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

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Francelia

Number of Babies Named Francelia

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Francelia

The Movie-Star Baby Name Franchot

Franchot Tone, 1930s
Franchot Tone
Uniquely named female film stars were inspiring debuts on the baby name charts as early as the 1910s, starting with Francelia in 1912.

But the first male film star to inspire a baby name debut didn’t come along until the 1930s.

That film star was actor Franchot Tone. He shot to fame in 1933, the year he appeared in seven films — including one with Jean Harlow, another with Loretta Young, and two with Joan Crawford (his future wife).

The name Franchot debuted on the SSA’s baby name list the very next year:

  • 1938: 7 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1937: 10 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1936: 21 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1935: 6 baby boys named Franchot
  • 1934: 9 baby boys named Franchot [debut]
  • 1933: unlisted

In fact, it was one of the top baby name debuts of 1934.

The usage of Franchot peaked in 1936, the year Tone appeared in the very successful 1935 film Mutiny on the Bounty. (Movita, Marlon Brando’s future wife, was also in the film.)

Franchot Tone’s birth name was Stanislaus Pascal Franchot Tone. Franchot, pronounced fran-cho, was his mother’s maiden name. It’s one of the many names (and surnames) that can be traced back to the Late Latin Franciscus, meaning “Frankish” or “Frenchman.”

What do you think of the baby name Franchot?

Source: Franchot Tone – Wikipedia


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, had been 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:

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

(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:

Year SSA SSDI
1919 x 2 Avonnes
1920 x 1 Avonne
1921 x x
1922 x 4 Avonnes
1923 11 Avonnes [debut] 13 Avonnes
1924 17 Avonnes 11 Avonnes
1925 12 Avonnes 9 Avonnes
1926 6 Avonnes 2 Avonnes
1927 12 Avonnes 6 Avonnes
1928 9 Avonnes 3 Avonnes

(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:

The Silver Screen Baby Name Seena

First there was Francelia. Then there was Ormi. And today we have Seena — the third name (I know of) to debut on the U.S. baby name charts thanks to the influence of a silent film actress.

Signe Auen in Photoplay, Oct. 1915
Signe Auen in Photoplay, Oct. 1915
That actress was Seena Owen, and she’s a special case, as she’s the first actress on my list to become popular under a stage name.

Signe Auen was born in Washington state in 1894. Her parents were immigrants from Denmark, and she had older siblings named Lillie (who became a screenwriter) and Audun.

The Scandinavian name Signe can be traced back to the Old Norse name Signý, which is made up on the elements sigr, meaning “victory,” and , meaning “new.”

Signe Auen began appearing in films in late 1914.

In 1915, there was an uptick in the number of babies named Signe according to both the SSA and the SSDI.

Year SSA SSDI
1912 43 Signes 92 Signes
1913 46 Signes 76 Signes
1914 45 Signes 70 Signes
1915 67 Signes 73 Signes
1916 42 Signes 55 Signes
1917 52 Signes 50 Signes
1918 51 Signes 55 Signes
1919 40 Signes 40 Signes
1920 54 Signes 52 Signes
1921 44 Signes 37 Signes
1922 26 Signes 26 Signes

(For the SSDI numbers — which were declining during the 1910s, after peaking in the 1890s and 1900s — I only counted people who had Signe as a first name, not as a middle.)

Seena Owen in Photoplay, Mar. 1916
Seena Owen in Photoplay, Mar. 1916
Sometime during the last half of 1915 Signe Auen changed her name to “Seena Owen” — the phonetic spelling of her Danish name.

And in 1917, the baby name Seena debuted on the SSA’s baby name list:

Year SSA SSDI
1914 x 4 Seenas
1915 x 2 Seenas
1916 x 1 Seena
1917 5 Seenas [debut] 4 Seenas
1918 x 4 Seenas
1919 6 Seenas 4 Seenas
1920 x 2 Seenas
1921 9 Seenas 8 Seenas
1922 11 Seenas 6 Seenas
1923 12 Seenas 10 Seenas
1924 22 Seenas 16 Seenas

Numbers from both the SSA and the SSDI show that usage of the name Seena, which has always been relatively low, was at its highest during the 1920s.

This matches up pretty well with Seena Owen’s film career, which lasted from the late 1910s until the early 1930s, when Owen retired from acting due to the advent of talkies.

Which name do you like more, Signe or Seena?

