How popular is the baby name Sarah in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Sarah.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Sarah


Posts that Mention the Name Sarah

Popular baby names in Austin (Texas), 2017

Austin, Texas

A few days ago, I stumbled upon a set of baby name data for Austin, Texas, for the year 2017. While it isn’t current, it does seem to be complete — so it includes hundreds of rare and single-use names (which are always fascinating!).

The data accounts for nearly 19,900 births (9,733 girls and 10,163 boys), and features nearly 6,100 names (3,431 given to girls, 2,656 given to boys).

According to this data, which comes from the City of Austin’s Open Data Portal, the top baby names in the capital of Texas five years ago were Emma and James.

Here are Austin’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2017:

Girl Names

  1. Emma, 98 baby girls
  2. Isabella, 88
  3. Olivia, 84
  4. Mia, 81
  5. Evelyn, 77
  6. Sophia, 75
  7. Ava, 73
  8. Abigail, 59 (tie)
  9. Charlotte, 59 (tie)
  10. Emily, 58
  11. Camila, 56 (tie)
  12. Elizabeth, 56 (tie)
  13. Harper, 53
  14. Amelia, 52
  15. Penelope, 51 (tie)
  16. Sofia, 51 (tie)
  17. Scarlett, 46
  18. Ella, 45
  19. Avery, 43 (tie)
  20. Zoe, 43 (tie)
  21. Lillian, 41
  22. Layla, 40 (tie)
  23. Madison, 40 (tie)
  24. Eleanor, 39
  25. Victoria, 38
  26. Allison, 37
  27. Claire, 36 (3-way tie)
  28. Elena, 36 (3-way tie)
  29. Luna, 36 (3-way tie)
  30. Aria, 35 (tie)
  31. Chloe, 35 (tie)
  32. Ellie, 34 (tie)
  33. Katherine, 34 (tie)
  34. Samantha, 33
  35. Hannah, 30 (4-way tie)
  36. Hazel, 30 (4-way tie)
  37. Mila, 30 (4-way tie)
  38. Stella, 30 (4-way tie)
  39. Leah, 29
  40. Cora, 28 (5-way tie)
  41. Genesis, 28 (5-way tie)
  42. Grace, 28 (5-way tie)
  43. Natalie, 28 (5-way tie)
  44. Ximena, 28 (5-way tie)
  45. Clara, 27 (3-way tie)
  46. Eliana, 27 (3-way tie)
  47. Ruby, 27 (3-way tie)
  48. Audrey, 26 (tie)
  49. Sarah, 26 (tie)
  50. Alexa, 25 (3-way tie)
  51. Everly, 25 (3-way tie)
  52. Lily, 25 (3-way tie)

Boy Names

  1. James, 104 baby boys
  2. Noah, 85
  3. Daniel, 83
  4. Benjamin, 82
  5. William, 80
  6. Oliver, 75
  7. Liam, 74
  8. Alexander, 73
  9. Sebastian, 70
  10. Henry, 67
  11. Elijah, 66 (tie)
  12. Mateo, 66 (tie)
  13. Ethan, 65
  14. Jackson, 63
  15. Anthony, 61
  16. Jacob, 60
  17. Aiden, 59 (tie)
  18. Luke, 59 (tie)
  19. David, 58 (tie)
  20. Samuel, 58 (tie)
  21. John, 56
  22. Isaac, 55 (tie)
  23. Julian, 55 (tie)
  24. Michael, 54
  25. Charles, 53 (3-way tie)
  26. Jack, 53 (3-way tie)
  27. Matthew, 53 (3-way tie)
  28. Jose, 52 (tie)
  29. Joshua, 52 (tie)
  30. Wyatt, 50
  31. Aaron, 49 (4-way tie)
  32. Grayson, 49 (4-way tie)
  33. Joseph, 49 (4-way tie)
  34. Levi, 49 (4-way tie)
  35. Dylan, 48
  36. Hudson, 47
  37. Josiah, 46 (3-way tie)
  38. Logan, 46 (3-way tie)
  39. Santiago, 46 (3-way tie)
  40. Jayden, 45
  41. Nathan, 44
  42. Christopher, 43 (tie)
  43. Thomas, 43 (tie)
  44. Andrew, 42 (4-way tie)
  45. Gabriel, 42 (4-way tie)
  46. Luis, 42 (4-way tie)
  47. Owen, 42 (4-way tie)
  48. Lucas, 41
  49. Adrian, 40 (3-way tie)
  50. Axel, 40 (3-way tie)
  51. Christian, 40 (3-way tie)

On the girls’ list, Allison caught my eye. It ranked 26th in Austin in 2017, but 61st nationally the same year. Interesting.

