100+ Best Historical Names To Inspire You | Kidadl


100+ Best Historical Names To Inspire You

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These historical baby names are all based on important personalities in history.

Such baby names are popular among parents who want their baby boy or girl to follow in the footsteps of great leaders. Baby names from history are a great way to pay tribute to important historical figures.

Vintage names and old fashioned names fill our selection of today's great  historical baby names. These old popular baby names may just motivate your little one to live up to the greatness of their namesake.

If you are looking for popular baby names inspired by the names of Presidents, activists, feminists, scientists and more, we’ve got a detailed list that you’re sure to like. Check it out for inspiration before selecting your next baby's name.    

If you’re interested in more, you can check out our articles on strong girl names and ancient baby names too.

Famous Historical Female Names

Looking for some history names for your baby based on eminent figures of the past? Here are some strong names for your baby girl that you may like.

1. Abigail – (Hebrew origin), this is popular among historical girl names and means "father’s joy". Historical figures: former First Lady Abigail Adams and First Lady Abigail Fillmore.

2. Alice – (French origin), meaning "nobility". Alice Paul was a suffragist movement leader.

3. Amelia – (German or Latin origin), this popular baby name from history means "work" in German or "industrious" in Latin. Amelia Earhart was the first female pilot who crossed the Atlantic Ocean in 1937.

4. Angela – (Latin origin), this name means "God’s messenger". Angela Davis was an important figure of the American Civil Rights movement.

5. Annaliese – (German origin), means "God’s oath". Captain Anneliese Satz was the first female F-35B pilot of the U.S. Marine Corps.

6. Anne – (English origin), means "full of grace". Historical figures: Anne Frank, Anne Bronte.

7. Audrey – (English origin), means "noble strength". Historical figures: Audrey Hepburn, Audrey Tautou.

8. Barbara – (Latin and Greek origin), is a popular history name for girls that means "foreign woman". It is the name of former First Lady Barbara Bush.

9. Bella – (Italian and English origin), meaning "beautiful". Inspired by women’s rights activist Bella Abzug.

10. Betty – (Latin origin), meaning "pledged to God". Betty Friedan authored 'The Feminine Mystique'.

11. Caroline – (Latin origin), combines Carol meaning "song" and Linda meaning "beautiful". Historical figure: Caroline Hershel.

12. Charlotte – (French origin), meaning "free". Charlotte Cushman was an actress from the nineteenth century.

13. Cixi - (Chinese origin), meaning "kind joy". She was the Empress of China during the Qing dynasty.

14. Clara – (Latin and Greek origin), it translates to "bright". Clara Barton founded the American Red Cross.

15. Connie – (English and Latin origin), meaning "steadfast". Historical figure: Asian American journalist Connie (Constance) Chung.  

16. Daisy – (Old English origin), meaning "day's eye". Historical figure: Daisy Bates.  

17. Eleanor – (English and Greek origin), an old name that means "bright". Historical figures: Eleanor of Aquitaine and Eleanor Roosevelt.

18. Elizabeth – (Hebrew origin), the name means "pledged to God". Historical figures: Elizabeth Cady Stanton and Elizabeth Warren.

19. Emmeline – (German origin), means "hardworking". Historical figure: Emmeline Pankhurst.

20. Flo – (Latin origin), short for Florence. Refers to the Roman Goddess of flowers. Historical figure: Flo Kennedy.

21. Frances – (Latin origin), means "from France". Frances Perkins was the first woman who served in the U.S. cabinet.  

22. Grace – (Latin origin), a name that means "virtue". Historical figures: Grace Kelly, Grace Abbot.

23. Harriet – (English and French origin), one of the baby names from history that means "home ruler". Harriet Tubman was an American abolitionist.  

24. Helen – (Greek origin) this is one of the most popular first names, meaning "shining light". Historical figures: Helen of Troy, Hellen Keller and Hellen Sharman.

25. Ingrid – (Norwegian origin), means "beautiful". Ingrid of Sweden was the Queen of Denmark between 1947 and 1952.    

26. Jane – (Hebrew origin), a name meaning "God is gracious". Historical figure: Jane Austen.

27. Joan – (English origin), a name that means "God is gracious". Historical figure: Joan of Arc.

28. Junko – (Japanese origin), inspired by the first woman to climb Mount Everest, Junko Tabei.      

29. Lilian - (English origin), name meaning "lily". Historical figures: Lilian Ngoyi (South African activist) and Lillian Moller Gilbreth (American psychologist).

