baby names 1800

Welcome to The Most Popular Baby Names of the 1800s!

Have you got a baby on the way? What about twin babies? Or triplets? Don’t worry, our team of expert baby namers have done the hard work for you by compiling this list of the Most Popular Baby Names during the 1800s. The Victorian era was a time of new discoveries and changes; it’s reflected in the popular names of the time, which generally took inspiration from famous and powerful people such as George Washington and comic heroines like Little Nell from Dickens’ The Old Curiosity Shop.

These are the most popular baby names from the 1800s.

What were the most popular names for boys and girls born in the 1800s? This list of the most popular names of boys and girls from the year 1800 to the year 1900 will give you a glimpse into what names people were giving their children during that timeframe.

Each decade of the 1800s saw its share of baby names, and new statistics show which names topped the list. Here’s the most popular baby names for each decade of the 1800s.

The following list is from the Social Security Administration’s baby names database. It is a snapshot of the most popular names in America during the 1800s, including boys’ names and girls’ names from 1880 to 1899.

The following table shows the 200 most popular given names for male and female babies born during the 1880s. For each rank and sex, the table shows the name and the number of occurrences of that name. The 200 most popular names were taken from a universe that includes 1,177,158 male births and 1,399,567 female births

Male Baby Names:

16. Albert
> Babies named 1880-1899: 28,128

Did you know that in the year 1880 alone, 1,493 baby boys were given the name Albert?

15. Fred
> Babies named 1880-1899: 29,872

During the end of the 19th century, the name Fred was most popular in 1888 with 1,665 boys claiming the name. The name Fred would become considerably more popular during the mid 1900s, before dropping into obscurity by the 1980s.

14. Arthur
> Babies named 1880-1899: 32,529

Between the years 1880 and 1899, the name Arthur was most prevalent in 1896. More than 1,800 newborn boys were given the name that year.

13. Walter
> Babies named 1880-1899: 37,680

A total of 1,755 boys were named Walter in the year 1880. It was one of the top 20 boys’ names through 1932, but by 1973 was not even among the top 100.

12. Harry
> Babies named 1880-1899: 43,979

Harry earned its badge of popularity in the year 1888, when 2,759 boys were given the name. By comparison, in 1880, 2,152 baby boys were given the name Harry.

11. Thomas
> Babies named 1880-1899: 44,865

The year 1882 was a good year for the name Thomas, with 2,610 boys claiming the name. Its peak in history, however, came much later. It was the eighth most popular name for a baby boy every year from 1940 to 1955.

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10. Edward
> Babies named 1880-1899: 45,166

During the late 1800s, Edward was most popular in the year 1882 with 2,477 boys having been given the name that year.

9. Henry
> Babies named 1880-1899: 45,803

Given the popularity of the novel Walden in the late 1800s, classic essayist Henry David Thoreau may have paved the way for the popularity of the name Henry, after his death in 1862. The name’s 19th century peak in popularity occurred in 1888 with 2,596 boys given the name.

8. Robert
> Babies named 1880-1899: 50,221

The name Robert was a hit between the years 1924 and 1939 and again in the year 1953 when it was the most popular name to give a baby boy. The name’s most popular year in the late 19th century was, specifically, 1898 when a total of 2,932 Roberts were born. Over the course of history, Robert would remain in the top 10 most popular male names every year from 1900 through 1989.

7. Joseph
> Babies named 1880-1899: 55,292

As the seventh most popular name in the late 19th century, Joseph hit its peak in 1898 with 3,171 boys being given the name, the sixth most popular boys’ name that year.

6. Frank
> Babies named 1880-1899: 59,685

Nearing the top five most popular names, Frank finished 1888 with 3,459 boys given the name, the most of any year that decade.

5. Charles
> Babies named 1880-1899: 83,504

Unlike many of the most popular names from the 19th century, the name Charles had its peak at the beginning of the decade, with 5,348 boys given the name in 1880.

4. George
> Babies named 1880-1899: 91,009

The name George hit its late-19th-century peak in 1882 with 5,193 baby boys given the name. It was the fourth most popular boys’ name that year. Today, it ranks 125th.

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3. James
> Babies named 1880-1899: 104,779

At last, we’ve reached the top three most popular male names from 1880-1899. James was most popular in 1880 with 5,927 baby boys given the name.

2. William
> Babies named 1880-1899: 157,125

The second most popular name in the late 19th century, William hit its peak in 1880 with a total of 9,532 baby boys. William has never fallen outside of the top 20 boys’ names.

1. John
> Babies named 1880-1899: 170,615

Finally, the most popular name during the late 1800s, John hit its peak in 1880 with 9,655 baby boys given the name that year. It remained one of the top 10 boys’ names for a century, and ranked 28th in 2016.

