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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Goebel

Number of Babies Named Goebel

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Goebel

Babies Named for Kentucky’s Assassinated Governor

William Goebel, Kentucky governor
William Goebel of Kentucky
Who knew that the only U.S. governor assassinated while in office would have so many namesakes?

In 1899, the two men running for governor of Kentucky — “the most violent state in the union” at the end of the 19th century — were William Goebel (Democrat) and William S. Taylor (Republican).

Goebel was a crafty politician who had murdered one of his rivals several years earlier. He was the favorite.

In an unexpected turn of events, though, Taylor ended up defeating Goebel by a narrow margin.

While Goebel was ready to accept the loss, his supporters were not, and the election results were challenged on the grounds of voter fraud.

Taylor was inaugurated on December 12, but chaos reigned in Kentucky for many weeks. In fact, “Kentucky was teetering on the brink of civil war by January 30, 1900” — the day an unseen gunman shot William Goebel in the chest while he was walking toward the State House.

The very next day, the Kentucky General Assembly decided that Goebel had indeed won the election. He was immediately sworn in as governor, but died on the evening of February 3.

Thus, Goebel became the only U.S. state governor to be assassinated while in office.

And 1899-1900 is exactly when we first see the baby name Goebel appear in the SSA’s baby name data:

  • 1901: unlisted
  • 1900: 10 baby boys named Goebel
  • 1899: 5 baby boys named Goebel [debut]
  • 1898: unlisted

The SSA data from that era is incomplete, though, so let’s also look at data from the Social Security Death Index (SSDI):

  • 1904: 2 people named Goebel
  • 1903: 5 people named Goebel
  • 1902: 8 people named Goebel
  • 1901: 10 people named Goebel
  • 1900: 73 people named Goebel
  • 1899: 54 people named Goebel
  • 1898: 5 people named Goebel
  • 1897: 2 people named Goebel
  • 1896: 1 person named Goebel
  • 1895: no one named Goebel

I don’t know for sure where all of the 1899/1900 Goebels listed in the SSDI were born, but I can tell you that most died in the state of Kentucky.

Finally, other turn-of-the-century records reveal hundreds of babies named “William Goebel” specifically. Here are a dozen of them:

  1. William Goebel Bower, 1900-1980
  2. William Goebel Darland, 1900-1923
  3. William Goebel Fowler, 1900-1924
  4. William Goebel Haley, 1899-1936
  5. William Goebel Johnson, 1899-1908
  6. William Goebel Kendall, 1900-1947
  7. William Goebel Locknane, 1900-1977
  8. William Goebel Mers, 1899-1932
  9. William Goebel Pulliam, 1899-1924
  10. William Goebel Spurlin, 1899-1964
  11. William Goebel Todd, 1900-1956
  12. William Goebel Whitney, 1899-1965

So what does the German surname Goebel mean? It’s a respelling of Göbel, a pet form of the Germanic personal name Godebert, made up of the elements gōd, “good,” or god, “god,” and berht, “bright; famous.”

Sources:

  • Hanks, Patrick. Dictionary of American Family Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2003.
  • Newton, Michael. Famous Assassinations in World History, vol. 1. Santa Barbara: ABC-CLIO, 2014.
  • Walker, Marianne C. “The Late Governor Goebel.” Humantities Jul./Aug. 2013.
  • William Goebel – Wikipedia

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 1900s (’00-’09)

The names below are one-hit wonder names that ranked among the 1,000 most popular U.S. baby names only once — sometime between 1900 and 1909 (inclusive).

Girls

  • 1900 – Luvinia
  • 1901 – Dagny, Ethyle
  • 1903 – Augustina, Girtha
  • 1904 – Edris, Vernia
  • 1905 – Beadie, Ilda, Neola, Orma, Vela
  • 1907 – Clydie, Rosabelle, Theta
  • 1908 – Arnetta, Clementina, Launa
  • 1909 – Azalee, Macel

Boys

  • 1900 – Goebel (influence: William Goebel), Tallie
  • 1901 – Ancil, Buren, Erland, Esco, Mathews, Pate
  • 1902 – Doll, Ivor, Victoriano
  • 1903 – Beckham, Lenon, Ozzie, Teddie
  • 1904 – Arbie, Council, Duard, Harm, Severo, Tobie
  • 1905 – Fredie, Graydon, Jiles
  • 1906 – Benard, Harrold
  • 1907 – Delmus, Delphin (influence: Delphin Delmas), Gilmer, Ogden, Oland, Samie
  • 1908 – Esker, Levie, Robley (influence: Robley Evans)
  • 1909 – Othel

I think both Beckham (1903) and Graydon (1905) could really appeal to modern parents — Beckham for its association with soccer star David Beckham, Graydon for its similarity to currently popular names like Grayson and Jayden.

All one-hit wonder lists: 1880s, 1890s, 1900s, 1910s, 1920s, 1930s, 1940s, 1950s, 1960s, 1970s, 1980s, 1990s, 2000s.