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Names of the Past: Most Popular Baby Names from 100 Years Ago

Most Popular Baby Names from 100 Years AgoWhen I am looking for names for my kids, I like to find names that are unique, but not too out there. I’ve tried to avoid my kids having 2 or 3 other children in their classes with the same name, so when it comes to popular names, we tend to steer clear.

The popular name trends are something I like to look at when we’re checking out baby names. I find them really interesting, how they’re inspired by what’s popular at the moment and I take notice of the names that seem to stick in popularity from year to year.

I thought it would be fun to look at the popular baby names from 1913, a 100 years, to see if any of them are still popular now. There are some really old-school names you don’t hear much these days. The top 10 most popular names in 1913, they’re not uncommon or crazy original names, but they aren’t very popular these days either.

Have a look at the most popular baby names from 1913:

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  • Thomas and Marie 1 of 10
    Thomas and Marie
    The 10 most popular names in 1913 were Thomas and Marie. In 2012, Thomas was #54 and Marie was not listed (though Maria was #65)
    Photo credit: Ginny Washburne/ Flickr
  • Frank and Francine 2 of 10
    Frank and Francine
    It's been a while since I've heard anyone use these names, which were both #9 in popularity in 1913. Neither name made the top 100 list in 2012.
    Photo credit: mikecogh/ Flickr
  • Edward and Elizabeth 3 of 10
    Edward and Elizabeth
    Edward is more popular right now as it's the name of the lead character of a top book/movie series. It was #8 in popularity in 1913, but still didn't make the top list in 2013. Elizabeth has been a pretty steady popular name -- it was #8 in 1913 and #41 in 2012.
    Photo credit: jonny.hunter/ Flickr
  • Charles and Anna 4 of 10
    Charles and Anna
    These are two quite common names and 100 years ago they were #7 on the list. These days you hear more "Charlie" than Charles and Anna is still a pretty popular name making it to #34 in 2012
    Photo credit: Ginny Washburne/ Flickr
  • George and Mildred 5 of 10
    George and Mildred
    I rarely, if ever hear new babies being named George and certainly haven't heard one named Mildred in the past few years. I think both are quite strong and they were top spot at #6 in 1913. Wonder if they'll make a comeback?
    Photo credit: madprime/ Flickr
  • Joseph and Ruth 6 of 10
    Joseph and Ruth
    In 2012, Joseph made the 100 list at #47, but 100 years ago it held on to spot number 5. Ruth was not on the list in 2012 and it's not a name we hear much anymore.
    Photo credit: Victoria Johnson Photography/ Flickr
  • Robert and Margaret 7 of 10
    Robert and Margaret
    These two names, which held spot #4 in popularity back in 1913 were not on the top 100 list for 2012. Both are quite common, but not fancy enough I guess for these days.
    Photo credit: Jason Pratt/ Flickr
  • James and Dorthy 8 of 10
    James and Dorthy
    James was a pretty popular name in 2012 making the list at spot #21, but that's changed a lot from 100 years ago when it held onto spot number 3. Dorthy didn't make the list in 2012 and these days it's not very common.
    Photo credit: crimfants/ Flickr
  • William and Helen 9 of 10
    William and Helen
    I am really fond of the name William and it's a chosen middle name for my son. It was so much more popular 100 years ago making it to the second spot. These days it's still quite popular holding on to spot 15. Helen was way more popular 100 years ago since it didn't make the 2012 list.
    Photo credit: rumpleteaser/ Flickr
  • John and Mary 10 of 10
    John and Mary
    I am not sure you could come up with 2 more simple and common names which were the top most popular baby names 100 years ago. I think people these days are trying to be a lot more creative since they've slipped from the top spot -- with John now at #57 and Mary not making the list.
    Photo credit: SurferGirl30/ Flickr

Photo credit: adapted from iStockPhoto

Source:  SocialSecurity.gov and BabyCenter.com

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