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Revealed: The most popular names of the past 500 years

The Independent The Independent 25/03/2016 Ian Johnston
© Provided by Independent Print Limited

Mary and John are the most popular names of the past 500 years, according to new research.

More than 5.8 million children have been called John since 1530, with William, Thomas, George and James the next most popular, The Daily Telegraph reported.

More than 4.5 million were named Mary during the same period. Elizabeth, Sarah, Margaret and Anne were the next most popular girl’s names, according to the study by family history website Ancestry.

Perhaps unsurprisingly the most common surname was Smith, followed by Jones. Williams, Taylor, Brown, Davies, Evans, Thomas, Johnson and Wilson were the next most common family names.

Ancestry based its findings on more than 34 million christening and birth records kept from 1530 to 2005.

For those wishing a historically rarer name for a child, Edgar was 100th on the boy’s list while Valerie was in the same position on the girl’s one.

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