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Baby Names Before 1850

March 3, 2016 Pamela Redmond
vintage baby names

Records on baby names only started in the US in 1880, and so getting an accurate read on what babies were named before that has been difficult at best. But now a researcher named Douglas Galbi has compiled lists of baby names drawn from census records of the early 19th century. With the help of Esita Rocha, we combed through Galbi’s data on baby names from 1800 to 1850 in search of trends, patterns, and vintage baby names that go way beyond the expected John and Mary, Elizabeth and James. Here, our findings, illustrated by American folk art of the same period.   — Pamela Redmond Satran

Popular Names

While Mary and John held tight to the Number 1 spots through the first half of the 19th century, many of the most popular names of the era are popular and stylish again today, some of them after a long decline (or two) and rebirth. These include, for girls: Alice, Charlotte, Clara, Emily, Isabella, Julia, Laura, and Sophia, and for boys: Benjamin, Charles, Daniel, Henry, Jacob, James, Samuel, and William.

About the author

Pamela Redmond

Pamela Redmond is the cocreator and CEO of Nameberry. The coauthor of ten bestselling baby name books, Redmond is an internationally-recognized name expert, quoted and published widely in such media outlets as the New York Times, the Wall Street Journal, The Today Show,, CNN, and the BBC. Redmond is also a New York Times bestselling novelist whose books include Younger, the basis for the hit television show of the same name.

View all of Pamela Redmond's articles

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