The Quick 10: Top 10 Baby Boy Names of the 1880s


As you guys are reading this, I'm out on maternity leave.  But as I write this, I'm really about three weeks away from having a baby.  So you can imagine that my life is revolving around washing tiny pink articles of clothing and putting together previously-foreign objects like Pack "˜N' Plays at the moment. 

One thing we don't have to worry about: picking out the baby's name. We settled on a name pretty early on and we made sure to avoid ones that were on the top 10 list for 2010. Don't get me wrong "“ I love some of those names, but I didn't want our kid to be one of five Avas in her kindergarten class in a few years.  When I checked out the top 10 list, though, I discovered that you can go all the way back to the 1880s and see what was popular back in the day.  I thought you guys might find it interesting, so here are the top 10 boy names in the U.S. from the 1880s.

1.  John, with 89,949 babies named that, which was about 7.6 percent of the male babies born that decade.  Actor John Barrymore "“ Drew's grandpa "“ was born on February 15, 1882.

2.  William "“ 84,881 babies, about 7.2 percent of male babies. William is #8 on the 2010 list of boy names, so it's definitely an enduring name!

3.  James - 54,062 babies, about 4.6 percent of male babies.

4.  George "“ 47,650 babies, about 4.04 percent of male babies.

5.  Charles "“ 46,660 babies, about 3.96 of male babies.

6. Frank "“ 30,967 babies, about 2.63 percent of male babies. If you include Franklin, FDR is one of the 30,967 babies who received this name in the 1880s. The 32nd American President was born on January 30, 1882.

7.  Joseph "“ 26,294 babies, about 2.23 percent of male babies.  You can count Shoeless Joe Jackson among those Josephs "“ he was born on July 16, 1888.

8. Henry "“ 24,139 babies, about 2.05 percent of male babies.  This would include Henry A. Wallace, Vice President (and Iowan!) under FDR, who was born on October 7, 1888.

9. Robert "“ 24,079 babies, about 2.04 percent of male babies.

10. Thomas "“ 23,751 babies, about 2.02 percent of male babies.

See Also: 8 Countries With Baby Naming Laws. Tomorrow: The Girls of the 1880s!

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