Further down on the boys’ list was Austin itself, in 95th place — vs. 75th nationally — with 21 baby boys. Much further down was Texas, with 2 baby boys.

And now it’s time for the unique names!

One-of-a-kind names were given to 24% of the baby girls and 17% of the baby boys born in Austin in 2017. Here’s a sampling of the names that were bestowed just once:

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Aubrion, Autry, Blue Jay, Cadeau, Ceiba, Dulceluna, Eeriemoon, Fiza, Gilana, Holleen, Itzigueri, Jill, Kasleen, Lillabee, L’Oreal, Mauzie, Millioni, Nincye, Nobelina, Orchid, Princess Plethora, Qiwei, Roshnee, Scepter, Shanze, Thais, Tsumugi, Umutoni, Vyga, Wengiel, Xyzla, Ynafets, ZieglindAshton Alchimist, Bruges, Cayenne, Dalbus, Eames, Fenghua, Ganesh, Getsai, Hackett, Itzae, Jizael, Kavelli Kaine, Linnaeus, Linux, Mazoree, Mistral, Naranna, Nimbus, Olince, Penn, Qhing, Rigveda, Shooter, Syphax, Tavoric, Templar, Urfan, Vetri, Wajahat, Xavi, Yoonbin, Zaxton

Some possible explanations/associations for a few of the above:

  • Cadeau is the French word for “present, gift.”
  • Ceiba is a type of tree.
  • Tsumugi Shirogane is a character from the 2017 video game Danganronpa V3: Killing Harmony.
  • Ynafets is “Stefany” spelled backwards.
  • Bruges is the capital of West Flanders (a province of Belgium).
  • Mistral is a strong late-winter wind in southern France.
  • The Rigveda is a sacred Hindu text.

I’ve never posted rankings for Austin before, but I have posted rankings recently for two nearby Texas cities: Houston (which is more than twice the size of Austin, population-wise) and College Station (which is about an eighth of the size of Austin).

Sources: From Aadhav to Zyva: 6,087 Names of Babies Born in Austin in 2017 | Open Data | City of Austin Texas, Wiktionary
Image by MJ Tangonan on Unsplash

Popular baby names in Armenia, 2021

Armenia

The landlocked country of Armenia is located in Western Asia and bordered by Turkey, Georgia, Azerbaijan, and Iran.

Last year, Armenia welcomed over 36,600 babies — about 17,600 girls and about 19,000 boys.

What were the most popular names among these babies? Nare and Davit.

Here are Armenia’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Nare, 758 baby girls – a diminutive of Narine (which ranked 49th)
  2. Maria, 635
  3. Arpi, 540
  4. Mane, 493
  5. Angelina, 444
  6. Marie, 402
  7. Yeva, 396
  8. Mariam, 357
  9. Anahit, 338 – an Armenian goddess (related to the Persian goddess Anahita)
  10. Anna, 305
  11. Sofi, 302
  12. Ani, 294
  13. Ellen, 284
  14. Milena, 279
  15. Lyusie, 277
  16. Eva, 263
  17. Ariana, 259
  18. Adriana, 247
  19. Luse, 245
  20. Tatev, 237 – from the name of the Tatev monastery
  21. Yana, 231
  22. Gayane, 226
  23. Nane, 224 – an Armenian goddess
  24. Milla, 202
  25. Arina, 193
  26. Emily, 187
  27. Elina, 186 (tie)
  28. Sona, 186 (tie)
  29. Lilit, 176
  30. Natalie, 170
  31. Sarah, 160
  32. Amelie, 155
  33. Hasmik, 153 – means “jasmine” in Armenian
  34. Lia, 152
  35. Arevik, 148
  36. Mary, 146
  37. Susanna, 136
  38. Viktoria, 134
  39. Monika, 130
  40. Gohar, 123
  41. Karina, 112
  42. Lili, 100
  43. Sofia, 98
  44. Karine, 92
  45. Lusine, 89 (tie) – based on the Armenian word lusin, meaning “moon”
  46. Anush, 89 (tie) – means “sweet” in Armenian
  47. Lucy, 88
  48. Sofya, 83 (tie)
  49. Narine, 83 (tie)
  50. Astghik, 82 – an Armenian goddess whose name is a diminutive of the Old Armenian word for “star”

