For me, when I start a new story, it's very important to have the perfect names assigned to my characters. Once the story begins, I rarely change the names of the main characters, although I may change the names of secondary ones. It's very important to know the personality of the character as well as their history. The story will flow better if I've gotten to know my characters well enough before hand.
I was curious to popular names for people born at the end of the 1800s/early 1900s. I Bing'd what I was searching for and found this interesting link. It's the Social Security Administration's website.
It will provide you popular names any time after 1879.