I have found, when researching long-dead ancestors, that sometimes the names that parents chose to give their children are the only glimpse I have into the inner life of those parents. When I look at a list of sibling names, it makes me smile to picture the parents choosing the names with the same care we took when we named our daughter. So I've often been curious which parent's tastes and preferences I'm more likely to be looking at in those names.
Among people I know, mothers tend to be the main baby namer in a family. Fathers typically have input, and sometimes they may take charge. But, more often than not, the names of babies reflect the tastes and preferences of their mother.
So my question is, how long has this been true of naming? (American naming, in the case of my ancestors.) In eighteenth or nineteenth century America, were mothers still the main baby namer? I realize, of course, that historically babies were more likely to be named after friends and family. But someone still had to be the one to say, "Hey, let's name our son after Uncle Joseph." Was that more likely to be mom or dad? Or has it varied too much over time and across cultures to say?
(I'm also asking because my 3rd-great-grandparents gave their children names like Iberi, Avoca, and Iranarch. And I'd love to know which parent's taste is reflected there!)