Throwback: Babies of 1991

Hello everybody! Yesterday was my 25th birthday! That's hard to believe! As far as name trends go, a lot can happen in 25 years. I have an old newspaper with names of babies born in my hometown of Bryan/College Station, Texas so I thought I'd write an article about some of the tends that I noticed and some names that stuck out to me. 

Girls Names:

In the paper, these were the girls name that appeared more than once. For the most part, these names seem to accurately reflect the names of my peers that I remember from school (though I didn't go to school with most of the other kids in the paper.) Some things that surprised me were at least three Calis, all with different spellings and two female Kendall's, both with different spellings. 

These middle names also seemed pretty standard to me. I was surprised to see more than one Elaine and more than one Rae (sometimes Ray). I knew Rae was somewhat common as a middle name these days, but I didn't know it was so popular back then. Upon reading the article again, I realized that there were also multiple Katherines (multiple spellings) and Kays.

This is my name and picture. I was surprised by the number of other Alyssas on the list and the different spellings. I knew that Alyssa was #30 both nationally and in the state of Texas in 1991 but I only ever went to school with one other girl named Alyssa and she spelled it Elyssa. The popularity of Marie didn't surprise me at all! It seemed like every girl I knew had Marie as a middle name!

Boys Names:

Again, these names seemed to accurately reflect the names of my classmates. Some names that I thought I might see on this list but didn't were Tyler and maybe Austin. There was one Colby on the list and I knew two Colbys in school so I looked up Colby's ranking in 1991. It was #202 nationally which was quite a bit higher than I expected. I was surprised by the number of Johns that I saw on this list! John is still fairly high in the charts, and was even more so then, but I don't remember any classmates that actually went by John. Maybe that's accounted for by the fact that many of the Johns were juniors. It was of note to me that there were two Coltons. I discussed in a previous article the fact that even though Colton is more popular nationally in 2014 than it's ever been, it seems a bit dated to me because it was very popular here in Texas in the 90's. When I looked over the names again, I realized I also needed to include James to this list.

These middle names also seemed pretty typical for boys my age. Thomas was the name that immediately stood out to me when looking at middle names. When I looked over the list again, I notice there was also more than one boy with the middle name Ray and the middle name Reid (different spellings). 

Unisex Names:

The names that occurred for both boys and girls on this list were interesting to me! The fact that there were multiple Kendalls was surprising to me. I knew one male Kendall growing up. I was surprised to find that Kendall was #386 in 1991 for girls and #305 for boys. In 2014 Kendall was #131 for girls and #754 for boys. In the newspaper, there was one male Kendall and two female Kendalls (different spellings). Shelby was the name that was really shocking, though! I knew that Shelby originated as a male name but I had never heard it used on a boy! There were multiple female Shelbys on the list an one male Shelby. Shelby was #427 for boys in 1991, and #33 for girls. In 2014, Shelby was #294 for girls and it dropped of the top 1000 for boys in 2000. Ray was a notable unisex middle name.

Favorite Combos:

These were some girls combos that stood out to me. The one that stood out to me the most was Elyssia Maria. It's super similar to my name but Elyssia is very rare and has different roots. Lucy Katherine is really sweet, but it's a name I'd expect more now with the interest in vintage names than in 1991. Morgan Love is a cute little combo! I really like Love as a middle name!

These four boys names really caught my interest. By far, Will Justice is the most striking. I normally don't like two word names in a row.  Will Justice kind of sounds like an unfinished question but it also sounds like a very powerful name to me. Lucas Fielder is my favorite name on this boys list. I really like both the first and middle names. I was surprised to find an Everett from 1991. It's another name that I would expect to hear more today than back then. In 1991 it was #591 and in 2014 it's #167.  Ross Marion was also very interesting to me, mostly because of the middle name! Marion was actually still on the top 1000 list for boys back in 1991!

There were some very cool names in among this bunch and also a lot of names that were pretty standard 90s names. If you're curious, the #1 boys name in 1991 was Michael and the #1 girls name was Ashley. Today, it's Noah and Emma (soon to be Noah and Olivia, by my estimation). Name trends are fascinating to me. They're such an interesting reflection of culture!

What names were popular when you were born? What names come to mind as standard "classmate" names to you? What was the most interesting name of a kid you went to school with? Let me know in the comments!

God bless you and thanks for reading!

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  1. Ah, you were a sweet baby. Belated happy birthday, and thanks for the great name blogging!


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