Ruby Ballarat's top baby name

By Neelima Choahan
Updated November 2 2012 - 7:33am, first published January 3 2012 - 12:57am
Ruby Hines, three months, shares Ballarat’s most popular girls' name for 2011. Picture: Justin Whitelock

MAREE and Matt Hines decided on Ruby as their little girl’s name even before they got married in November 2010.Yesterday, the Miners Rest mum was surprised to hear that her three-and-a-half-month old daughter’s name was the most popular one this year going by The Courier’s birth notices. “Ruby means a jewel,” Ms Hines said. “I used to work in childcare and I knew a girl named Ruby. “I really liked her and the name.”The list of Ballarat’s most popular names have been collated by Mt Clear resident Ruth Matthews since 1964, after the birth of her first son, Rodney.The practice has become a tradition, with the grandmother-of-eight recording the names by hand in her notebook. Ms Hines said she was surprised to know her chosen name for her first born was a top favourite in the town. “I don’t know any other Rubys so I am surprised the name is most popular,”she said.Ballarat East resident Rebecca Weston is equally surprised that her 10-week old son’s name, Cooper, is now a hot favourite. “I chose it six years ago and the name just stuck with me,” Ms Weston said. Ms Matthews said it took her about 25 hours a year to collect all the names, making sure she didn’t duplicate on any of the notices. Choosing a wide variety of different names was a growing trend among parents, she said.“In 1965, I had 107 different names for boys while this year I have (counted) 235 names,” Ms Matthews said. People, she said, were also choosing traditional names spelt differently as well as unisex names.-Don’t miss out on a chance for your baby to be in The Courier’s keepsake publication Our Babies 2011. The closing date for bookings and photos is Wednesday, January 11. For information call 5320?1200. TOP NAMES OF 2011BOYS1. Cooper2. Harry or Harrison 3. Jack or Jackson 4. Oliver, Will or William 5. Thomas or Tom 6. James 7. Max or Maxwell, Xavier 8. LachlanGIRLS1. Ruby 2. Charlotte, Lily 3. Mia 4. Grace or Gracie, Lucy, Maddison 5. Isabella, Olivia 6. Olive, Chloe, Evie, Matilda and Sophie, 7. Addison, Annabelle, Chelsea, Ella, Emily, Sienna