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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Clayton

Number of Babies Named Clayton

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Clayton

Name Spotting: Malancthon

sign, colorado, names
Sign inside Garden of the Gods

My dad came out to visit us in Colorado recently. He loves geology, so we made sure to take him to several different places with impressive rocks/terrain.

One place we visited was Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. In this park we spotted the above sign, which described how the park got its name back in the 1850s:

As they looked over this area of cathedral-like rock spires, one man, Malancthon Beach, commented that the spot would be a great place for a beer garden someday. His friend, a poetic young man named Rufous Cable, replied that it was a place “fit for the Gods.”

It’s a cool story, but, to me, that first name “Malancthon” is way more interesting than the origin of the park name. Where did it come from?

My best guess is that Malancthon is a tribute to 16th-century German theologian Philipp Melanchthon, one of the leaders of the Protestant Reformation. His surname at birth was Schwartzerd (“black earth” in German), but as a young man he Latinized his name to the classical equivalent Melanchthon (“black earth” in Greek).

Civilian Conservation Corps, new deal
CCC Company 1848

We also saw some names at Red Rocks, which is both a park and a famous amphitheater.

The amphitheater was constructed from 1936 to 1941 by men in the Civilian Conservation Corps, a work relief program that existed during the Great Depression. One display included a photo of 124 of the men in the local CCC. Here are their first names, sorted by frequency:

  • 5: Joe, Raymond
  • 4: Charles
  • 3: Arthur, Clarence, Edward
  • 2: Bill, Byron, Carl, David, Earnest, Edwin, Everett, Jack, James, Leo, Maurice, William
  • 1: Aaron, Albert, Aldine, Alfonso, Allen, Alva, Amos, Ancelmo, Arleigh, Aubrey, Audrey, Barnett, Blaine, Calvin, Celestino, Charley, Claud, Claude, Clayton, Cleston, Dale, Damas, Dan, Darold, Dick, Don, Donald, Ed, Elden, Elias, Elipio, Emerson, Emilio, Eric, Ernest, Eston, Fares, Frank, Fred, Glenn, Grant, Gust, Guy, Horace, Hubert, Irvin, Jake, Jasper, Jesse, Jim, John, Jose, Kenneth, Lawrence, Leland, Leonard, Lester, Louis, Lyman, Manual, Marvin, Max, Merce, Noah, Norman, Orval, Pasqual, Paul, Pete, Richard, Rowland, Rudolfo, Russel, Russell, Sandeford, Trenton, Willard

…What interesting names have you spotted while out and about recently?

Round-up of Multiples from 1944

The Badgett Quadruplets in 1944
Jeraldine, Joan, Jean, and Janet Badgett © LIFE

Oodles of multiples — eight sets of twins, one set of triplets, six sets of quadruplets, and one set of quintuplets — were featured in an early 1944 issue of LIFE magazine. Most of these multiples had been born in the 1920s and 1930s.

Curious about the names? I knew you would be! Here they are, along with ages and other details.

Twins:

  • Marjorie and Mary Vaughan, 19.
  • Lois and Lucille Barnes, 21.
  • Betty and Lenore Wade, early 20s.
  • Robert “Bobby” and William “Billy” Mauch, 22.
    • They had starred in the 1937 movie The Prince and the Pauper.
  • Blaine and Wayne Rideout, 27.
    • They had been track stars at the University of North Texas in the late 1930s along with another set of twins, Elmer and Delmer Brown.
  • Charles and Horace Hildreth, 41.
    • Horace was elected Governor of Maine later the same year.
  • Ivan and Malvin Albright, 47.
  • Auguste and Jean Piccard, 60.
    • “Honors as the world’s most distinguished pair of twins must go to Jean and Auguste Piccard, stratosphere balloonists, who are so identical that not everyone realizes there are two of them.”

Triplets:

  • Diane Carol, Elizabeth Ann, and Karen Lynn Quist, 11 months.

Quadruplets:

  • Claire (boy), Cleo (boy), Clayton (boy), and Connie (girl) Brown, 3.
  • Janet, Jean, Jeraldine, and Joan Badgett, 5.
    • “The customary alliteration in multiple names accounts for the “J” in Jeraldine.”
  • Felix (boy), Ferdinand (boy), Frances (girl), and Frank (boy) Kasper, 7.
  • James (boy), Jay (boy), Jean (girl), and Joan (girl) Schense, 13.
  • Edna, Wilma, Sarah, and Helen Morlok — the Morlok Quads — 13.
  • Anthony, Bernard, Carl, and Donald Perricone, 14.
    • “Their Beaumont neighbors call them “A,” “B,” “C” and “D” for short.”

Quintuplets:

  • Annette, Cecile, Emilie, Marie, and Yvonne Dionne — the Dionne Quints — 9.

Which of these sets of names do you like best? Why?

Source: “Twins: Accident of Their Birth Sets Them Apart from Other People.” LIFE 6 Mar. 1944: 91-99.