Boy Names

  1. Davit, 1,275 baby boys
  2. Narek, 859
  3. Monte, 647
  4. Tigran, 584 – a form of Tigranes, the name of several ancient Armenian kings
  5. Areg, 564
  6. Hayk, 550
  7. Mark, 507
  8. Michael, 448
  9. Alex, 385
  10. Aren, 355
  11. Armen, 346
  12. Robert, 339
  13. Daniel, 326
  14. Gor, 323
  15. Arthur, 321
  16. Aram, 318
  17. Leo, 310
  18. Hovhannes, 303
  19. Samvel, 298
  20. Alen, 287
  21. Ashot, 255 (tie)
  22. Arman, 255 (tie)
  23. Levon, 252
  24. Erik, 232
  25. Gevorg, 219
  26. Gagik, 213
  27. Vahe, 209
  28. Arsen, 195
  29. Sargis, 186
  30. Artiom, 176
  31. Vardan, 154
  32. Karen, 152 – In Armenia, Karen is a male name! (Tell that to the manager!) It’s a short form of the Armenian name Garegin/Karekin.
  33. Avet, 150
  34. Albert, 126
  35. Andranik, 118
  36. Van, 116 – possibly from the name of Lake Van…?
  37. Suren, 115
  38. Raphael, 110
  39. Max, 105
  40. Ruben, 100 (tie)
  41. Hakob, 100 (tie)
  42. Alexandr, 97
  43. Mher, 95
  44. Grigor, 94
  45. Harutyun, 90
  46. Vahan, 80 – means “shield” in Armenian
  47. Edgar, 75
  48. Menua, 73 (tie) – the name of an ancient Armenian king
  49. Henry, 73 (tie)
  50. Noy, 67

Here’s a link to Armenia’s 2020 rankings, if you’d like to compare last year to the year before.

Sources: Statistical Committee of the Republic of Armenia (2021 pdf), Behind the Name
Image by DenisStreltsov from Pixabay

The Inskipp family of England

Trafalgar Square, London, 1839

In 1835, Charles Inskipp, a portrait painter who lived in southeast England, married Sarah Anne Baker. The couple went on to welcome at least six children:

  1. Emily, b. 1836
  2. Harold, b. 1837
  3. Napoleon Tristram Shandy, b. 1839
  4. Corregio [sic] Quinton, b. 1841
  5. Rembrandt Claude, b. 1844
  6. Boadicea Mary, b. 1848

Their last four children were evidently named after…

  • French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte & the English novel Tristram Shandy,
  • Italian painter Correggio (in full: Antonio Allegri da Correggio),
  • Dutch painter Rembrandt (in full: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn), and
  • British queen Boadicea (who led a rebellion against the Romans circa 60 A.D.).

I’m not sure why Charles and Sarah switched to conspicuously famous names after their second baby, but, given Charles’ occupation, I’m not surprised that two of those names refer to painters.

What are your thoughts on this sibset?

Sources: Eccentric Inskip Names – Inskip One-Name Study Blog, FamilySearch

Common Amish names: Jacob, Malinda, Benuel, Naomi

Amish man in a buggy

Which names are the most common among the Amish?

The simplest answer is “Biblical names,” but that’s not the full answer.

Because certain Biblical names are preferred over others, and Biblical names aren’t used exclusively.

Plus, the prevalence of a name could vary depending upon the specific Amish settlement you’re talking about.

I’ve gathered about 100 of the most common Amish names below. Before we get into specifics, though, here’s a bit of background on the Amish…

Who are the Amish?

