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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Allen

Number of Babies Named Allen

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Allen

Ziegfeld Follies Baby Names – Allyn & Avonne

Ziegfeld Follies, which appeared on Broadway almost every year from 1907 until 1931, was an extravagant production that included music, dance and comedy.

The biggest draw, though, was the bevy of beautiful showgirls.

It became a popular sport to guess which one would break out and become the next big star, like onetime showgirls Barbara Stanwyck, Paulette Goddard, Gypsy Rose Lee, Josephine Baker, and of course, Marilyn Miller.

Several Follies girls went on to enjoy successful careers in entertainment, but only two — Allyn King and Avonne Taylor — inspired baby name debuts.

In fact, Allyn and Avonne are the 4th- and 5th-earliest actor-inspired baby name debuts that I know of (after Francelia, Ormi and Seena).

Allyn

Allyn King in Picture-Play Magazine, July 1923
Allyn King in Picture-Play, Jul. 1923
Allyn King was born in North Carolina in February of 1899. It looks as though she was named after her father, Allen. (Her sister, Phoebe, was named after their mother.)

Allyn was a Follies girl from 1916 until 1920, and the name Allyn — which was already showing up regularly on the SSA’s list as a boy name — debuted as a girl name in 1918:

  • 1926: 5 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1925: 11 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1924: 5 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1923: 7 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1922: unlisted
  • 1921: 5 baby girls named Allyn
  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: 7 baby girls named Allyn [debut]
  • 1917: unlisted

(I can’t include SSDI data for unisex names like this one because the SSDI doesn’t code for gender, making it difficult to figure out which people are male and which are female.)

Allyn King continued to appear in Broadway shows during the 1920s, and she was in one silent film in 1923.

But the pressure to achieve the skinny, boyish figure that was fashionable during the ’20s proved too much for her. Extreme dieting nearly killed her in 1927, and after spending almost two years recovering in a sanatorium, she was still so depressed in early 1930 that she jumped out of a 5th story window in New York City. She died two days later.

Avonne

Avonne Taylor in Photoplay, July 1927
Avonne Taylor in Photoplay,
Jul. 1927
Avonne Taylor was born in Ohio, also in February of 1899, to parents Clifford and Diana. Her birth name was Evangeline, but she joined the Follies under the name Avonne. (I’m not sure how she came up with it.)

Avonne was a Follies girl from 1920 to 1922, and the name Avonne debuted on the SSA’s list in 1923:

  • 1928: 9 baby girls named Avonne
  • 1927: 12 baby girls named Avonne
  • 1926: 6 baby girls named Avonne
  • 1925: 12 baby girls named Avonne
  • 1924: 17 baby girls named Avonne
  • 1923: 11 baby girls named Avonne [debut]
  • 1922: unlisted

Though the name was in use before 1923, it was too rare to appear in the publicly available SSA data. Here’s SSDI data from the same time period, for comparison:

  • 1928: 3 people named Avonne
  • 1927: 6 people named Avonne
  • 1926: 2 people named Avonne
  • 1925: 9 people named Avonne
  • 1924: 11 people named Avonne
  • 1923: 13 people named Avonne
  • 1922: 4 people named Avonne
  • 1921: unlisted
  • 1920: 1 person named Avonne
  • 1919: 2 people named Avonne

(For the SSDI numbers, I only counted people who had Avonne as a first name, not as a middle.)

Avonne Taylor went on to appear in a couple of films — one in 1927, the other in 1931 — and then left the entertainment industry altogether, it seems. She died in 1992 at the age of 93.

*

Which name do you like more, Allyn or Avonne?

Sources:


Names Popular During the Victorian Era

Tuesday’s post about the Victorian-style Tylney Hall Hotel reminded me of a list of Victorian-era names that I’ve had bookmarked forever.

The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).

