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Most popular names
1. Ava
2. Olivia
3. Isabella
4. Sophia, Emma (tie)
5. Lillian
6. Addison
7. Charlotte
8. Harper, Evelyn, Hanna (tie)
9. Abigail
10. Elizabeth Boys
1. Liam, Noah (tie)
2. Carter
3. Jackson, Owen (tie)
4. Elijah
5. Mason
6. Jacob, James (tie)
7. Samuel
8. Lucas, William, Alexander, Landon, Parker (tie)
9. Gabriel
10. Isaac, Oliver, Luke, Henry, Michael (tie)
•There were 6,662 babies born in Allen County last year, down by 100 from the year before. Parents chose more than 1,300 different boy names and 1,600 different girl names.
Source: Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department

Noah, Ava rise as top county baby names

Justin and Rose Herman of Fort Wayne had made a list of five or six boys’ names to choose from when their son was born July 8, but they did not use any of them.

“He just did not look like any of the names we picked out, so we didn’t name him right away,” Justin Herman said Friday.

On the second day of their son’s life, the couple looked at their newborn and thought he looked like a name they had briefly considered, but had not included on “the list.”

“We named him Noah, a biblical name that means ‘peace,’ ” Herman said. “He just looked like a Noah.”

The couple had no idea they had chosen such a popular name.

“We thought it was a unique choice,” Herman said, chuckling.

Noah joined last year’s No. 1 Liam as the most popular baby boy name among new babies in the county last year, according to birth records filed with the Vital Records Department of the Fort Wayne-Allen County Health Department. Other top boys’ names included Carter, Jackson, Owen, Elijah and Mason.

Baby Noah has a cousin named Liam, Justin Herman said, upon hearing that the two names tied for most popular.

The couple leaned toward Biblical names, but the meanings of the names were more important, Herman said.

Three of the boys’ names they had picked out and did not use – Elijah, Isaac and Josiah – also made the top 13 boys’ names used in the county.

When it came to baby girls, Ava overtook Olivia as the most popular name, followed by Isabella, Sophia Emma and Lillian.

Like the Hermans, Jacqueline Hiatt had no idea she chose a popular name when her daughter was born at Parkview Regional Medical Center on Oct. 25.

She had decided the baby’s first name had to be something old-fashioned to go with the middle name of Ruth.

“I knew her middle name would be Ruth – after my maternal grandmother,” Hiatt said.

“I chose Ava because it sounded old-fashioned,” she said.

She knew no one by that name, but had heard of Ava Gardner, the film star from the 1940s and ’50s, she said.

Hiatt’s second choice was Olivia, the second most popular choice for girls’ names.

“I had no idea I had picked out the two most popular names until my sister told me,” Hiatt said.

While some of the names in the top 10 stayed the same from the previous year, there were some changes in both names and rankings.

Names that moved up included Carter, Owen, Parker, Landon, Oliver, Gabriel, Isaac, Oliver, Luke and Michael.

Names that dropped out of the previous year’s top 10 included Ethan, which dropped from 10th to 13th, and Andrew, which slid from seventh to 16th.

Charlotte, Harper, Evelyn, Hannah and Abigail climbed into the girls’ top 10. Amelia, Avery, Ella and Claire dropped but remained in the top 20.

Names that were popular years, or even decades, ago made a comeback and climbed into the top 25, including names such as Charlotte, Lucy, Eleanor and Scarlett or, for boys, Wyatt, Benjamin, Charles and Harrison.