English names in the 18th century were more inclined towards the traditional. A name would often be passed on in a family through the generations. Invented names were much less common in those times, as were foreign names. This was true in most countries- for instance, a Spanish character would be no more likely to have an English name than an English character would be to have a Spanish name. It's important to keep these facts in mind when naming an original character. The names in bold print on the list are the most common.
William Turner I ("Bootstrap Bill"), William Turner II ("Will"), and William Turner III
Common 18th Century Female Names
Abigail, Agatha, Alice, Amelia (Amy), Angeline, Anne/Ann, Caroline, Cassandra, Catherine/Katherine (Kate, Kitty), Cecily/Cecelia, Charlotte, Christine/Christiana, Clara, Cordelia, Cynthia, Dorothea (Dorothy, Dora, Dotty), Edith, Eleanor, Ellen, Eliza, Elizabeth (Bess, Betsy, Betty, Eliza, Elsie, Liz, Liza, Lizbeth, Lizzie-- Beth was not used until the 19th century, however), Emily, Esther, Evangeline, Florence, Frances (Fanny), Grace, Hannah, Harriet, Jane, Joanna/Joanne, Josephine, Judith, Julia, Leticia, Louisa/Louise, Lucy, Lydia, Mabel, Margaret (Maggie, Marge, Meg, Peggy), Martha, Mary, Maria/Mariah, Matilda, Polly, Priscilla, Rebecca, Rose, Ruth, Samantha, Sarah (Sally), Sophie/Sophia, Susan/Susanna/ Susannah, Victoria, Violet, Virginia
Common 18th Century Male Names
Alexander, Andrew, Benjamin, Bernard, Charles, David, Edmund, Edward, Emmett, Francis, Frederick, George, Harold, Henry, Hugh, James (Jim, Jimmy, Jem), John (Johnny, Jack), Jonathan, Joseph, Julian, Louis, Matthew, Nicholas, Oliver, Paul, Peter, Phillip, Richard, Robert, Rupert, Samuel, Sebastian, Seymour, Simon, Stephen, Stuart, Thaddeus (Tad), Theodore, Thomas, Timothy, Tobias, Walter, Wesley, William
Modern Female or Unisex Names That Were Male Names in the 18th Century
Alex/Alexis, Ariel, Ashley, Aubrey, Bailey, Blair, Bobby, Brooke, Cameron, Carmen, Casey, Cassidy, Claire, Charlie, Courtney, Dana, Darcy, Devon, Hailey/Hayley, Hilary/Hillary, Hunter, Jamie, Jody, Jordan, Kelly, Kelsey, Kendall, Kerry, Kimberly, Lacy, Leslie, Lindsay/Lindsey/Lindy, Mackenzie/McKenna, Madison, Mallory, Morgan, Paige, Payton/Peyton, Quinn, Rene, Riley, Robin, Shelby, Shelly, Shirley, Sydney, Taylor, Tracy, Whitney