Victorian Era Female Names Victorian Era Male Names
  • Abigale / Abby
  • Ada
  • Adella
  • Agnes
  • Allie
  • Almira / Almyra
  • Alva
  • America
  • Amelia
  • Ann / Annie
  • Arrah
  • Beatrice
  • Bernice
  • Charity
  • Charlotte
  • Chastity
  • Claire
  • Constance
  • Cynthia
  • Dorothy / Dot
  • Edith
  • Edna
  • Edwina
  • Ella
  • Eleanor
  • Ellie
  • Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
  • Elvira
  • Emma
  • Esther
  • Ethel
  • Eudora
  • Eva
  • Fidelia
  • Frances / Fanny
  • Flora
  • Florence
  • Geneve
  • Genevieve
  • Georgia
  • Gertrude / Gertie
  • Gladys
  • Grace
  • Hannah
  • Hattie
  • Helen
  • Helene
  • Henrietta / Hettie / Ettie
  • Hester
  • Hope
  • Hortence
  • Isabell / Isabella
  • Jane
  • Jennie
  • Jessamine
  • Josephine
  • Judith
  • Julia
  • Juliet
  • Katherine / Kate
  • Laura
  • Leah
  • Lenora
  • Letitia
  • Lila
  • Lilly
  • Lorena
  • Lorraine
  • Lottie
  • Louise / Louisa
  • Lucy
  • Lulu
  • Lydia
  • Mahulda
  • Margaret / Peggie
  • Mary / Molly / Polly
  • Mary Elizabeth
  • Mary Frances
  • Martha
  • Matilda / Mattie
  • Maude
  • Maxine / Maxie
  • Mercy
  • Mildred
  • Minerva
  • Missouri
  • Myrtle
  • Nancy
  • Natalie
  • Nellie / Nelly
  • Nettie
  • Nora
  • Orpha
  • Patsy
  • Parthena
  • Permelia
  • Phoebe
  • Philomena
  • Preshea
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca / Becky
  • Rhoda / Rhody
  • Rowena
  • Rufina
  • Ruth
  • Samantha
  • Sally
  • Sarah
  • Sarah Ann
  • Sarah Elizabeth
  • Savannah
  • Selina
  • Sophronia
  • Stella
  • Theodosia / Theda
  • Vertiline / Verd
  • Victoria
  • Virginia / Ginny
  • Vivian
  • Winnifred / Winnie
  • Zona
  • Zylphia
  • Aaron
  • Abraham / Abe
  • Alan / Allen
  • Albert
  • Alexander
  • Alonzo
  • Ambrose
  • Amon
  • Amos
  • Andrew / Drew / Andy
  • Aquilla
  • Archibald / Archie
  • Arnold
  • Asa
  • August / Augustus / Gus
  • Barnabas / Barney
  • Bartholomew / Bart
  • Benjamin
  • Bennet
  • Benedict
  • Bernard
  • Bertram / Bert
  • Buford
  • Byron
  • Calvin
  • Cephas
  • Charles / Charley / Charlie
  • Christopher
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Clarence
  • Clement / Clem
  • Clinton / Clint
  • Cole
  • Columbus / Lom / Lum
  • Commodore Perry
  • Daniel / Dan
  • David
  • Edmund
  • Edward / Ned
  • Edwin
  • Eldon
  • Eli
  • Elijah
  • Elisha
  • Emmett
  • Enoch
  • Ezekiel / Zeke
  • Ezra
  • Francis / Frank
  • Franklin
  • Frederick / Fred
  • Gabriel / Gabe
  • Garrett
  • George
  • George Washington
  • Gideon
  • Gilbert / Gil
  • Granville
  • Harland
  • Harrison
  • Harold / Harry
  • Harvey
  • Henry / Hank
  • Hiram
  • Horace
  • Horatio
  • Hugh
  • Isaiah
  • Israel
  • Isaac / Ike
  • Isaac Newton
  • Jacob / Jake
  • James / Jim
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson / Jeff
  • Jedediah / Jed
  • Jeptha
  • Jesse
  • Joel
  • John / Jack
  • John Paul
  • John Wesley
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph / Josephus
  • Josiah
  • Joshua
  • Julian
  • Julius
  • Lafayette / Lafe
  • Lawrence / Larry
  • Leander
  • Les / Lester / Leslie
  • Lewis / Lew / Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Matthew
  • Marcellus
  • Mark
  • Martin
  • Martin Luther
  • Masheck
  • Maurice
  • Maxwell
  • Merrill
  • Meriwether
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • Michael / Mike
  • Micajah / Cage
  • Mordecai
  • Morgan
  • Morris
  • Nathaniel / Nathan / Nate / Nat
  • Newton / Newt
  • Nicholas / Nick
  • Nimrod
  • Ninian
  • Obediah
  • Octavius
  • Ora / Oral
  • Orville
  • Oscar
  • Owen
  • Paul
  • Patrick / Pat
  • Patrick Henry
  • Paul
  • Perry
  • Peter
  • Pleasant
  • Ralph
  • Raymond
  • Reuben
  • Robert / Bob
  • Robert Lee
  • Richard / Rich / Dick
  • Roderick
  • Rudolph
  • Rufus
  • Samuel
  • Sam Houston
  • Seth
  • Silas
  • Simon
  • Simeon
  • Stanley / Stan
  • Stephen
  • Thaddeus
  • Thomas / Tom
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore / Ted
  • Timothy / Tim
  • Ulysses
  • Uriah
  • Victor
  • Walter
  • Warren
  • Washington
  • Wilfred
  • William / Will / Bill / Billy
  • Willie
  • Zachariah
  • Zebulon
  • Zedock

