Where have all the Jennifers gone?
The name that dominated the nation's list of most frequently given girls' names from 1970 to 1984 did not appear on local charts in 2012. A review of names for Lucas County-born babies found nary a Jennifer but plenty of Isabellas and Emmas.
Locally, the 10 most popular baby names of 2012 were Noah, Isabella, Mason, Emma, Sophia, Logan, Liam, Olivia, and Avery, with Carter and Jackson tied for 10th place.
The results are based on 7,195 out of 7,531 babies whose names had been logged by Dec. 28 in the Toledo-Lucas County Health Department database, said Larry Vasko, deputy health commissioner. A complete list of 2012's baby names is expected by mid-January.
Isabella was the most popular name for girls locally, and Noah topped the boys list. Both are in the top 5 most-used name lists nationwide in 2011. The local list also skewed toward traditional names, a trend several noticed.
"The old-fashioned names are coming back, like Ava and Grace, Aria," said Anna Axe, owner of Toddler Tech Child Care Center in Toledo.
In fact, 31 Avas were born locally in 2012, as were 21 Graces and 8 Arias. She observed a decline in names such as Kelsie and Samantha, popular choices a few years ago.
The center cares for children as young as 6 weeks old, and Ms. Axe can rattle off boys' names she's come across in quick-fire succession: Grady, Wesley, Henry, Oliver, Will.
"I definitely think people are going with family names so they are significant," she said. "People want strong names for their children."
Also popular locally in 2012 were the girls' names Lillian, Zoey, Abigail, Charlotte, Layla, and Leah. Common boys' names included Ethan, Michael, Jacob, Alexander, Benjamin, Joshua, James, and Landon.
Thirty babies named Lucas were born in 2012 in Lucas County. In 2011, Lucas was the 29th most popular male name in the country, climbing from 83rd in 2001, according to the U.S. Social Security Administration.
Also notable were less-used names chosen by area parents last year, including one Amiracle, one Bullet, a Cardinal, an Eternity, one Fate, three Mavericks, one Royal, and two babies called Unique -- making the name, well, less so.
Amanda Emch, a mother of four, co-owns the natural baby store Sweet Cheeks in Sylvania. She named one of her sons, now 2, Beckett, and was surprised to meet three other parents in the last month with children who have the same name.
She said parents she knows often seek names with family meaning. "They are kind of worried about just what other people are going to think in general, and just concerned that somebody else is going to know somebody else with that name," she said. "They don't want a tainted name."
She credits the resurgence of many traditional names to a new interest in all things vintage. Just as some music lovers now buy vinyl records, so do names return with a new spin or spelling.
"Everything comes back, apparently," she said.
Distributed by MCT Information Services
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