P.S. Did you know that Seena Owen was the first person to wear false eyelashes? Director David Llewelyn “D. W.” Griffith had a wig maker invent the first set of eyelash extensions for Owen to wear in his 1916 epic film Intolerance.

Sources: Seena Owen – Wikipedia, Signý – Behind the Name

The Actress-Inspired Baby Name Ormi

Ormi Hawley in Photoplay Magazine
Ormi Hawley in Photoplay, 1915
Back in the 1910s, when the the film industry was just getting off the ground, several early film actors (or “players,” as they were called back then) managed to influence the baby name charts.

The very first actor-inspired baby name to debut on the charts seems to be Francelia, which appeared in 1912.

And the second? Ormi, which came along four years later.

Silent film actress Ormetta Grace “Ormi” Hawley was born in Massachusetts in 1889. “Opulent Ormi” appeared in hundreds of silent films (mostly shorts) from 1911 to 1919, primarily for the Lubin Company in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

Her name appeared on the SSA’s baby name list for one year only (1916), but SSDI data reveals that other baby girls were named Ormi during the decade:

Year SSA SSDI
1910 x x
1911 x x
1912 x x
1913 x 2 Ormis
1914 x 2 Ormis
1915 x 2 Ormis
1916 5 Ormis [debut] 5 Ormis
1917 x 1 Ormi
1918 x x
1919 x 1 Ormi
1920 x x

Ormi Hawley retired from acting in the 1920s and passed away in 1942. Unfortunately, very little of her film work has survived. (In fact, 70% of all films from the silent era are “completely lost to history,” according to the Library of Congress.)

Do you like the name Ormi? How about Ormetta?

Sources: Lottie Briscoe, Octavia Handworth, Ormi Hawley, Helen Marten: Lubin’s Lovely Ladies, Most of America’s Silent Films Are Lost Forever

The Under-the-Radar Baby Name Francelia

Francelia Billington, 1914
Francelia Billington in Photoplay, 1914
Here’s a rare, old-fashioned name that’s been given two distinct pop culture boosts over the years — one from the movies, one from the weather.

The movie connection is especially interesting because, as far as I can tell, this is probably the first name to debut on the charts thanks to an actress.

Usage of the name Francelia (fran-SEE-lee-ah) goes back to at least the 1700s. The name was most popular in the mid-1800s, especially in the Northeastern U.S. (New York state in particular). It seems to be an elaborated form of Frances (“Frenchman”) influenced by either Celia (“sky, heaven”) or Cecilia (“blind”), or both.

Francelia debuted on the SSA’s baby name list in 1912, probably thanks to early silent film actress Francelia Billington, who was born in Texas in 1895 and appeared in silent films from 1912 until the mid-1920s (and in a single talkie in 1930).

Francelia Billington wasn’t the first silent film actress to become famous, but she was the first whose name debuted on the national baby name list while she was famous. Several other silent film actresses of the 1910s also had distinctive names (e.g., Alla Nazimova, Theda Bara, Kathlyn Williams) but their names had all been listed since the late 1800s.

The SSA data from the 1910s isn’t super-reliable, so I’ve put both the SSA and the SSDI (Social Security Death Index) numbers side-by-side below. For the SSDI numbers, I only counted people who had Francelia as a first name, not as a middle.

Year SSA SSDI
1908 x 8 Francelias
1909 x 5 Francelias
1910 x 4 Francelias
1911 x 2 Francelias
1912 5 Francelias [debut] 10 Francelias
1913 10 Francelias 10 Francelias
1914 x 5 Francelias
1915 6 Francelias 5 Francelias
1916 14 Francelias 15 Francelias
1917 15 Francelias 12 Francelias
1918 5 Francelias 6 Francelias
1919 5 Francelias 4 Francelias

One of the Francelias above was children’s literature scholar/writer Francelia Butler (née McWilliams) who was born in Ohio in 1913.

The name Francelia has remained rare in the U.S. ever since, though it did see a spike in usage in 1969 thanks to the news of Hurricane Francelia, which hit Central America in early September.

  • 1971: 5 baby girls named Francelia
  • 1970: 10 baby girls named Francelia
  • 1969: 23 baby girls named Francelia (and 8 more named Francellia)
  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: 7 baby girls named Francelia

Francelia’s last appearance on the SSA’s list was in 1998, with just 7 baby girls. (To be included on the list, a name needs to be given to at least 5 babies.)

Do you like the name Francelia? Would you consider using it for a baby girl?

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?