How popular is the baby name Francois 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 Francois.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Francois


Posts that Mention the Name Francois

Names in the News: Revy, Cali, Jameson

Some recent and not-so-recent baby names from the news…

Abbey: A baby girl born in England in November of 2017 was named Abbey in honor of Dr. Abey Eapen, her parents’ fertility doctor. (Mirror)

Blake Ramsey: A baby girl born in Florida in January of 2018 was named Blake Ramsey after Jaguars football players Blake Bortles and Jalen Ramsey. (First Coast News)

Cali: A baby girl born into the Perry family of Kentucky in July of 2017 was named Cali Perry in honor of John Calipari, head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats basketball team. (SEC Country)

  • Here’s another Cali from a couple of weeks ago.

Derc’hen (rejected): A baby boy born in France in August of 2017 was almost named Derc’hen, but the French government rejected the name because of the apostrophe. (The c’h is “a combination widely used in Breton language.”) (The Local)

Fañch (rejected): A baby boy born in France in May of 2017 was almost named Fañch, a traditional Breton diminutive of François, but the French government rejected the name because of the tilde over the n. (The Local)

Harveigh: A calf born in Texas a few days after Hurricane Harvey was named Harveigh. (Today)

Jameson: A baby boy born in Missouri in February of 2018 — and whose birth was broadcast live on his mom’s St. Louis radio show — was named Jameson, thanks to radio listeners who’d voted in a name poll held in January. (Newsweek)

Joshua: A baby boy born in Wisconsin in September of 2017 was named Joshua in honor of Dr. Josh Medow, the doctor who’d saved his mother’s life two years earlier. (Fox47)

Lucifer (rejected): A baby boy born in Germany in 2017 was almost named Lucifer, but the government rejected the name due to the association with evil. He’s now known as Lucian. (Deutsche Welle)

Olivia: A baby girl born into the Garton family of Arkansas in December of 2017 was named Olivia Garton as a tribute to Olive Garden restaurant. (ABC News)

Pilzner (rejected): A baby boy born in Sweden in August of 2017 was almost named Pilzner after his grandfather (nicknamed Pilzner), his father (nicknamed Pilzner), and Pilsner lager (clearly a family favorite), but the government rejected the name. (The Local)

Revy: A baby girl born in California in November of 2017 was named Revy after the ski town of Revelstoke, British Columbia. (CBC)

Brady Ruben Nuno: A baby boy born in England in December of 2017 was named Brady Ruben Nuno after: American football player Tom Brady, Portuguese footballer Ruben Neves, and Wolverhampton Wanderers F.C. head coach Nuno Espirito Santo. (Express & Star)

Swachhata: A baby girl born in India in February of 2018 was named “Swachhata” in recognition of the country’s cleanliness campaign, Swachh Bharat Abhiyan. (Hindustan Times)

Most Popular Baby Names in Quebec, 2016

According to data released recently by Retraite Québec, the most popular baby names in Quebec in 2016 were Emma and William.

Here are the province’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 632 baby girls
2. Lea, 514
3. Olivia, 507
4. Alice, 489
5. Florence, 470
6. Zoe, 416
7. Rosalie, 406
8. Charlotte, 400
9. Charlie, 387
10. Beatrice, 378

Boy Names
1. William, 791 baby boys
2. Thomas, 697
3. Liam, 654
4. Nathan, 614
5. Felix, 603
6. Jacob, 597
7. Noah, 590
8. Logan, 580
9. Alexis, 532
10. Gabriel, 530

In the girls’ top 10, Charlie returns and replaces Chloe (now 11th). In the boys’ top 10, Gabriel replaces Samuel (now 14th). Here are the 2015 rankings, if you’d like to compare.

