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Farewell Cecil, Cyril, Mildred and Bertha

NAMES including Gertrude, Bertha, Willie and Cecil are at risk of dying out in Britain, while others such as Cyril and Mildred are becoming less popular, a new study has revealed.

An analysis of millions of birth records from 1905 revealed that some forenames have virtually disappeared, with many others being increasingly ignored.

The report, published by family history website Ancestry.co.uk showed the most "endangered" names included Gertrude, Bertha and Blodwen for girls and Willie, Cecil and Rowland for boys.

Names like Norman, Horace, Leslie, Doris, Hilda and Edna were among the most popular names in 1905, but have become much less popular over the years, said the report.

Many popular names from the early 20th century have evolved to their shorter form. The trend has seen Freddie replace Frederick, Archie overtake Archibald and Charlie become far more popular now than Charles.

The same applies to girls' names, with Lexi replacing Alexandra, Sophia making way for Sophie and Ellie overtaking Eleanor.

Miriam Silverman, UK content manager, from Ancestry.co.uk, said: "Of course, no first name can truly become extinct, as it can easily be resurrected, but it's fascinating to look at the list from 1905 and see which have thrived and which have faded into obscurity."

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