The Amish are an Anabaptist group that intentionally maintain a degree of separation from the wider world. They wear plain clothing, eschew modern conveniences (like cars), and partake in traditional occupations such as farming, carpentry, blacksmithing, and (for women) homemaking.

The Anabaptist movement began in Europe in the 1520s, at the time of the Protestant Reformation. The Anabaptists were particularly known for the practice of adult baptism. They were also opposed to war, and they believed in the separation of church and state.

Considered radicals, the Anabaptists were widely persecuted.

In 1693, the Swiss branch of the Anabaptist movement (a.k.a., the Swiss Brethren) experienced a schism. Those who followed reformer Jacob Amman came to be known as the Amish, whereas those who did not came to be known as the Mennonites (after Dutchman Menno Simons, one of the original Anabaptist leaders).

In the early 1700s, many Amish (and Mennonites) immigrated to the New World — specifically to the Province of Pennsylvania, which had been founded upon the principle of religious freedom.

Today, over 367,000 Amish live in the U.S., and roughly two-thirds of them reside in three states: Pennsylvania, Ohio, and Indiana.

Amish men and women.

Common Amish names

The most comprehensive source of Amish names I came across was also the oldest, so let’s go through all the sources chronologically.

In 1960, researcher Elmer L. Smith published data on the most common male and female names among the Amish of southeastern Pennsylvania from 1890 to 1956.

The 1,337 Amish males in the study shared a total of just 72 different first names. Over a quarter of the males had one of the top three names (John, Amos, or Jacob), and over 81% had one of the top 20 names.

The 1,356 Amish females in the study shared even fewer first names: only 55. Over a quarter of the females had one of the top three names (Mary, Sarah, or Annie), and over 88% had a top-20 name.

According to Smith’s research, these were the 20 most common names per gender (plus their frequency of usage):

Amish female namesAmish male names
1Mary, 10.0%John, 11.9%
2Sarah, 7.9%Amos, 7.3%
3Annie, 9.1%*Jacob, 6.5%
4Katie, 7.1%David, 6.4%
5Lizzie, 6.4%Samuel, 6.2%
6Rebecca, 6.1%Christian, 6.1%
7Fannie, 5.3%Daniel, 5.5%
8Barbara, 5.1%Benjamin, 3.8%
9Rachel, 5.1%Levi, 3.7%
10Lydia, 4.9%Aaron, 3.1%
11Emma, 3.8%Jonas, 3.0%
12Malinda, 3.5%Elam, 2.8%
13Susie, 3.2%Stephen, 2.8%
14Sadie, 2.5%Isaac, 2.5%
15Leah, 1.9%Henry, 2.4%
16Hannah, 1.5%Jonathan, 1.8%
17Naomi, 1.4%Eli, 1.7%
18Mattie, 1.3%Gideon, 1.6%
19Lavina, 1.1%Moses, 1.5%
20Arie, 1.1%Joseph, 1.1%
*Annie was ranked below Sarah in the research paper, but this seems to be a typo, given the percentages.

Smith also wrote the following:

Other given names for males may reflect the important place the martyred forefathers hold in the minds of the sect members. The given name Menno is frequently found; this honors Menno Simmons [sic] an early leader of the plain sects. Ammon is also quite common, and is traced to Jacob Amman for whom the Amish sect is named; otherwise given names are from the Bible.

(Menno, a form of the Dutch name Meine, can be traced back to the Old High German word magan, meaning “strength.” The occupational surname Amman(n), which was derived from the German word amtmann, originally referred to someone employed as an official or administrator.)

A couple of years after Smith’s study came out, Dr. William Schreiber (a professor at the College of Wooster in Ohio) published a book about the Amish of east-central Ohio. In one paragraph, he mentioned some of the names he’d encountered:

One learns here that the good old biblical names are still common with the Amish but are in competition with modern or more euphonious ones. The names of the children of large families are often a study in contrasts. In one family there are, for example, Benjamin, Samuel, Isaac, Stephen, John, Israel, Christ, Barbara, Mary, Hannah, Annie, Mattie, and Lizzie. Another family has chosen these names for its children: Sarah, Lizzie, Samuel, Benjamin, John, Annie, Marie, Daniel, David, Enos, Sylvia, and Malinda. Then there are three Amish brothers named Isaac, Levi, and Elmer. One wonders how Vesta, Delila, Dena, Saloma, Drusilla, or Verba, or boys’ names like Junie, Venus, or Aquilla came into strict Christian families?

