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Baby names and surnames of today and yesterday

These pages present mainly statistical data on the first or Christian names and surnames of the first Canadians of the 17th and 18th century and of 19th, 20th and 21st century Québec, of British Canadians of the 19th century and of USA babies since 1880. Yearly and 5 year period data are given for the 19th and 20th century. Sections treat the length of baby names, the endings of names, the (un)importance of etymology in choosing a name, etc., along with legal aspects and references to books and links to other websites.

by Louis Duchesne
member of the Canadian Society for the Study fo Names

The texts are in French, except those with . However, the statistical tables and graphs are quite easy to understand.

Graphs of 325 names
The yearly frequency of 325 names since 1800 in Québec, France and since 1880 in the USA.

19th century Christian names in British Canada
The frequency of the 10 most popular names by 5 year period.

Given names in the USA, 1880-2011

Léa and William
are the most popular names for babies in Quebec in 2011. See the table with the top 50 names and their frequency.

Michel and Louise
are the most frequent names in the total population. A table gives the frequency of the top 100 names for men and women.

Gérard, Thérèse, Sylvie, Maxime, and other first names
This page contains a table giving the first names for every year between 1890 and 2011.

The top 20 by 5 year period since 1800
The frequency of the 20 most popular names by 5 year period.

Pierre, Jean, Jacques
The first Canadian names in the 17th and 18th centuries.

Short or long?
The length of names varies in time, like changing hemlines. See an amazing graph of the variation of names length for the last century.

Names in «ette», in «a» and in «i»
There are 3 main waves in the final sound of names during the 20th century. See the graph.

Origin of names
More than one name out of five is of Hebrew origin, like Samuel, Elisabeth, Michel, Anne...
Other important origins are Greek, Roman and Germanic.

The civil code
This page contains the articles of the civil code on the assignment of name.

«Les prénoms, des plus rares aux plus courants au Québec»
This page presents my book on the names given since a century.

Books and links
A few comments on the books and websites I find interesting.

Surnames or family names
Statistics on the surnames in the 17th, 18th and 20th centuries.

This is the place where you will find my address if you wish to send comments and suggestions.

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