30. Lucy – (French and English origin), meaning "light". Historical figure: Lucy Parsons.

31. Margaret – (Greek origin), a name meaning "pearl". Historical figures: Margaret Thatcher and Saint Margaret of Scotland.  

32. Maya – (Latin, Hebrew, Roman, and Greek origin), popular among historical girl names meaning "water". Maya Angelou is most celebrated for her prolific writing and Civil Rights activism.  

33. Rosa – (Dutch origin), this name means "flower" or "rose". The most notable bearer of the name is Rosa Parks, an American Civil Rights activist who sparked the Montgomery Bus Boycott.

34. Ruth – (Hebrew origin), a name meaning "friend". Historical figure: Babe Ruth.

35. Sally – (English origin), a nickname for Sarah, which means "princess". Sally Ride was the first woman to travel to space in 1983.  

36. Sandra – (Italian and Greek origin), meaning "defending men". Sandra Day O’Connor was the first woman serving in the U.S. Supreme Court.

37. Sofia – (Greek origin), a name meaning "skill or wisdom". Historical figure: Sofia Kovalevskaya.

38. Susan – (Hebrew origin), a name that means "lily". Susan B. Anthony was a suffragist.

39. Teresa – (Spanish and Latin origin), a name that means "to harvest". Mother Teresa is the namesake.

40. Victoria – (Latin origin), meaning "victory". Historical figure: Queen Victoria.

Little Baby girl wearing rainbow dress sitting with balloons and gift box

Famous Historical Male Names

Interested in some historical boy names for your baby boy? Check this list out for inspiration.

41. Amadeus – (Latin origin), an ancient name that means "lover of God". Figure: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.  

42. Anthony/Antony – (Roman origin), a reference to Mark Antony, Antonius Pius, St Anthony the Great.  

43. Benjamin – (Hebrew origin), a baby boy name that means "son of the right hand". Figures: Benjamin Franklin, Benjamin Banneker.

44. Caesar – (Latin origin), an ancient name that means "long haired". Figure: the greatest Roman, Caesar.

45. Charles – (German origin), meaning "free man". Figure: Charles Darwin.

46. Edison – (English origin), a name meaning "Edward’s son". Figure: Thomas Edison.

47. Franklin – (English origin), meaning "landowner". Figure: Franklin Delano Roosevelt.

48. Galileo – (Italian origin), this is an Italian name that serves as a Christian reference to Jesus. Figure: Galileo Galilei.

49. George – (Greek origin), meaning "earth". Figure: George Washington.

50. Isaac – (Biblical origin), a baby name meaning "he who laughs". Figure: Sir Isaac Newton.

51. James – (Latin origin), meaning "supplanter". Figures: James Madison, James Monroe.

52. Johann – (Hebrew origin), the name means "God’s gracious gift". Figure: Johann Wolfgang von Goethe.

53. John – (Hebrew origin), meaning "Yahweh is gracious". Figures: John Quincy Adams, John Tyler.

54. Karl – (German origin) variation of Charles meaning "manly". King Karl XI of Sweden and Karl Marx.

55. Leonardo – (Italian origin), a name that means "brave or bold lion". Historical figure: Leonardo da Vinci.

56. Luther – (German origin), meaning "people of the army". Figure: Martin Luther King Jr.  

57. Marcus – (Roman origin), a reference to the Roman God of war, Mars. Figure: Marcus Aurelius.

58. Martin – (Roman origin), meaning "warlike". Figures: Martin Luther King Jr. and Martin Van Buren.  

59. Nikola – (German origin) this is popular among baby names and means "victory of the people". Figure: Nikola Tesla.

60. Pedro – (Latin and Greek origin), meaning "rock". Figure: Dom Pedro II.

61. Raphael – (Hebrew origin), popular among the baby boy names meaning "God heals". Figure: Raphael Sanzio, the Renaissance artist and architect.

