We dug deep into our huge collection of historical records at MyHeritage to find out what the most popular baby girl names have been in the UK over the last 100 years. The MyHeritage database contains a whopping 19.6 billion historical records, with new collections being added each day. By researching the England & Wales, Birth Index, 1837-2005 on MyHeritage, we identified some interesting trends about baby girl names, and we’re eager to share our discoveries with you!
We picked out the top 20 baby girl names from each decade for close to a century, giving you a glimpse of the names that have been loved and cherished through the times. It’s fascinating to see which names have stood the test of time!
Check out the changes and trends through this neat visualization:
Margaret, Joan, Mary — Royalty-Inspired Trends of the 1920s and 30s
In this era, the names Margaret, Joan, and Mary were the stars of the show. Margaret, in particular, had a rich history of being associated with royalty and prominent figures, reigning supreme till the early 50s. Its popularity waned significantly in the subsequent years, with the name ranking in the 300s in 2020.
Patricia and More — Princess-Led Baby Name Trends, 1933-1942
The 30s ushered in a Patricia fever, largely attributed to the prominence of Princess Patricia of Connaught, Queen Victoria’s granddaughter.
Susan, A Timeless Favorite — The Names Shaping the 1940s and 50s
As we stepped into this decade, Susan emerged as a beloved choice, a sweet and classic name derived from Susannah, meaning “lily”. Although it has seen a dip in recent times, its historic popularity is undeniable, with remarkable figures like Susan B. Anthony crusader for women’s suffrage in the United States in the early late 1800s bearing the name.
Christine, Linda — Mid-Century Charm in 1950s and 60s Baby Names
During this period, Susan remained a hot pick, and we saw Christine and Linda entering the limelight as well.
Julie, Karen — The Signature Names of the 1960s and 70s
The 60s and early 70s marked the rise of Julie and Karen. Surprisingly, recent research suggests that Karen might become extinct in the coming generations.
Sarah, Emma, Claire — Classic Elegance in 1970s and 80s Naming Trends
Sarah burst onto the scene in the 70s, carving out a lasting legacy as one of the all-time favorite names for baby girls in the UK. The likes of Emma and Claire were also popular choices during this time.
Sarah, Laura, Emma — Continuity and Grace in the 80s and 90s
Sarah continued to win hearts, alongside Laura and Emma, proving that classic names have a timeless allure.
Chloe’s Rise — Dominant Baby Girl Names of the 90s and Early 2000s
The 90s saw the surge of Chloe, a name echoing blossoming and empowerment, resonating well with the ‘girl power’ message widely propagated during this era, partially thanks to iconic groups like the Spice Girls. Jessica and Lauren were also top contenders in this decade.
Chloe, Jessica, Emily — New Millennium Favorites, 2003-2012
Entering the new millennium, Chloe managed to retain its crown, with Jessica and Emily making strong appearances on the charts.
Names can be like echoes from the past, revisiting us in waves of nostalgia and historical significance. As we’ve seen, societal shifts and cultural trends greatly influence the names we choose for the newest generations. Yet, as with fashion, we often witness a revival of old favorites, making a sweet comeback, connecting generations in a unique way. It’ll be interesting to see which of these names make a triumphant return in the years to come.
Learn more about which names are in your family tree at www.myheritage.com/research.
Source: My Heritage