How popular is the baby name Adna in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Adna.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Adna

Posts that Mention the Name Adna

More Names from Boston Burials – Ziba, Buttolph, Fear

Granary, Boston
Granary Burying Ground, Boston
Last month I posted about interesting names that can be found at King’s Chapel Burying Ground, one of the two cemeteries on Boston’s Freedom Trail.

Today let’s check out interesting names that can be found at the other cemetery on the Trail, Granary Burying Ground (est. 1660).

Here’s what I spotted (using a book of inscriptions):

  • A: Azor, Appoline, Adelbart, Adino, Adna, Affia, Albion, Alfrena, Alithere (female), Alletta, Angalesa, Anjennette, Areton, Aroline, Atsey, Avid
  • B: Barachiah, Bethulia, Buttolph
  • C: Cassander, Clarenia, Collford, Cornwall, Crispus (Crispus Attucks), Cushing
  • D: Danforth, Dering, Duty (male)
  • E: Egatha, Electa, Eudoxa, Euphaime, Eustis
  • F: Fessenden, Fitzwilliam, Fear, Fidealia
  • G: Gad, Geradine, Grisell
  • J: Jacquith, Jenevie, Jennet, Jocastia
  • K: Knight
  • L: Laban, Lately, Lisley, Llewellyn, Lodusky (female), Loungo
  • M: Mahala, Malvina, Maranda, Melatiah (female), Metcalf, Moody
  • N: Nahum
  • O: Olimpia, Olander, Onesiphorus, Orinda, Ozias
  • P: Patterick, Peace (male), Pearly, Peletiah, Pepperell, Peregrin, Person, Philobeth (male), Phineas, Pilgrim, Plummer, Prosillo (female)
  • R: Rasilla, Reconcile, Roxana (“from Roxbury”)
  • S: Samartha, Seath, Seferanna, Sophronia, Stoddard, Stanhope, Sylvender
  • T: Tamer, Theophilus, Thusia, Trueman
  • W: Waitstill, Welthea, Wilhelmina, Winthrop
  • Z: Zera, Ziba (male)

All of the above were listed just once. Notable names that appeared more than once in the book include Almira/Elmira, Bathsheba, Dewitt, Doritha, Elbridge, Epes (relatives of Epes Sargent), Gamaliel, Gershom, Gillam, Increase, Jotham, Keziah, Louisiana, Mehitable/Mehetable, Nabby, Pamelia/Permelia, Persis, Rozamond/Rozamund, Silence, Sylvanus and Tamzen.

Source: Gravestone inscriptions and records of tomb burials in the Granary Burying Ground, Boston, Mass. (1918) by Ogden Codman

The Baby Name Chaffee

The first big wave of immigration from Vietnam to the U.S. began after the Fall of Saigon on April 30, 1975.

Four temporary immigration centers were set up in the U.S. to process the refugees. The largest of these was Fort Chaffee in Arkansas.

By the end of 1975, nearly 51,000 immigrants had been processed at Fort Chaffee. In the meanwhile, 325 babies were born to the refugees living there.

Gerald Ford with Vietnamese children at Fort Chaffee, 1975
President Gerald Ford visited Fort Chaffee in August, 1975

And what baby name debuted (twice) on the SSA’s baby name list in 1975?

The baby name Chaffee:

  • 1976: unlisted
  • 1975:
    • 5 baby boys named Chaffee [debut]
    • 5 baby girls named Chaffee [debut]
  • 1974: unlisted

So far, that’s the only year the name Chaffee has been popular enough to appear on the national list.

Were these 10 babies the children of Ft. Chaffee refugees?

I can’t say for sure, but I can tell you that all 5 of the baby boys were born in Arkansas. (Not sure about the baby girls.) Also, nearly all of the people I’ve found so far who were born in 1975 and named Chaffee had Vietnamese surnames.

(While researching, I found a Chicago-based business coach named Chaffee-Thanh Nguyen. Don’t know when he was born, but I’d venture to guess 1975.)

How did Fort Chaffee get its name?

It was named after Major General Adna Romanza Chaffee, Jr. (b. 1884) whose surname is of Norman origin. The surname can be traced back to the Old French word chauf, meaning “bald.”

And how did Adna Romanza Chaffee, Jr. get his name? He was named for his father, Lieutenant General Adna Romanza Chaffee, Sr. (b. 1842). Adna is a Biblical name said to mean “pleasure, delight” and Romanza is related to the Italian word romanzo, meaning “romance.” Newspaper writers of the early 1900s called Adna Romanza Sr.’s name “peculiar,” “incomprehensible,” “absurd,” and a “baptismal handicap,” among other things.


  • “Chatting About Chaffee.” Boston Evening Transcript 9 Nov. 1914: 10.
  • Hanks, Patrick. (Ed.) Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Indochinese Resettlement Program – Encyclopedia of Arkansas
  • “Men and Women.” Baltimore American 25 Aug. 1900: 6.
  • Thompson, Larry Clinton. Refugee Workers in the Indochina Exodus, 1975-1982. Jefferson, NC: McFarland, 2010.
  • “Topics of the Times.” New York Times 1 Aug. 1900.
  • Vietnamese-American – Wikipedia