Speaking of east-central Ohio, Barbara Yoder Hall — who was born in 1940 and grew up with ten siblings in the Amish community of Holmes County — recalled in her book Born Amish (1980) the following first names:

First names for girls are usually Cora, Mattie, Annie, Lizzie, Barbara, Fannie, Katie, Mary, Naomi, Emma, Jemima, Ella, Sarah, Levina and Mandy.

First names for boys are John, Mose, Ferdinand, Dannie, Sam, Amos, Albert, Emanual, Levi, Rudy, Enos, Eli, Jacob and Joseph.

Amish men in a wagon.

Now for a pair of sources from the digital age…

The website Amish America, run by Erik Wesner (who is not Amish, but has visited Amish communities in 15 different states), lists the following names as being common among the Amish. He found many of the male names in Raber’s Almanac, which “contains a listing of Amish church ministers,” while many of the female names came from various church directories.

Common Amish female namesCommon Amish male names
Elizabeth
Emma
Fannie
Hannah
Katie
Linda
Lizzie
Lovina/Lavina
Martha
Mary
Miriam
Naomi
Rebecca
Ruby
Ruth
Sadie
Sarah
Waneta
Abram
Amos
Atlee
Eli
Elmer
Harley
Isaac
Jacob
John
Lavern
Leroy
Mark
Melvin
Mervin
Samuel
Vernon
Wayne
Willis

Some of Erik’s commentary…

  • Eli: “You see a lot of Elis among Amish, but not many Elijahs.”
  • Leroy: “Seems to be more common in Midwestern communities.”
  • Lizzie: “Lizzie is a popular form in some Pennsylvania communities.”
  • Naomi: “Amish, at least in Lancaster County, pronounce this ‘Nay-oh-mah.'”
  • Ruby: “Quite a few Rubies in northern Indiana.”
  • Vernon: “[P]retty common in places like northern Indiana and Holmes County, Ohio.”

Finally, according to the blog Amish Heritage, written by a woman named Anna (who grew up Amish in Pennsylvania), common Amish names include…

Common Amish female namesCommon Amish male names
Amanda
Anna/Annie
Barbara
Betty
Clara
Edna
Elizabeth
Esther
Fannie
Hannah
Lavina
Lena
Lydia
Malinda
Martha
Mary
Miriam
Naomi
Priscilla
Rachel
Rebecca
Ruth
Sadie
Sarah
Susie
Aaron
Abner
Abram
Amos
Benuel
Christian/Christ
Daniel
David
Eli
Elmer
Emmanuel
Henry
Isaac
Jacob
John
Jonas
Leroy
Lloyd
Mark
Melvin
Mervin
Moses
Omar
Paul
Samuel
Steven/Stephen
Vernon

Both websites noted that some Amish communities (particularly New Order Amish communities) have recently started giving their children less traditional first names.


So how do these lists square with what we’ve observed in the U.S. baby name data?

It’s hard to tell with historically popular names like Mary and John, but we can see some interesting things when we focus on relatively rare names.

For instance, the names Atlee, Benuel, Delila, Dena, Lavina, Menno, Saloma, and Willis have all been mentioned recently in my posts about names with a high degree of state specificity (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021). As you’d expect, they were associated with the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, and/or Indiana. (Benuel, in fact, has only ever appeared in the Pennsylvania data — going all the way back to the 1940s.)

Several of the other names — including Amos, Elam, Fannie, Malinda, and Mervin — saw higher usage in Pennsylvania than in any other state in 2021.

I was surprised that none of my sources listed the name Barbie. Most of them mentioned Barbara (one of them was even named Barbara), and all of them included nicknames (like Lizzie). But Barbara’s diminutive form was curiously absent — even though most of its usage occurs in Pennsylvania:

Girls named Barbie, U.S.Girls named Barbie, Penn.
20213722 (59%)
20202617 (65%)
20193320 (61%)
20182113 (62%)
20172916 (55%)
20162814 (50%)

Rhoda and Mahlon are two more names that I somewhat expected to see.

