Saturday, June 23, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun with Names

Okay well I'm way behind (as usual) in my blog, but I found this Saturday Night Genealogy Fun as posted by Randy Seaver last week that looked interesting:

Your mission, should you decide to accept it, is to:

1)  Go to the Popular Baby Name page on the Find the Best website at

2)  Enter your given name into the search box, click the appropriate gender button, and click on the "All" Decade button.  Note the results for your given name.

3)  Tell us about how the popularity of your name has changed over the decades.  Were you named during the buildup, the height, or the drawdown of the popularity of your given name?

4)  Share your results in a blog post of your own, in comments to this blog post, or in a Facebook status or Google+ Stream post.


1. My given name is Beth
            1880s: rank 770, percent with name 0.0055%, # of babies: 77
            1890s: rank 595, percent with name 0.0102%, # of babies: 240
            1900s: rank 612, percent with name 0.0108%, # of babies: 334
            1910s: rank 389, percent with name 0.0238%, # of babies: 2,027
            1920s: rank 386, percent with name 0.025%, # of babies: 3,100
            1930s: rank 354, percent with name 0.03%,   # of babies: 3,313
            1940s: rank 239, percent with name 0.0581%, # of babies: 8,653
            1950s: rank 125, percent with name 0.1723%, # of babies: 33,980
            1960s: rank 66, percent with name 0.309%, # of babies: 58,378
            1970s: rank 110, percent with name 0.1754%, # of babies: 28,867
            1980s: rank 183, percent with name 0.0833%, # of babies: 15,368
            1990s: rank 689, percent with name 0.0157%, # of babies: 3,087

So Beth peaked in the 1960s with a rank of 66, which is before I was born in the 1970s. 

Of course I could've also looked at Elizabeth, Bethany, Bethel, Elisabeth and Lizbeth. By far Elizabeth is the most popular name of all the previous ones mentioned. Elizabeth comes in 4th in the 1880s, 5th in the 1890s, 12th in the 1970s, etc. Elizabeth was lowest in the 1940s and 1950s at 21st place and 25th place, which is still WAY above my name Beth in any decade. I'm sure most of you reading this have an ancestor named Elizabeth. 

This was interesting, although a somewhat time consuming process.