Female Baby Names:

17. Ruth
> Babies named 1880-1899: 38,165

Ruth reached its 19th century peak in the year 1898. It ranked as the fifth most popular name that year. Ruth only remained within the top 10 most popular names until the year 1930. Today it barely ranks among the top 300 girls’ names.

16. Grace
> Babies named 1880-1899: 39,031

In the 19th century, Grace was most popular in 1898, when it ranked 15th. Parents largely forgot about the name beginning in the 1930’s, but it was revived in the 90’s. In the years 2003 and 2004, Grace ranked as the 13th most popular baby girl’s name.

15. Ida
> Babies named 1880-1899: 39,495

The girl’s name Ida had its most popular year in the late 19th century in 1892, when 2,259 baby girls were given the name. Unfortunately, Ida’s popularity decreased after the year 1918. In fact, by 1986, Ida had fallen into total obscurity, and wasn’t even one of 1,000 most popular names that year, or any year since.

14. Bessie
> Babies named 1880-1899: 39,790

Perhaps Bessie is a name more strongly associated with the mental image we have of the 1800s. Bessie was most popular in 1898, when it ranked 16th. That peak, however, was short-lived. The name began to decrease in popularity by the early 20th century and became virtually non-existent by the 1970’s.

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13. Annie
> Babies named 1880-1899: 40,149

Annie was the fifth most popular girls’ name in the year 1881. The name became even more widespread later in the century. In the year 1898, a total of 2,470 baby girls were given the name Annie, over 1,000 more than in 1881.

12. Alice
> Babies named 1880-1899: 41,557

Alice experienced the most popularity in 1898 with 2,846 baby girls given the name. The name had staying power — Alice was in the top 100 most popular names all the way up until 1956. It did not regain that kind of popularity again until the year 2014, when it was the 98th most popular name. By 2016, it was 76th overall.

11. Clara
> Babies named 1880-1899: 43,190

This name Clara was hip in the year 1898 with a total of 2,731 baby girls given the name that year, ranking 14th. Interestingly, Clara was bumped out of the top 100 most popular names by 1939 but had a resurgence in the 2000’s, and was back in the top 100 by 2015.

10. Bertha
> Babies named 1880-1899: 43,388

While this name may have a negative connotation about weight thanks to the Big Bertha comic book character introduced in the 1980s or– even worse– the “Big Bertha” siege gun used by German soldiers in WWI, its original meaning is what caught the eyes of parents in the late 1800s. Bertha has Germanic origin, and stems from a word meaning “bright one.” After all, what parent wouldn’t want to name their daughter after intelligence?

9. Ethel
> Babies named 1880-1899: 46,319

Ethel fell within the top 10 most trendy names for a baby girl up until the year 1903. But the name’s popularity was short-lived. By 1976, its popularity had truly expired when it failed to even make the top 1,000 most popular names.

8. Minnie
> Babies named 1880-1899: 46,339

The name Minnie was in vogue at the end of the 19th century. In in the year 1886, it was the fifth most popular girls’ name. It fell off the map completely by the early 1970’s.

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7. Florence
> Babies named 1880-1899: 49,043

Florence is another name that you may correctly assume is circa the 1800s or early 1900s. The popularity of the name may have have been inspired by world-renowned nurse Florence Nightingale — she was alive during this time, and died in 1910.

6. Helen
> Babies named 1880-1899: 49,298

While it may seem old-fashioned today, the name Helen was chic in the late 1800’s. From 1895 through 1924, it was in the top three names given to newborn girls in the U.S. While the name was already widely used, it’s possible that parents were inspired by the legendary Helen Keller, after the young woman who triumphed above tremendous adversity.

5. Emma
> Babies named 1880-1899: 54,056

The name Emma follows an irregular path. After being wildly popular in the late 1800’s, it almost completely vanished. Rather than remaining in obscurity forever, it reappeared in the top 20 most popular names in the late 1990s. In 2008, it was the most popular girls’ name in America. It reclaimed that title in 2014 and hasn’t let go yet.

4. Elizabeth
> Babies named 1880-1899: 58,885

Elizabeth is a name that has yet to go out of style — it actually never fell outside the top 30 most popular names since at least 1880. In 2016, Elizabeth ranked as the 13th most popular girls’ name.

3. Margaret
> Babies named 1880-1899: 59,738

As the third most popular name in the late 1880’s, Margaret ranked as high as third in both 1891 and 1894. Margaret’s popularity persisted for years, having remained in the top 10 most popular names until the year 1939.

