Third Most Popular

A lot has changed in the U.S. in a hundred years and what names babies are given is no exception. In 1911, the most popular names given to females were Mary, Helen, Margaret, Dorothy and Ruth. One hundred later in 2011 little girls were most often named Sophia, Isabella, Emma, Olivia and Ava. Elizabeth is the only first-name in the top 20 for both 1911 (7th) and 2011 (11th).

For boys born in 1911, the top five given names were John, William, James, George and Robert. Fast forward a hundred years and only one name stays in the top five; William joined by Jacob, Mason, Jayden and Noah. An honorable mention is my first name, James which was the third most popular name for baby boys in 1911. A hundred years later in 2011 it was 17th.  Here’s the full list from the source article on

If you think unusual names like Beyone, Posh and Myleene are unique only to modern times, you’d be mistaken.  Family history site analysed 36 million records in the 1911 Census and came up with the 10 most peculiar names given children in the U.K. in 1911: Love Child, Danger, Lucky, Hero, Love, Lovely, Nice, Pretty, Secret and Danger. Thank you Mom and Dad for not hanging something unusual like that on me that I would have had to explain every day of my life!

James was my father’s name, although he shortened it to “Jim” leaving me an identity independent of him. I like my name and am grateful to be ‘James’ in a long line of men who have been called that.

I have known a German Prince
with more titles than subjects,
and a Spanish nobleman
with more names than shirts.
Oliver Goldsmith