 7, b Jun 24, 1875
Mary Charlotte Bishop, 14, b May 1868
Alice Adele Bishop, 12, b Oct 14, 1870
James Bishop, 18, b Dec 1864
William Hartwell Bishop, 24, b Dec 1858
Asa Robert Bishop, 22, b Aug 10, 1860
Daisy Estelle Bishop, 9, b Jun 27, 1873
UPDATE!!! I am excited to add that a family member wrote to say:
"... I have a black & white copy (of the above photo), but have never seen a colorized copy!! Asa was my maternal grand father's paternal grandfather. (Joseph was his father). Asa fought in the Civil War at Chickamauga, Tennessee. He walked home from there to Tampa after the war. Sometime at the end of or shortly after the war he transferred into the Navy. He lived with his family on Sneed Island in Tampa bay where he worked for the US post-office delivering mail by boat up the Manatee River. He & his descendents were fishermen by trade & at one point supplied fish to The Barnum & Bailey Circus which was located in Bradenton (my grandfather was a small boy then).
Thank you for writing, anonymous family member!
I don't know if these four children are siblings or cousins - but I thought the photo was so cute I put it in anyway! Three of the names are Thomas Hanney, Margaret Hanney, and Katherine Hanney.
The Buelow family. Some of the names are Sandra Buelow, b 1941, Richard Buelow, b 1944, Barbara Buelow, b Nov 22, 1946, Erwin R Buelow, b Apr 14, 1904, and David C Buelow
This is a photo of the William Jackson Moore family, made around 1907 at the family home located near Dacus, Montgomery County, Texas. Left to right in the photo are: William Jackson Moore, older daughter Mary Elizabeth (Lizzie),younger daughter Corean, baby boy Robert Bryan, standing in front of his mother Rena Matchett Moore. Finally, the three older boys: Joseph, William David and Ben Rogers Moore. The family home had recently been completed when this photo was made.
Four generations of the Eperthener family - cool!
Imogene Gillespie, aged 30; Hypolite Emile Eperthener, 85, b Sep 18, 1847; Paul D. Shaffer; Paul D. Shaffer, Jr.; Leanore (Eperthener) Gillespie, 58, b Apr 4, 1874; Donald Jay Gillespie, 25, b Oct 3, 1907; Ethel (McConahy) Gillespie, 25, b Nov 13, 1907; Janet Lenore Shafer; Gertrude Gillespie, 27.
Louella Elizabeth [Woods] Braselton, b Sep 28, 1862
Morton Woods, b 1862
Serelda Jane Woods, b Aug 16, 1838
Will Woods, b 1838
Mae [Woods] Mauck, b 1838 (?)
Charles Woods, b 1838 (?)
Anna [Woods] Warren
Florence [Woods] Crawford
If the birth years and names the contributor listed above are correct, it looks like there might be twin brothers and their wives, all four born in 1838. However, Mae and Charles look much younger than Serelda and Will so my guess is that Mae's and Charles's years are typos, and Serelda and Will are the parents of all the rest of the people in the photo, with no in-laws.
This is the Fairman family, in 1903. No other names are given.
Wood / Fishpaw Family. Some names are on the photo itself.
The contributer writes "I think this is a family photo of Samuel Ward and his family."