IT’S a tradition dating back nearly five decades, and the results of the latest count by Ballarat’s resident baby names expert Ruth Matthews are in.
Since the birth of her first son Rodney in 1964, Mrs Matthews has been collecting birth notices from The Courier and compiling an annual list of the most popular names from the city’s hospitals.
According to her 2012 count, the most popular name for girls in Ballarat last year was Amelia while Jack or Jackson topped the list for boys.
Mrs Matthews has observed a new trend in recent years, with traditional surnames being chosen as first names.
“About every 10 years I have noticed the names take a different turn or a new trends comes up,” she said, after recording the names by hand, as she does every week.
“You see names which would make you think they are an older person, but those older names are back in again.”
She said some of the more unusual names of 2012 included Carrington, Tanner, Lennox, Sullivan, Marigold and Clover.
“Sometimes, depend- ing on how busy I am, I collect them for a week or more at a time, but then I sit down and add them to the list,” she said.
The grandmother said names were influenced by celebrities, the bible and even by flowers and tree species.
Mrs Matthews said while many people announced significant events on social media websites the decline of printed birth notices in newspapers hadn’t stopped her from collating the list each year.
To have your child’s birth recorded in the 2012 edition of The Courier Our Babies magazine, pick up a form or send via our website.
Entries accepted until January 14, 2013.