62. Thomas – (Greek origin), meaning "leader". Figures: Thomas Edison and Thomas Paine.

Newborn baby playing with stars and clouds mobile

Oldest Historical Names In The World

Would you like some old girl and boy names for your baby? Take your pick from this list. These all make the historical names list as they are some of the oldest names in the world.

63. Albert (M)– (Anglo-Saxon origin), a baby boy name meaning "bright". Figure: Albert Einstein.

64. Alexander (M)– (Greek origin), this is an ancient name meaning "to defend men". Figures: Alexander the Great, and Alexander Hamilton.  

65. Alfred (M)– (English origin), meaning "elf". Figure: King Alfred the Great.

66. Ava (F)– (German origin), meaning "life".

67. Björn (M)– (Old Norse origin) meaning "bear".

68. Blaise (M)– (French and English origin), meaning "firebrand". Figure: Blaise Pascal.

69. Bruno (M)– (German origin), meaning "armor".

70. Cassius (M)– (Latin origin), a name meaning "hollow". Figures: Cassius Dio and Gaius Cassius Longinus.

71. Ciara (F)– (Celtic origin), meaning "one with the black hair".

72. Cyrus (M)– (Persian origin), an ancient name meaning "sun". Figure: Cyrus the Great.  

73. Dolores (F)– (Spanish origin). Figure: Dolores Huerta.  

74. Ella (F)– (Hebrew and Greek origin), this name means "Goddess". The name of Ella Baker a Civil Rights activist.

75. Evelyn (F)– (English origin), meaning "wished for child". Figure: Evelyn Witkin.

76. Felix (M)– (Dutch origin), meaning "successful".

77. Ferdinand (M)– (Spanish origin) meaning "bold voyager".

78. Gloria (F)– (Latin origin) meaning "honor." Figures: Gloria Steinem, Gloria Allred.

79. Hazel (F)– (English origin), the name denotes the color or name of the tree. Figure: Hazel Scott.

80. Hugo (M)– (Germanic origin), meaning "heart, mind, and spirit".

81. Irma (F)– (German origin), meaning "complete".

82. Lise (F)– (Hebrew origin), one of the female historical names meaning "devoted to God". Figure: Lise Meitner.

83. Livia (F)– (Roman origin), meaning "blue".

84. Lucia (F)– (Latin origin), the name means "light".

85. Marie (F)– (Biblical origin), French variation of Mary. Figures: Marie Curie, Marie Antoinette and Marie Stopes.  

86. Mary (F)– (Hebrew origin). Figures: Mary I of England, Mary Seacole, and Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley.

87. Maximus (M)– (Latin origin), meaning "the greatest".

88. Milo (M)– (German or Latin origin), meaning "peaceful".

89. Odette (F)– (German and French origin), meaning "wealthy".

90. Otto (M)– (German origin), meaning fortune.

91. Raine (F)– (English and French origin), meaning "Queen".

92. Shirley (F)– (Old English origin). Figure: Shirley Chisholm who was the first black woman elected in 1968 to the U.S. Congress.

93. Vigdis (F)– (Old Norse origin), the name means "war Goddess". Figure: Vigdis Finnbogadottir.

94. Virginia (F)– (Latin origin), meaning "maiden". Figure: Virginia Apgar.

95. Waldo (M)– (German origin), it means "to rule".

96. Wangaari (M)– the name means "leopard". Wangaari Mathaai was the first black woman to win a Nobel Peace Prize.

97. Yuri (M)– (Russian origin), meaning "farmer". Figure: Yuri Kochiyama.

98. Zelda (F)– meaning gray battle.

99. Zoe (F)– (Greek origin), meaning "life".

100. Zora (F)– (Slavic origin), the name means "dawn". Figure: Zora Neale Hurston.

Kidadl has lots of great names articles to inspire you. If you liked our suggestions for historical names, then why not take a look at something different like these Aztec girl names or these epic names.

Written By
Georgia Stone

<p>Georgia is an experienced Content Manager with a degree in French and Film Studies from King's College London and Bachelors degree from Université Paris-Sorbonne. Her passion for exploring the world and experiencing different cultures was sparked during her childhood in Switzerland and her year abroad in Paris. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys using London's excellent travel connections to explore further afield.</p>

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