Which female name and male name do you like best?

Source: Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide

Baby Name Story – Frank, Named for Sauerkraut

Edward Allen Frank Lashley was born in Wisconsin in August, 2002. His first two given names are family names–Edward in honor of his maternal grandfather, and Allen for his father.

Frank isn’t a family name, though. The baby’s mom, Brenda Lashley, won the Kraut Eating Contest at the 2002 Kraut Fest in Franksville, Wisconsin, when she was 7 months pregnant. So she and her husband “figured why not add Frank to make it Edward Allen Frank, after the sauerkraut brand.”

That brand would be Frank’s Quality Kraut, originally made by The Frank Pure Food Company, after which Franksville was named in the early 1900s.

Sources: Racine woman gains fame for naming son after sauerkraut, News of the Weird, Baby Named for Kraut Firm (The Capital Times, 22 August 2002)

Baby Names Inspired by Clubs, Charities, Organizations

What clubs are you a member of? What charities do you support? What organizations have helped you (or someone you love) become a better person? Perhaps the story behind one of these groups could inspire a meaningful baby name.

Organization Founder(s)
Alcoholics Anonymous William Wilson
Robert Smith
American Red Cross Clara Booth
ASPCA Henry Bergh
Heifer International Dan West
Jane Addams Hull House Assoc. Jane Addams
Ellen Starr
Kiwanis Joseph Prance
Allen Browne
Knights of Columbus Michael McGivney
Lions Clubs International Melvin Jones
National Audubon Society George Grinnell
Outward Bound Kurt Hahn
Lawrence Holt
Peace Games Francelia Butler
RAINN Scott Berkowitz
Rotary Club Paul Harris
WWF Julian Huxley
Max Nicholson

The founder of the group would be the best place to start (if the group does indeed have a founder). But don’t stop there. Who were important early members of the group? Who helped popularize or expand the group? Who personally introduced you to the group and/or encouraged you to get involved?

What Do You Think About Lachlan?

Here’s a question from Bess about the name Lachlan:

I found the name Lachlan in a list of popular names in Australia. I live in the southeastern US. I like the name, but some people have had negative reactions to it. My husband seems to think it is a name you give a kid if you are trying to make them sound cool. What do you think? We are thinking of the middle name Allen.

I like the name Lachlan, but I can understand what your husband is saying.

Would the baby have any extra connection to the name? For instance, Scottish (or Norwegian) heritage? Relatives or ancestors with the name? Do you or your husband have any favorite book or movie characters named Lachlan, or some link to Australia?

Without some sort of personal significance, the name is simply a name off a list…and likely is being chosen because it sounds cool. There’s nothing wrong with that, of course. But a meaningful association is the very thing that would take the name from “cool-sounding” to something deeper.

(Ironically, I’ve been getting quite a few e-mails about the name Lachlan lately. This leads me to believe that people are becoming quite interested in the name…and will perhaps start using it more often. So, while Lachlan is unique right now, in the coming years it may become trendy, and, hence, not as cool-sounding.)

What other reasons are people giving for disliking the name? (Same as your husband? Or, are they having trouble with the pronunciation, maybe?)

Beyond that…I do like Allen as a middle. I think “Lachlan Allen” is a really nice-sounding combination.

What does everyone else think about Lachlan?