New Jersey family with 12 children (all girls!)


In 1957, Mrs. William Beston of Morristown, New Jersey, had gave birth to her twelfth daughter.

What are the odds of having 12 daughters and no sons? If the probability of having a girl is 1/2, then the probably of having a dozen girls in a row is 1/4096, or about .0244% — less than three-hundredths of a percent. Pretty slim, in other words.

What were the names of the Beston girls?

  1. (died in infancy)
  2. Patricia, 12
  3. Eileen, 11
  4. Regina, 9
  5. Carol, 8
  6. Joann, 7
  7. Gertrude, 6
  8. Delores, 5
  9. Betty Lou, 4
  10. Catherine, 3
  11. Levinia, 13 months
  12. Madonna Grace, newborn

Of the 11 names above, which is your favorite?

If you had a dozen daughters, what would their names be?


  • “It’s a Big Day for Bestons–Twelfth Daughter Joins Family.” Spokane Daily Chronicle 16 Sep. 1957: 20.
  • “Woman Gives Birth To 12th Daughter; Has No Sons.” Port Angeles Evening News 12 Sept. 1957: 4.

18 thoughts on “New Jersey family with 12 children (all girls!)

  1. Regina is my favorite on her list.

    I wrote down the first 12 names I thought of, and here they are in alphabetical order:

    Audrey, Carly, Cordelia, Elena, Eliza, Georgia, Lindy, Louisa, Lydia, Marina, Ramona, and Regina. Jane also came to mind. I definitely have a naming style.

    If I were doing boys (which I found much harder to come up with 12): Derek, Ezekiel, Franklin, Garrett, Jedidiah, Josiah, Luke, Malcolm, Peter, Philip, Walter, and Yuri. The naming style here is a little more subtle.

  2. Betty Lou is too cute for me to resist, so I’m going to say that’s my favorite. If I had twelve girls, I think they’d be Cora, Phoebe, Edith, Helen, Agatha, Imogen, Jane, Annie, Maud, Penelope, Louisa, and Della. Twelve boys would be a lot easier for me to name than twelve girls.

    On a random but kind of related note, my gg grandfather came from a family of ten: nine boys in a row and the youngest being the only girl. The odds of nine boys in a row are less than 1% too… Not as rare as twelve in a row though.

  3. That’s a great question! My girls, from oldest to youngest:
    Sophia, Maeve, Josephine, Marguerite, Olga, Aoife, Nadia, Jenny, Rachel, Hildegard, Sarah Ann, Marita.

    My boys: Leo, Raphael, Benedict, Joseph, Vincent, Anthony, Nicodemus, Gabriel, Patrick, Malcolm, Blake, Finn

  4. My favorite is Betty Lou, it so spunky :)

    Off the top of my head, I would have;

  5. Catherine is my favorite, so classic. If I named 12 girls they would be: Paige, Bronwyn, Meredith, Nina, Lauren Grace, Alexandra, Gwendolen, Audrey, Brynna, Maeve, Caroline, Eleanor. Wow! That was hard!

  6. I think Delores is my favorite, but Betty Lou is a close second!

    If I had twelve daughters… I would go insane. But I would hopefully have the sense to give them lovely names before hand. If I did, I would want to name them (alphabetically) Anaïs, Blanche, Cecily, Daphne, Esther, Genevivea (not sure on spelling), Heloise, Lenore, Noémie, Ophelia, Phillippa (Pippa), and Thérese.

  7. I love this game & unisex names.. my pick is Joann

    my 12 daughters = Alexcia, Alexandra, Athena, Aaliyah, Jennifer, Kyle, Kaylan, Kameron, Kacey, Fatima, Felicity & Grace< cause it would be by GOD's grace to see me through raising 12 girls,lol

    12 sons= Andrew, Alec, Alexander, Bryce, Thomas, Marcel, Mark, Kyle, Kameron, Gerald, Josh, Robert

  8. Alva, Berit, Georgina, Helena, Idony, Freja, Tova, Clara, Dahlia, Ramona, Vera, Annika.

    Rune, Gregory, Lionel, Abram, Karl, Conrad, David, Eilif, Fredrick, Henning, Ivor, Raphael.

