In the early 1930s, a number of Edna Robb Webster’s novels — Occasional Wife, Lipstick Girl, Love, Preferred, Five O’Clock Girl, and others — were published serially in newspapers.
One story, Joretta, appeared in late 1930 and early 1931. It featured the character Joretta “Jetty” Dowling, “the only daughter of one of the biggest merchants in the west. Wise with the wisdom of the modern girl to whom life is an open book, indulged with luxury, yet capable, poised and sensible.”
The name Joretta, which had never been on the SSA’s baby name list before, debuted on the list in 1930:
- 1935: 34 baby girls named Joretta
- 1934: 37 baby girls named Joretta
- 1933: 56 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 910th]
- 1932: 82 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 746th]
- 1931: 194 baby girls named Joretta [rank: 463rd]
- 1930: 33 baby girls named Joretta [debut]
- 1929: unlisted
Joretta was published as a standalone book in 1932, and no doubt this helped keep the name Joretta in the top 1,000 for an extra year or two.
The name remained in the data for decades, finally dropping out in the early 1970s.
What are your thoughts on the baby name Joretta?
Source: Webster, Edna Robb. “Joretta, A Love Story.” Greensburg Daily Tribune 21 Nov. 1930: 12.