Ammon is a very interesting case, because the name also has significance to an entirely different religious group: the Mormons. (The Book of Mormon features two prominent figures named Ammon.) From the 1910s to the 1960s, the name Ammon — much like Benuel — only appeared in the Pennsylvania data. Since the 1980s, though, the state with the largest number of baby boys named Ammon has been Utah.


What are your thoughts on the first names used by the Amish? Which of the above do you like the most?

And, for anyone out there with close ties to an Amish family/community: What other names would you add to this list?

P.S. This post is dedicated to my delightful commenters alex and Andrea. :)

Sources:

Images by Chris Chow from Unsplash, Amyd from Pixabay, and Clark Young from Unsplash

Popular and unique baby names in Scotland (UK), 2021

scotland

According to the National Records of Scotland (NRS), the most popular baby names in the country last year were Olivia and Jack.

Here are Scotland’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2021:

Girl Names

  1. Olivia, 349 baby girls
  2. Emily, 318
  3. Isla, 317
  4. Freya, 270
  5. Ella, 259
  6. Amelia, 257
  7. Ava, 241
  8. Sophie, 238
  9. Grace, 235
  10. Millie, 216

Boy Names

  1. Jack, 382 baby boys
  2. Noah, 337
  3. Leo, 289
  4. Oliver, 284
  5. Harris, 273
  6. Finlay, 255
  7. Lewis, 254
  8. James, 252
  9. Rory, 247
  10. Alexander, 240

In the girls’ top 10, Millie replaced Lily.

In the boys’ top 10, Lewis replaced Archie.

The fastest-rising names in the girls’ top 100 were Lyla, Blake, and Rowan; the fastest-rising names in the boys’ top 100 were Carson, Struan, and Myles.

Other names that have seen higher usage recently include Maeva (influenced by Made in Chelsea actress Maeva D’Ascanio) and Connell (influenced by Normal People character Connell Waldron).

And what about the unique names?

Almost 12% of baby girls were given a name that no other girl was registered with in 2021. Almost 9% of boys had unique names for births last year.

Baby names bestowed just once in Scotland last year include…

Unique Girl NamesUnique Boy Names
Arlo-Moon, Aquamarine, Boglarka, Bryar-Loch, Cleagh, Cocohuay, Dervla, Diadem, Ember-Willow, Estrid, Falluin, Floraidh, Ghillie, Gwenno, Hessa, Humna, Iolanthe, Ischia, Jahanara, Juaa, Ketaki, Knoxie, Linaz, Liola-Sky, Mharli-Mae, Myfanwy, Nardos, Nymeria, Ocean-Bleu, Otterly, Pannavee, Paris-Sarah, Quinnie, Ribhinn, Ruoyi, Salka, Stuti, Thyra, Tifa, Unsa, Velvetjane, Wilda, Xiylo, Ying, Zanna, ZarnishArziki, Athilan, Bligh, Bruar, Caladh, Ciurar, Domhnall, Doski, Eloim, Ezra’banx, Firth, Fury, Gilmar, Guyan, Hanzala, Harcus, Ieuan, Ivaylo, Jockie, Joris, Kairimui, Kallikrates, Linstrum, Lorenzo-Moon, Marric, Massinissa, Nakoah-Knox, Nimrod, Oputjo, Otter, Parnaj, Prokop, Quanders, Rascal, Rhue, Simanga, Somhairle, Torben, Trix, Uziah-Nova, Vakaris, Wrath, Xanthus, Yuveer, Zander-Blu, Zebedee

Here are possible explanations/associations for some of the above:

  • Diadem, a type of crown
  • Ischia, an island near Naples
  • Nymeria, a direwolf from Game of Thrones
  • Ribhinn, a Scottish-Gaelic word (rìbhinn) meaning “maiden, girl”
  • Tifa, a character from the Final Fantasy video games
  • Kallikrates, a 5th-century BC Greek architect
  • Masinissa, a 2nd-century BC Numidian king
  • Somhairle, a 12th-century Norse-Gaelic king

Finally, here are the 2020 rankings for Scotland, if you’d like to compare.

Source: Babies’ First Names 2021 – National Records of Scotland, Trends in baby names 2021 (PDF)