  9. Beatrice, Nina, Annette, Lana, Mary (or maybe Marina), Sabine, Linda Lou, Corinne, Suzanna, Dolly (Dolores or Dahlia), Tess (Theresa) and Vera.

    I would love to have a dozen daughters! But being pregnant is not something I enjoy!

  10. What fun! Lately I have grown fond of Gertrude. When coming up with 12 girl names, my problem is a lot of the names I like are similar. For example, I just love Felicity and Cecily, but find them too similar for sisters. In fact I wonder if Felicity and Cecilia are even too similar for sisters, but maybe the pair would work for twins.

    Another problem is I love names that are either really short and spunky old-fashioned or really long and feminista old-fashioned, making it hard to create 12 cohesive names that don’t come across as a disjointed set. Here goes:

    1. Ione
    2. Effie
    3. Cecily
    4. Alta
    5. Vada
    6. Tova
    7. Louisa
    8. Geraldine
    9. Susanna nn Sukie
    10. Martha
    11. Polly
    12. Flora

  11. If I had 12 girls I would name them

    Polly kayla
    Racheal mirah
    Mandy Diana
    Lizzy ashley
    April sarah

  12. If I had 12 Girls there First and Middle Names are
    1. Roxanne Elizabeth
    2. Cassandra Jean
    3. Amber Rose
    4. Kelly Sue
    5. Brittany Ruth
    6. Cynthia Ann
    7. Pollyanna May
    8. Sarah Diane
    9. Margaret Fern
    10. Josephine Ruby
    11. Jenna Dawn
    12. Allison Nicole

    If I had 12 Boys There First and Middle Names are
    1. Jonathon Carlton
    2. Matthew Parker
    3. Harold Raymond
    4. Theodore Davis
    5. Adam Lee
    6. Zachary Duff
    7. Colin Quinn
    8. Nolan Victor
    9. Spencer William
    10. Joshua Joseph
    11. Donald Martin
    12. Oliver Bennett

  13. 1. Lucia Marie (Lucy)
    2. Hope Ann
    3. Cecily Jean
    4. Virginia (Ginny)
    5. Elizabeth (Lizzie)
    6. Jude
    7. Danielle (Dani)
    8. Dee-Ane
    9. Caroline
    10. Naomi
    11. Quinn
    12. Ruthie

    1. Simon Benji
    2. Peter John
    3. Timothy Patrick
    4. Gary Michael (Mickey)
    5. Andrew David (Drew)
    6. Calvin Thomas
    7. Gilbert Blythe
    8. Fitzwiliiam
    9. James
    10. Luke
    11. Leonard (Leo)
    12. Thomas

  14. Evelyn

  15. Charlotte

  16. Regina is my favorite.

    My 12 names would be:


  17. I want 13 kids. If they were all girls, I’d name them:
    1. Anika Brooklyn
    2. Claire Destyni
    3. Evelyn Fiona
    4. Gina Hope
    5. Isabelle Jade
    6. Kailette Luna
    7. Mandy Nichelle
    8. Olive Prudence
    9. Quinn Rylee
    10. Serena Taylor
    11. Ursula Virginia
    12. Waverly Xena
    13. Yvonne Zoe

    If they were boys I’d name them
    1. Allen Brock
    2. Corran Dexter
    3. Ethan Francis
    4. Grant Hunter
    5. Isaac James
    6. Kaden Luke
    7. Matthew Nolan
    8. Oliver Parker
    9. Quenten Rodney
    10. Spencer Tyson
    11. Ulysses Vincent
    12. William Xavier
    13. Yestin Zachary

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