Traditional names such as Mary, Maureen, John and Michael may soon be extinct 9 months ago

Traditional names such as Mary, Maureen, John and Michael may soon be extinct

There might be no auntie Marys and uncle Johns in the future.

While most of us grew up having grandparents or older relatives with names like John, Mary, Brigid and Patrick, it seems that these names have gone out of fashion.


In fact these names have gone so out of fashion, that according to new research, they could soon be extinct in Ireland.

A recent survey was conducted to find out just how much influence grandparents have on the names selected for their grandchildren and also to discover if we are seeing a move away from more traditional names that previously would have been handed down from generation to generation.

It found that while grandparents play a very important role in the lives of their grandchildren, surprisingly for many, the survey revealed that grandparents don’t seem to play a major role when it comes to what name is chosen for their grandchildren with 80 per cent of those surveyed stated that their parent’s opinion didn’t matter when it came to selecting a baby name.

In relation to handing down first names from generation to generation, 64 per cent of those surveyed said that they felt it wasn’t important to keep a name alive by passing it onto their children.


75 per cent of respondents also felt that we are definitely seeing a move away nowadays from more traditional names and when asked what names they considered the most traditional the findings were as follows;

Female names:

1. Mary (87%)
2. Brigid (53%)
3. Maureen (51%)
4. Joan (30%)
5. Dolores (21%)


Male names:

1. John (75%)
2. Michael (58%)
3. Patrick (55%)
4. Seamus (35%)
5. Peadar (23%)

Speaking about the survey findings, Lars B. Andersen, Founder and Managing Director, My Nametags, commented;

“At My Nametags we love discovering what people’s thoughts are on names and especially the move from traditional to more modern names that we have seen more and more in recent years. While traditional grandparent names may not be selected for first names for children so much anymore it is great to see that they are not being completely forgotten with many Irish parents selecting a grandparent’s name for their child’s second name.”


What do you think? Are names like Mary and John belong to the past or do you love traditional names for babies?