Re: Semi-Common Given Names in the South, circa 1800's
Although I know that the name Hulda, from the Bible, wasn't an uncommon name used by the Puritans during the earliest years of the colonies and upper North Carolina, that was actually something they named some of their daughters.Hulda was actually one of the child's given names.
But I don't think that would explain why the name is so commonly used as a nickname/pet name for females in the South who actually had other given names in the mid-1800's to early 1900's. Especially when those given names varied and seemed to have no pattern, such as Molly for Mary, or Sally for Sarah, etc.
I see that 'Hulda' oddity used a lot in Tennessee, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Arkansas -- especially Arkansas and Kentucky.