01 December 2022
Find out how popular your name was in 1900 and 1950 with National Records of Scotland data taken from names appearing in the statutory registers.
Computerised indexes to the birth registers have been used to analyse chosen first forenames in Scotland in the years 1900, 1950 and 1975.
The top ten names for boys in 1900 and 1950 are remarkably similar. The top eight names are the same; and the top four names (John, James, William and Robert) have the same positions.
For girls the similarity is less striking, though the top three names are the same, albeit in a different order. Three further names, Agnes, Catherine and Helen, appear in both lists and Annie is replaced by Anne.
Only four of the top ten boys' names for 1950 appear in the 1975 list; and only one of these, James, is also present in 2000. Only James and Andrew appear in both the 1975 and 2000 lists.
The comparisons for girls reveal a complete change between 1950 and 1975 and again between 1975 and 2000.
Table of top 100 names for boys and girls in 1900
Table of top 100 names for boys and girls in 1950
The Registrar General's registration records, which date back to 1855, have been augmented to include a computerised index to the Church of Scotland parish registers back to 1553. This has enabled customers to analyse the frequency of occurrence of Scottish forenames and surnames over four centuries. For further information on the availability of data please contact Statistics Customer Services by e-mail.
The above data is published with the kind permission of National Records of Scotland. It is taken from the Occasional Paper 'Popular forenames in Scotland 1900-2000' by G W L Jackson BSc MA and G L Donnelly BSc.
Scottish Baby Names: Names From Scotland For Girls and Boys by Jeffrey Fisher
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Originally published October 2017. Reviewed December 2022.