Some of the baby names used just once last year include:

  • Girls: Aucelia, Augia, Denasada, Eulogia, Flechere, Haydence, Juridielle, Luotta, Mavericka, Nermine, Omica, Saranella, Sydra, Tuleen, Waapikun, Zealy, Zoralie
  • Boys: Bienvenu, Brinx, Clouthier, Danevick, Dyberry, Endrick, Holiday, Knochlan, Luzolo, Naulaq, Ozroy, Rockwell, Syphax, Tchaz, Tunu, Vinicius, Zabian

A CBC News article about how Quebec’s baby names are evolving to reflect the province’s changing values mentioned several name trends observed from the 1980s to today:

  • Compound names (Anne-Marie, Jean-François) are falling out of style.
  • Once-taboo English names (Elliot, Mia) are seeing new acceptance.
  • Similarly, French names are flipping languages (Anne to Anna, Guillaume to William).
  • Names are also flipping gender (Ariel, Noa).
  • Pop culture is influencing names (Shania, Logan).
  • Unique names are on the rise.

Speaking of unique names, sociologist Laurence Charton of the INRS (Institut national de la recherche scientifique) suggested that the rise of unique names starting in the early 1980s was fueled in part by a 1981 change in Quebec’s Civil Code that loosened restrictions on babies’ surnames.

rare baby names, quebec baby names, baby name graph

This claim makes me wish the article had included data from the ’60s and ’70s. I don’t doubt that parents felt liberated by the law change, but I do suspect that unique names were already on the rise by 1981.

For more sets of rankings, check out the name rankings category.

Source: Retraite Québec – List of Baby Names

Large French-Canadian Family in Massachusetts

Francois Gervais was born in St. Roch (near Montreal) in 1847. He later moved to Worcester, Mass., and found work as a carpenter.

He and his second wife, Marie Louise, became the parents of 21 children within their first 20 years of marriage, according to a New York Times article from 1895 about “Francis” and his family. At that time, only 9 of the children were living:

  • Frank, 18 years old
  • Arthur, 17
  • Roch, 14 (called Rodrique elsewhere)
  • Henry, 10
  • Louise, 9
  • Eugene, 5 (middle name George)
  • Edward, 4
  • Eva Marie, 3
  • Albert, 1.5

I’ve only been able to track down two of their non-surviving children, Josephine (b. 1889) and Joseph W. (b. 1893).

After the article came out, Francois and Marie Louise had several more children, but it looks like only one survived:

  • Joseph and Marie, twins, b. 1896, died of “infantile weakness”
  • John, b. 1898, survived
  • Dorila, b. 1899, died of diphtheria

Francois also had triplets with his first wife, Melvina, but the babies didn’t survive, and Melvina died a few years later.

Source: “Twenty-One Children in Twenty Years.” New York Times 23 Jun. 1895: 21

Vermont Family with 23 Children

In 1872, The Burlington Free Press printed a story about a 98-year-old widow in Vermont who’d given birth to 23 children.

Marie Abert was born in Quebec in 1773 and married her late husband, Francois Peppin, at the age of 17. They left Canada for Vermont in 1838.

It was noticeable, in conversation with the old lady, that while her memory of the names and ages of her elder children was quite distinct, her recollection of the latter ones who have died grew indistinct, after the fifteenth or sixteenth, and the names of four she was unable to give us.

Here are the names of most of her children:

1. Francois
2. Antoine
3. Marie
4. Jean Baptise
5. Pierre
6. Joseph
7. Oliver
8. Pauline (twin)
9. Clemence (twin)
10. Julia
11. Andrew
12. Timothy
13. Hortense
14. Clemence
15. Zoe
16. “After Zoe came four children, two boys and two girls, all of whom died young.”
17. ?
18. ?
19. ?
20. Bruno
21. Paul
22. Seth
23. ? (boy)

Marie and Francois also had at least 99 grandchildren and 98 great-grandchildren.

Which of the 23 names — the ones that are known, anyway — is your favorite?

Source: “A Large Family.” New York Times 6 Jun. 1872.

What Would You Name the Two Frenchmen?

The image below, of the Boulevard du Temple in Paris, was captured in early 1838 by Louis Daguerre, inventor of the daguerreotype.

It may be the earliest surviving photograph of a person. Two people, actually. Both are in the lower left:

Daguerreotype: Boulevard du Temple

Here’s a close-up:

Boulevard du Temple, detail

The standing man is getting his shoe shined, and the other man (partially obscured) is doing the shoe-shining.

