The Top Three Baby Names 100 Years Ago in Weber County

By Jenny Goldsberry

Baby New Year has arrived! With him, thousands of other babies will arrive this year too. If you’re expecting, check out this list of 100-year-old baby names you can use as inspiration to name your own Baby New Year. Then, keep reading to find the stories of locals who share the same name.

Girls’ Names

The number-one name in 1922 was Mary. In the United States, it remained the number-one name for 35 consecutive years. Its origin is Hebrew. It was the word for myrrh, used in biblical times as incense and perfume.

Mary McMillen was born that year, in Liberty, Utah. At the age of 16, she married Thomas “Dee” Daniels Brown and promptly started a family. Mary remained a faithful congregant of the St. Joseph parish in Ogden. While they were living in Farr West, their niece, Trudy, stayed the night. Trudy hadn’t packed any outfits for church, so Mary stayed up all night sewing her a dress.

Next, comes this Greek name. In its original language, it was Dorothea. It meant “God’s gift.”

Our next local example had both of the most popular names of her time. Dorothy Mary Simonsen was a first-generation Danish girl born in Ogden. She married her husband, Edmund Ballingham, in the middle of the second World War in 1941. She married him in the Salt Lake Temple and served in the Ogden Temple after it was built. Dorothy also served in the Manila Philippines Temple.

At number three on the list is another Greek name. Then, it was pronounced Helena; now, it has been shortened to Helen. Helena meant “light or torch.”

Helen Kathleen Johnson was born in the same year as her husband, Golden Jones. They were both musically talented, singing together while Helen accompanied on the piano. Helen, like many of her siblings and even parents, had survived open heart surgery. She didn’t let her heart hold her back from belting out a song or a laugh.

Boys’ Names

While this was the number-one name in 1922, it would remain in the top five for 52 consecutive years. In Hebrew, it meant “God is gracious.” Its longer companion, Johnathan, meant “Jehovah’s gift.”

John Potter was born the only boy in a family of eight. When he was 20, his hometown of Taylor needed a new meetinghouse. John and his father Ezra helped build it, hauling bricks from Harrisville. When his mother, Mary Jane, died in 1909, her funeral was the first to be hosted by that chapel on 2200 S. 4300 W.

This name is Old English. It meant bright or shining with fame. Robert was made world-renowned by Robert the Bruce, King of Scotland, who preserved his country’s independence.

Robert “Parel” Parker was born on his family farm in Hooper. Parel served in World War I. Among the battles he fought was Oise–Aisne in northern France. Today, there is an American memorial there dedicated to the less fortunate soldiers. When he married, he took up his childhood home, and his four children were also born there.

William is an Old German name. It meant a “resolute protector.” Its Old English nickname, Will, meant “determined, firm, resolute.”

William England Jr. and his wife, Ismilda Thueson, were married for 75 years. At the time, there were only 10 other couples in the United States who had achieved a marriage over 70 years. They had 33 grandchildren, 105 great-grandchildren, and 19 great-great-grandchildren.

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