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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Gatewood

Number of Babies Named Gatewood

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Gatewood

Is Not Naming a Baby “Emotionally Harmful”?

Days ago, a UK judge ruled that a 5-month-old boy should be taken away from his parents in part because he had no first name:

“His father has refused to give him a name,” said Mrs Justice Parker in her ruling.

“I think ideally the mother independently would not have taken that view.”

The judge said the boy was starting to acquire language, and added: “Every child needs a name.”

She went on: “I truly think that it is emotionally harmful not to give a child a name.”

A century ago, it was common for parents to wait weeks, months, sometimes years before naming a baby. A handful of people (like Tifft and Gatewood) went their entire lives without a given name.

While most parents today name their babies soon after birth, some still choose to wait. Ben Harper and Laura Dern didn’t name their daughter Jaya until she was 3 months old. Picabo Street’s name wasn’t official until she was 3.

Do you agree or disagree with Mrs Justice Parker that it is “emotionally harmful not to give a child a name”? If your answer depends upon the age of the child, at what age do you think namelessness become dangerous?

P.S. “Mrs Justice” is the judge’s title. I couldn’t track down her given name.

Source: Child with no name must be adopted, judge rules (found via Twitter, thanks to Anna of Waltzing More Than Matilda)

The Nameless Dr. Gatewood

Dr. Wesley Emmett Gatewood and Annie L. Pierrot of Ohio had five children. All five went on to earn Ph.D.s, but only four were given first names.

Their eldest son, born in 1887, was the odd one out. He simply went by Gatewood, sometimes Gatey.

Here’s what Wesley wrote about his one-year-old son’s name in 1888:

I grow more pleased with his strong, simple and unpretentious name. Whatever he may be to others, he is always to me, and let me hope he may ever be to his mother, in pride and sweetest satisfaction the one who bore strongest in purpose and courage…whatever was worthy — the loved representation — strong in his solid singleness, knowing and needing but one name — Gatewood.

Gatewood’s parents believed he would choose a name for himself when he got older, but, like Tifft, Gatewood never felt the need.

During college, one professor “arbitrarily assigned Gatewood the first name Peter. In class, Gatewood refused to respond to his newly given name and the issue was quickly dropped.”

He graduated from Rush Medical College in 1911 and began practicing medicine in Chicago.

In 1917, he applied for a medical military commission. The New York Times made note of it: “An officer without a Christian name was commissioned a First Lieutenant of the Army Medical Reserve Corps a few days ago. The officer’s name is Gatewood, and he comes from Chicago.”

Around this time, some started to call him “Blank” to differentiate him from his brother, Lee, who was also a doctor in Chicago.

Dr. Gatewood married nurse Esther Lydia Harper in 1923. She disliked being called Mrs. Blank Gatwood, so she referred to herself as Mrs. Gatewood Gatewood. They had three children, all with first names: Emmett Harper and Esther Helen (twins, b. 1924) and Mary Jean (b. 1926).

When Mrs. Gatewood delivered nonidentical twins, the infants were waggishly called Blank and Blankette in the nursery until conventional names were given.

TIME remarked on Dr. Gatewood’s passing in mid-1939: “His parents never gave him a first name, left him to choose his own. Because he could not find one to suit him, he died first-nameless.”


  • “Army and Navy Notes.” New York Times 24 Feb. 1918.
  • “Death Takes Man Who Never Had First Name” Reading Eagle 23 May 1939: 22.
  • “Hey, You!” Chicago Tribune 6 Feb. 1918: 3.
  • Jean Kohn Biography
  • Meals, Roy A. and Garry S. Brody. “Gatewood and the First Thenar Pedicle.” American Society of Plastic and Reconstructive Surgeons 73.2 (1984): 315-319.
  • Milestones.” TIME Magazine 5 June 1939.
  • Miller, Edwin W. “Doctor Gatewood.” Annals of Surgery 113.1 (1941): 158-159.