I’m very particular about names I choose for the characters in my books, and I really research them carefully before using them. In my genealogical mysteries, there are names of individuals who were born sometimes hundreds of years ago – and I check carefully to see which names were current, which were popular and which would never have been used.

I’m writing about someone who was born in 1900, and was thinking about what name I might give and so looked at which names were most common. I deviated a little and compared names in popularity for 1900 and 2014, and were surprised at the overlaps, particularly of boys names. However there are some current girls names which never appeared in 1900!

In the table below of the top ten names, the numbers in brackets are where that name appeared in the other table; an asterisk denotes a similar spelling.

1900 boys names 2014 boys names 1900 girls names 2014 girls names
1. William (10) Oliver (90) Mary (74) Amelia (74)
2. John (101) Jack (43) Florence (26) Olivia ( – )
3. George (7) Harry (15) Annie (115) Isla ( – )
4. Thomas (6) Jacob (109) Edith (122) Emily (21)
5. James (9) Charlie * (8) Alice (25) Poppy ( – )
6. Arthur (41) Thomas (4) Elizabeth (37) Ava ( – )
7. Frederick (81) George (3) Elsie (32) Isabella (60)
8. Charles (5) Oscar (199) Dorothy (360) Jessica ( – )
9. Albert (84) James (5) Ethel ( – ) Lily (17)
10. Robert (96) William (1) Doris ( – ) Sophie * (127)

 

If you haven’t yet read any of my genealogical mysteries, here is a link:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/s/ref=nb_sb_noss_1?url=search-alias%3Daps&field-keywords=lois+elsden

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