Vintage baby names like Betsy and Herbert predicted to make a comeback this year

May 15, 2022
Old fashioned baby names are a great choice for those parents who want a unique name with meaning, inspired from yesteryear. Source: Getty

Just like fashion styles, baby names come and go in cycles, and based on new research this year is set to see a big historical comeback for vintage baby names.

Based on a record analysis from family history brand FindMyPast, it appears that old fashioned baby names have gained popularity amongst new parents who are looking for unique names inspired from yesteryear.

“History always has a tendency to repeat itself and baby names are no exception,” Mary McKee, Head of Content Publishing Operations at Findmypast said.

Based on their data McKee shares that an increasingly popular name for girls is Joan, as “parents are increasingly looking to name their baby girls after a strong female historical figure”.

She also revealed that the Royal Family have impacted the resurgence of old fashion names. The name Elizabeth spiked 16 per cent in popularity the year the Queen was born and the name Harry surged throughout the decades following the Prince’s birth.

Now with the recent births of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex’s children, Archie and Lilibet, McKee and her team believe the royal naming obsession is set to continue over the next decades.

Family Editor of GoodtoKnow, Stephanie Lowe believes parents are choosing vintage baby names because of the “nostalgic and vintage feel” it brings.

“From Cecily and Dot to Betsy and Pearl, I just adore them. Choosing a vintage name is classy and gives longevity,” she said.

“Not to mention the historic angle. A lot of parents choose these names to honour a grandparent… or their favourite Downton Abbey character and I’m here for both of those reasons.”

However, New York based baby-naming expert Sherri Suzzane, believes parents are opting for vintage names because they “feel quite modern now”.

“As they say, ‘What’s old is new again’  – the names of our peers and our parents can feel stale, while names from 100 years ago may seem fresh and ready to be taken down and dusted off,” she said.

“Choosing a vintage name that has been out of circulation is a way to seem original or creative without being too audacious.”

Suzzane does agree with Lowe in that old fashioned baby names do carry history with them,  saying “over time, many have taken on charming qualities that parents admire. Names like Aurelia may seem romantic, while Atticus feels bold”.

As perfected by historians and experts from FindMyPast the following 20 baby names are most likely to have a revival in 2022.

Top 10 old fashion baby boy names:

  1. Ronald
  2. Arthur
  3. Robert
  4. Albert
  5. Freddie
  6. Edward
  7. Archie
  8. Ernest
  9. Isaac
  10. Harris

Top 10 old fashion baby girl names:

  1. Joan
  2. Mary
  3. Margaret
  4. Dorothy
  5. Gladys
  6. Irene
  7. Iris
  8. Elsie
  9. Ada
  10. Mabel
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