Once these names were all once considered manly names exuding virility. After all, they are traditional surnames, which in the British tradition (apart from those names based on mediaeval trades) means that once upon a time a man had that as his forename and his sons and subsequent progeny took it to mark them apart. Yet every one of these traditionally masculine names might as well suddenly have become Sue, since all it took for most parents to stop giving these names to their sons was for them to become popular names for girls.
When was the last time you encountered someone planning to give one of the above names to their son?
My own name, although not a traditional surname like the above, nonetheless provides a case study of a name that has become feminised in recent history. Traditionally not a wildly popular name for either boys or girls, Vivian/Vivien/Vivienne was nonetheless a staple background name that everybody knew, and people could expect to meet several Vivs of both the male and female persuasion in a lifetime. Once Vivien Leigh achieved worldwide fame as Scarlett O’Hara there was a generation or two where the name was much more popular for girls (it’s now largely back to its original “traditional name” level). I’m named after one of my father’s uncles, as it happens.
Meanwhile after Gone With The Wind the number of boys receiving the name plummeted, and most boys who ended up with the name (because of family tradition perhaps) preferred to go by their middle name instead (Australia’s Vivian “Clive” James being a case in point, and the West Indies cricketer Viv Richards being a notable exception.) In England the once largely archaic (and essentially aristocratic) spelling of ‘Vyvyan’ became the way to indicate that one’s child was a boy Vyv rather than a girl Viv, and still the name dropped out of favour except among the aspirational middle classes (which adds another layer to The Young Ones character Vyvyan that many non-British audiences may have missed).