The Baby Name Leimomi

the surfers - on the rocksLeimomi, a Hawaiian name that means “pearl lei” or “pearl necklace,” debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1959:

  • 1963: unlisted
  • 1962: unlisted
  • 1961: 6 baby girls named Leimomi
  • 1960: unlisted
  • 1959: 8 baby girls named Leimomi [debut]
    • 5 born in Hawaii specifically
  • 1958: unlisted
  • 1957: unlisted

The debut was likely inspired by the song “Leimomi,” written by Alvin Kaleolani Isaacs and recorded by Hawaiian foursome The Surfers (Alan Naluai, Clayton Naluai, Patrick Kalani Sylva and Bernie Ching) for their debut album On the Rocks (1958).

The Surfers — like [Don] Ho, Martin Denny and Arthur Lyman — were in the first wave of musicians to bring the Islands’ music to the post-statehood Mainland audience.

Their debut album “was a whopping hit” successful enough to allow the boys to quit college and devote “all their time to making more records and appearing in clubs” and other places, including Disneyland and the Stardust in Las Vegas.

The name Leimomi has been on and off the SSA’s list since then, last appearing in 1990. What do you think of it?

Sources:

The Baby Name Saford, a Hillbilly One-Hit Wonder

Clayton and Saford Hall in in 1940
Clayton and Saford Hall in 1940

In 1941, the name Saford debuted in the U.S. baby name data with 11 baby boys — enough to make it the top boy name debut of the year.

It was never to be seen in the data again, though. This made Saford the top one-hit wonder name of 1941. And it’s tied for 9th on the list of most popular one-hit wonder boy names of all time.

So what’s the story behind this mysterious name? The state-by-state data offers a big clue:

  • 1942: unlisted
  • 1941: 11 baby boys named Saford
    • 9 born in Virginia specifically
  • 1940: unlisted

The name Saford was inspired by Virginia fiddler Saford Hall. Saford and his identical twin brother Clayton (who played the banjo) were born in rural Patrick County, Virginia, in 1919. They were the last of 10 children. (Their older siblings were named Lee, Roxie, Thamon, Mack, Romie, Samson, Simon and Asa.)

In the late ’30s, the boys formed their first band: the Hall Twins.

In 1939, the twins joined Roy Hall (no relation) and His Blue Ridge Entertainers. The band had a radio show that started out in Winston-Salem (WAIR), but saw much more success after moving to Roanoke (WDBJ) in April of 1940. The show consisted of musical numbers and comedy skits. In fact, Saford and Clayton had a comedy segment in which they played hillbilly characters named Monk and Gibb.

And while Saford and Clayton were radio stars in Roanoke, Saford’s name emerged in the U.S. baby name data — thanks to strong usage in Virginia. Clayton‘s name was already being given to hundreds of U.S. babies per year by the early ’40s, but usage in both Virginia and North Carolina was higher than expected in 1942. I even found a Virginia baby named Saford Clayton! (He wasn’t born until 1944, though.)

Ralph Berrier, Jr. — a journalist who happens to be Clayton’s grandson — wrote about the twins in his book If Trouble Don’t Kill Me. Here’s how he describes them on his website (which also includes recordings of several performances from the early ’40s):

The Hall twins rose from mountain-bred poverty to pickin’ and yodelin’ all over the airwaves of the South in the 1930s and 1940s, opening shows for the Carter Family, Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers, and even playing the most coveted stage of all: the Grand Ole Opry.

(They played the Grand Ole Opry twice, in 1941 and in 1942, as part of the Blue Ridge Entertainers.)

But just as their musical careers were beginning to take off, the brothers were drafted. Saford was sent to North Africa and Europe, and Clayton was sent to the South Pacific.

The Hall twins survived WWII, and they continued playing music after returning to the States, but they were never able to achieve the same level of musical success. Saford passed away in 1999, Clayton in 2003.

Sources:

Maine Family with 18 Children

Yesterday, a reader named Kristin let me know about a Bagnor Daily News article about the 18-child Rancourt family of Winterport, Maine.

The parents, Harry and Alice, wed in 1909 and went on to have 17 children (and adopt one more):

  1. Dorothy, born in 1910
  2. Gaspar, b. 1911
  3. Mildred, b. 1912
  4. Leo, b. 1914
  5. Marion, b. 1916
  6. Marguerite, b. 1917
  7. Corinne, b. 1919
  8. Clara, b. 1920
  9. Harry, b. 1921
  10. Leon, b. 1923
  11. Clayton, b. 1924
  12. Alton, b. 1926
  13. Kenneth, b. 1927
  14. Reginald, b. 1929 (grandson adopted after his mother, Dorothy, died during childbirth)
  15. John, b. 1930
  16. Celestia, b. 1931
  17. Geraldine, b. 1932
  18. Iris, b. 1933

Which of these 18 names is your favorite?