18 March 2016

Middle Names and their Popularity (1880-2000)

We often talk about surnames and forenames. What about middle names?

I love middle names when doing research, especially when common forenames and surnames are involved.  Other than that, I don’t often think about them.  Many years ago, my middle name just became an initial “L.” in my signature since I’m not fond of my middle name.

I was reminded of middle names recently when I read, The most common middle names from the last 12 decades.  For each identified top ranking middle name, you will find a graph showing the rank of that particular middle name from 1880 to 2000. If the name is also prevalent in the UK or the Scandinavian countries, graphs depicting such will also be included.  The US data is based on the Social Security Death Index.

Have you successfully used information about name frequency, locale-specific trends or other name driven demographic type data to help your genealogy research?  If so, please share.

Editor’s Note: Related posts -- Using Name Popularity to Determine Someone’s Age (2014) and Names -- A Blessing or a Curse (2013)

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