My Favorite Baby Girl Names from 100 Years Ago

I’m still frantically combing every resource I can find for a name for this baby. Which, of course, includes the social security name website. And I found myself wondering what names were popular exactly 100 years ago in 1912.

Sleeping Infant

Let me tell you what people were naming their children in 1912 – OLD people names. There are many names on there that I just can’t see making a comeback (I’d give some examples, but invariably it would be the name you have chosen for your soon-to-be-born child and then I’d feel badly).

But all is not dentures on this list; there are some great names from 1912.

Out of the 1000 most popular names from that year, here are the baby girl names I like most:

  • Hazel (#25) This name had its heyday around the turn of the 20th century, topping out at #18 in 1897, before dropping like a rock during the ’60s and ’70s, disappearing entirely off the top 1000 list for twenty years, and then making a rapid comeback, ending up at #211 last year (oh, was that more than you wanted to know about this name?).
  • Clara (#34) My husband loves this name and probably would happily name our next daughter this.
  • Ella (#69) This is the pseudonym I use for my daughter online. I just think it’s such a pretty, feminine name.
  • Kathryn (#71) I’m not usually wild about names that use a “Y” in the middle, but in this case I’ll make an exception.
  • Charlotte (#91) This is one of my very favorite names, but my husband is not a fan.
  • Madeline (#124) What librarian could resist this name? Not this one!
  • Christine (#123 ) This is my middle name, so it’s possible I’m just slightly partial to it . . .
  • Lela (#184) My great-grandmother carried this name, and I’ve always had a special spot in my heart for it.
  • Lily (#291) “Lillian” is a version of this name I adore too.
  • Rae (#412) I like the mix of traditional and unusual on this one.
  • Renee (#727) I really love names with a French vibe.
  • Juliet (#773) Could I really name a daughter after the star-crossed lover? I’m not sure, but I do think it’s a pretty name.
  • Lyla (#855) Apparently I really gravitate toward names that start with “L” since three of the thirteen names on this list start with that letter.

Okay, okay, I’ll share one that I’m pretty sure is gone for good. “Fannie,” anyone? I thought not.

You can read more of Janssen’s writing at Everyday Reading and on Twitter.

Tags: Baby Names

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