2. Anna
> Babies named 1880-1899: 93,420

Since the SSA began tracking data in 1880, the name Anna has never been less popular than 106th, in 1971. Its height of prominence occurred in the late 19th century. It ranked second among girls throughout the 1880s and 1890s. It fell out of the top 10 for the first time in 1921.

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1. Mary
> Babies named 1880-1899: 222,805

Nearly six percent of all baby girls born during the 1880s and 1890s decades were named Mary, making it the most popular female name in the late 19th century. A whopping 14,406 baby girls were given the name in the year 1898 alone. By comparison, there were only 5,773 baby girls given the second most popular name, Anna, that year.

Methodology

To identify the most popular names from the late 1800s, 24/7 Wall St. reviewed the 200 most popular girl and boy names from The Social Security Administration (SSA), which tracks the most popular names in each year beginning in 1880. The government recorded 3,752,926 female births, and 2,408,476 male births between 1880-1899. In order to secure a spot on this list, the following names had to fall within the top 16 most popular names for boys and the top 17 for girls, based off of how many times the name occurred.

Popular Baby Names 1800

If you had to guess what the most popular names were in the late 1800s, you’d probably dream up out-of-date names such as Virgil and Elmer, or Eula and Blanche. While each of those were definitely among the 200 most popular names in the late 19th century, they’re actually not anywhere near the top of the list.

In fact, most of the top five names for both boys and girls are ones that remain quite popular today. Surprised? So were we here at 24/7 Wall St.

Outside of the top five, many male names that were popular in the late 1800s remain common today while many of the female names are long gone. While nearly all of the boys’ names popular in the 19th century continue to be widely prevalent today, over half the 17 of most popular girl names — Florence, etc — were nearly extinct by the 1960s.

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The diversity among boys’ names is much lower than it is for girls’ names. The 15 most popular names for boys during the last two decades of the 19th century account for nearly half of all boys born at that time, while the 15 most popular girls’ names represent just over one quarter of all girls born then. William, for example — the second most popular boy name — was given to 157,125 baby boys in the 1880s and 1890s, whereas the second most popular girl name, Anna, was only given to 93,420 baby girls.

