Baby Names From the 1900s

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The beginning of a new century marked a new era for America in many ways, but not when it came to parents choosing names for their babies. In fact, the most popular names for boys and girls in the decade between 1900 and 1910 were the same choices that had been the most popular for the last 20 years — ever since the U.S. Social Security Administration started tracking the popularity of baby names.


Top 10 Boys

John was the most popular name choice for baby boys between 1900 and 1910. This was the third decade in a row that it was the most popular choice for parents. In fact, John was not dethroned until the 1920s. The name, which means “God is gracious,” was given to 84,598 baby boys in the U.S. during the 1900s, according to the Social Security Administration. William was a distant second, with 69,326 baby boys given the name, followed by James, George, Charles, Robert, Joseph, Frank, Edward and Thomas.

Top 10 Girls

Mary is the undisputed queen of baby girl names throughout nearly two centuries. She was the top choice for parents of little girls from the 1880s, when the U.S. Social Security Department began tracking baby name choices, to the 1960s, when she was finally usurped by Lisa. From 1900 to 1910, 161,499 baby girls were named Mary. Helen was far behind Mary that decade, with 69,423 baby girls given the name. Margaret, Anna, Ruth, Elizabeth, Dorothy, Marie, Florence and Mildred rounded out the top 10.

Other Names

Henry, Walter, Harry, Willie and Arthur came in at numbers 11 through 15, while Albert, Clarence, Fred, Harold and Paul rounded out the top 20 boys’ names from the 1900s. Alice, Ethel, Lillian, Gladys and Edna were numbers 11 through 15 for the girls, while Frances, Rose, Annie, Grace and Bertha finished up the top 20 girls’ names.

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