Of all the people on the sidewalk that day, these were the only two to stay still long enough (about 10 minutes) to be captured in the image.

Now for the fun part!

What would you name these two Frenchmen?

Let’s pretend you’re writing a book set in Paris in the 1830s, and these are two of your characters. What names would you give them?

Here’s a long list of traditional French male names, to get you started:

Abel
Absolon
Achille
Adam
Adolphe
Adrien
Aimé
Alain
Alban
Albert
Alexandre
Alfred
Alphonse
Amaury
Amroise
Amédée
Anatole
André
Anselme
Antoine
Antonin
Apollinaire
Ariel
Aristide
Armand
Arnaud
Arsène
Arthur
Aubert
Aubin
Auguste
Augustin
Aurèle
Aurélien
Baptiste
Barnabé
Barthélémy
Basile
Bastien
Benjamin
Benoit
Bernard
Bertrand
Blaise
Boniface
Bruno
Calixte
Camille
Céleste
Célestin
Césaire
César
Charles
Christian
Christophe
Clair
Claude
Clément
Clovis
Constant
Constantin
Corentin
Corin
Corneille
Cosme
Cyril
Damien
Daniel
David
Denis
Déodat
Désiré
Didier
Dieudonné
Dimitri
Diodore
Dominique
Donat
Donatien
Edgar
Edgard
Edmé
Edmond
Édouard
Élie
Eloi
Émeric
Émile
Émilien
Emmanuel
Enzo
Éric
Ermenegilde
Ernest
Ethan
Étienne
Eugène
Eustache
Évariste
Évrard
Fabien
Fabrice
Félicien
Félix
Ferdinand
Fernand
Fiacre
Firmin
Florence
Florent
Florentin
Florian
Francis
François
Frédéric
Gabriel
Gaël
Gaëtan
Gaspard
Gaston
Gaubert
Geoffroy
Georges
Gérard
Géraud
Germain
Gervais
Ghislain
Gilbert
Gilles
Gratien
Grégoire
Guatier
Guillaume
Gustave
Guy
Hector
Henri
Herbert
Hercule
Hervé
Hilaire
Hippolyte
Honoré
Horace
Hubert
Hugues
Humbert
Hyacinthe
Ignace
Irénée
Isidore
Jacques
Jason
Jean
Jérémie
Jérôme
Joachim
Jocelyn
Joël
Jonathan
Joseph
Josse
Josué
Jourdain
Jules
Julien
Juste
Justin
Laurent
Laurentin
Lazare
Léandre
Léo
Léon
Léonard
Léonce
Léonide
Léopold
Lionel
Loïc
Lothaire
Louis
Loup
Luc
Lucas
Lucien
Lucrèce
Ludovic
Maël
Marc
Marcel
Marcellin
Marin
Marius
Martin
Mathieu
Mathis
Matthias
Maurice
Maxence
Maxime
Maximilien
Michaël
Michel
Modeste
Narcisse
Nathan
Nathanaël
Nazaire
Nicéphore
Nicodème
Nicolas
Noé
Noël
Norbert
Odilon
Olivier
Onésime
Pascal
Patrice
Paul
Philippe
Pierre
Placide
Pons
Prosper
Quentin
Rainier
Raoul
Raphaël
Raymond
Régis
Rémy
René
Reynaud
Richard
Robert
Roch
Rodolphe
Rodrigue
Roger
Roland
Romain
Rosaire
Ruben
Salomon
Samuel
Sébastien
Séraphin
Serge
Sévère
Séverin
Simon
Sylvain
Sylvestre
Télesphore
Théodore
Théophile
Thibault
Thierry
Thomas
Timothée
Toussaint
Urbain
Valentin
Valère
Valéry
Vespasien
Victor
Vincent
Vivien
Xavier
Yves
Zacharie

For some real-life inspiration, here are lists of famous 19th century and 20th century French people, courtesy of Wikipedia. Notice that many of the Frenchman have double-barreled, triple-barreled, even quadruple-barreled given names. (Daguerre himself was named Louis-Jacques-Mandé Daguerre.)

Source: The First Photograph of a Human