Popular names of the period 1880s

MalesFemales
RankNameNumberNameNumber
1John89,950Mary91,668
2William84,881Anna38,159
3James54,056Emma25,404
4George47,651Elizabeth25,006
5Charles46,656Margaret21,799
6Frank30,967Minnie21,724
7Joseph26,292Ida18,283
8Henry24,139Bertha18,263
9Robert24,074Clara17,717
10Thomas23,750Alice17,142
11Edward23,133Annie17,027
12Harry22,649Florence16,699
13Walter18,185Bessie15,373
14Arthur16,180Grace15,227
15Fred15,602Ethel14,866
16Albert14,375Sarah14,715
17Samuel9,129Ella13,936
18Clarence8,760Martha13,911
19Louis8,275Nellie13,761
20David7,569Mabel13,096
21Joe7,097Laura12,806
22Charlie7,091Carrie12,514
23Richard7,010Cora11,954
24Ernest6,700Helen11,496
25Roy6,565Maude11,454
26Will6,196Lillian11,270
27Andrew6,053Gertrude11,100
28Jesse6,003Rose11,064
29Oscar5,982Edna11,020
30Willie5,906Pearl10,903
31Daniel5,679Edith10,881
32Benjamin5,407Jennie10,220
33Carl5,227Hattie10,199
34Sam5,069Mattie9,844
35Alfred4,837Eva9,800
36Earl4,830Julia9,800
37Peter4,656Myrtle9,769
38Elmer4,627Louise9,596
39Frederick4,603Lillie9,467
40Howard4,349Jessie9,186
41Lewis4,341Frances9,182
42Ralph4,269Catherine8,915
43Herbert4,257Lula8,882
44Paul4,197Lena8,691
45Lee3,945Marie8,490
46Tom3,786Ada8,423
47Herman3,689Josephine7,732
48Martin3,595Fannie7,527
49Jacob3,566Lucy7,520
50Michael3,558Dora7,288
51Jim3,520Agnes7,237
52Claude3,504Maggie7,072
53Ben3,449Blanche6,925
54Eugene3,430Katherine6,922
55Francis3,244Elsie6,648
56Grover3,184Nora6,521
57Raymond3,135Mamie6,330
58Harvey3,123Rosa6,157
59Clyde3,034Stella6,130
60Edwin3,011Daisy6,054
61Edgar3,006May5,881
62Ed2,957Effie5,850
63Lawrence2,919Mae5,647
64Bert2,808Ellen5,402
65Chester2,699Nettie5,313
66Jack2,684Ruth5,298
67Otto2,679Alma5,190
68Luther2,619Della5,048
69Charley2,550Lizzie5,035
70Guy2,489Sadie4,915
71Floyd2,476Sallie4,840
72Ira2,379Nancy4,792
73Ray2,371Susie4,780
74Hugh2,355Maud4,201
75Isaac2,311Flora4,195
76Oliver2,287Irene4,002
77Patrick2,285Etta3,973
78Homer2,213Katie3,907
79Theodore2,176Lydia3,902
80Leonard2,144Lottie3,888
81Leo2,098Viola3,806
82Alexander2,081Caroline3,743
83August2,012Addie3,739
84Harold2,001Hazel3,644
85Allen1,998Georgia3,540
86Jessie1,843Esther3,476
87Archie1,816Mollie3,471
88Philip1,741Olive3,456
89Stephen1,684Willie3,397
90Horace1,650Harriet3,369
91Marion1,624Emily3,368
92Bernard1,616Charlotte3,311
93Anthony1,611Amanda3,280
94Julius1,605Kathryn3,276
95Warren1,580Lulu3,253
96Leroy1,574Susan3,231
97Clifford1,552Kate3,194
98Eddie1,526Nannie3,165
99Sidney1,505Jane2,971
100Milton1,479Amelia2,957
101Leon1,475Virginia2,948
102Alex1,451Mildred2,919
103Lester1,440Beulah2,866
104Emil1,434Eliza2,851
105Dan1,402Rebecca2,849
106Willis1,388Ollie2,832
107Everett1,374Belle2,648
108Dave1,339Ruby2,603
109Leslie1,292Pauline2,594
110Rufus1,283Matilda2,533
111Alvin1,256Theresa2,505
112Perry1,255Hannah2,480
113Lloyd1,254Henrietta2,480
114Victor1,242Ora2,391
115Calvin1,236Estella2,321
116Harrison1,235Leona2,151
117Norman1,235Augusta2,145
118Wesley1,186Eleanor2,136
119Jess1,182Rachel2,128
120Percy1,166Amy2,127
121Amos1,161Sara2,127
122Dennis1,107Anne2,126
123Jerry1,106Marion2,109
124Nathan1,106Iva2,108
125Franklin1,098Ann2,104
126Alonzo1,088Nina2,093
127Matthew1,068Dorothy2,088
128Mack1,062Lola2,054
129Earnest1,043Lela1,915
130Gus1,029Beatrice1,900
131Russell1,023Josie1,884
132Adam1,020Sophia1,865
133Jay1,016Estelle1,841
134Wallace1,009Mayme1,841
135Otis1,006Barbara1,820
136Stanley997Evelyn1,817
137Adolph994Maria1,732
138Jake972Inez1,633
139Roscoe969Allie1,606
140Maurice961Essie1,554
141Melvin960Delia1,546
142Gilbert957Mable1,544
143Ross951Millie1,527
144Willard939Alta1,523
145Mark928Betty1,519
146Levi927Callie1,515
147Wilbur914Janie1,491
148Cornelius911Rosie1,485
149Jose911Victoria1,440
150Aaron910Ola1,421
151Elbert905Gladys1,420
152Emmett901Louisa1,420
153Phillip898Ina1,406
154Morris895Eula1,396
155Noah895Luella1,384
156Claud881Vera1,365
157Clinton867Lou1,364
158Felix863Celia1,363
159Moses859Nell1,345
160Elijah856Goldie1,327
161Nelson849Winifred1,309
162Simon841Bettie1,298
163Lonnie832Hilda1,280
164Virgil827Sophie1,267
165Hiram825Christine1,266
166Jasper820Marguerite1,256
167Marshall804Tillie1,254
168Manuel802Birdie1,237
169Sylvester796Rena1,219
170Fredrick783Eunice1,216
171Mike779Bertie1,153
172Abraham776Olga1,116
173Silas775Sylvia1,109
174Irvin770Lucille1,108
175Max765Bess1,099
176Owen758Isabelle1,092
177Christopher752Genevieve1,088
178Reuben742Leila1,079
179Glenn731Mathilda1,065
180Nicholas730Dollie1,063
181Ellis728Isabel1,053
182Marvin726Verna1,052
183Wiley726Bernice1,037
184Eli721Loretta1,036
185Edmund708Rhoda1,024
186Ollie706Cornelia1,020
187Cecil705Sally1,010
188Cleveland702Jean1,000
189Curtis695Alberta992
190Timothy693Winnie989
191Harley685Lelia987
192Jeff685Lois954
193Anton674Myra953
194Alva663Harriett938
195Wilson660Roxie933
196Irving654Adeline932
197Clayton653Abbie929
198Rudolph652Flossie924
199Vernon636Sue918
200Hubert634Christina916
Source: 100% sample based on Social Security card application data as of of March 2021. See the limitations of this data source.

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