Independent baby name blog & directory, est. 2006.
How popular is the baby name Helena in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Helena and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Helena.
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1,633 babies were babies were born in Providence in 1866, by my count. (The number given by the author of the document is 1,632.)
1,457 of these babies (707 girls and 750 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 176 babies got blank spaces.
234 unique names (123 girl names and 108 boy names) were shared among these 1,457 babies.
And here’s some extra information I forgot to mention in the last post: In 1860, the city of Providence was home to 29.0% of Rhode Island’s population. In 1870, it was home to 31.7% of the population. So each of these 3 sets of rankings (1866, 1867, 1868) ought to account for roughly 30% of the residents of the state.
Now, on to the names…
The top 5 girl names and boy names of 1866 were, unsurprisingly, very similar to the top names of 1867.
Top Baby Girl Names
Top Baby Boy Names
The girls’ top 5 is identical, while the boys’ top 5 includes Thomas instead of George.
As expected, Mary was the front-runner by a huge margin. And, while there were dozens of Catherines, and a single Catharine, there weren’t any Katherines.
Mary, 149 baby girls
Anna & Eliza, 14 each (2-way tie)
Carrie, Emma, Jane & Susan, 10 each (4-way tie)
Grace & Ida, 9 each (2-way tie)
Esther, Martha & Minnie, 7 each (3-way tie)
Anne & Julia, 6 each (2-way tie)
Agnes, Charlotte, Cora, Harriet, Jennie, Joanna, Maria & Rosanna, 5 each (8-way tie)
A couple of weeks ago, while husband and I were on a short road trip to Dallas, I spotted a couple of interesting place names.
On the way there, we passed the town of Estelline (infamous for its speed traps). Estelline was established in the 1890s and named after Estelle de Shields, the daughter of an early settler.
While searching for the local pronunciation of Estelline (“ES tuh leen”), I found a pronunciation guide that concisely listed every Texas town, so of course I had to scan it for oddballs (e.g., Dime Box, Fair Play, Goodnight, Tarzan, Wink). And some of those weird town names also happen to be human names:
Brazoria: Beatrice Brazoria Mcleod, born in Texas in 1903.
Cotulla: Cotulla Ann Farr, born in Texas in 1982.
Flatonia: Jewell Flatonia Defoor, born in Texas in 1907.
Monthalia: Bertha Emma Monthalia Bahlmann, born in Texas circa 1899.
Splendora: Splendora, a one-hit wonder on the SSA’s list in 1923. (I don’t think this has anything to do with the town, though; the name Splendora is sometimes used in Italian families.)
Waxahachie: Waxahachie Arthur, born in Alabama in 1886. (But he was probably named after Alabama’s Waxahatchee Creek, not the Texas town.)
On the way back, we took a different route (through Oklahoma and Kansas). Near the Kansas/Colorado border, we passed a sign for the border town of Kanorado — a portmanteau created from the state names. I couldn’t find any humans with the name Kanorado, but I did track down people named for other border towns with portmanteau names:
Arkoma (Arkansas + Oklahoma), Oklahoma: Helena Arkoma Yost, born in Arkansas in 1908.
Calneva (California + Nevada), California: Calneva Wakeman, born in California in 1914.
Illmo (Illinois + Missouri), Missouri: Illmo Speer, born in Missouri circa 1907.
Kenova (Kentucky + Ohio + West Virginia), West Virginia: Virginia Kenova Woods, born in West Virginia in 1898.
Tennga (Tennessee + Georgia), Georgia: Tennga Conner, born in Georgia in 1914.
The registrar of Providence, Rhode Island, published a series of documents listing all “of the names of persons deceased, born and married in the city of Providence” during years 1866, 1867 and 1868. The series may have been longer, but these are the only documents I could find online.
I’ve finally finished creating a set of rankings using one of the documents — 1867. But before we get to the rankings, here are some stats:
1,547 babies were born in Providence in 1867, going by the number of babies listed in the document itself. According to the document’s introduction, though, the number is 1,625. Not sure what to make of this discrepancy.
1,431 of these babies (713 girls and 718 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 116 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps they died young and never received a name.
254 unique names (141 girl names and 113 boy names) were shared among these 1,431 babies.
And now, on to the names…
A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1867:
Top Baby Girl Names
Top Baby Boy Names
Notice how the #1 name, Mary, was bestowed three times as often as the #2 name, Catherine.
Twenty-one sets of twins and two sets of triplets were born in Providence in 1867. (All of these names were accounted for above — I just thought it’d be fun to check out the sibsets.)
Abraham & George
Charles & George
Charles & John
Daniel & David
Dunlap & Frank
Eugene & Timothy
George & John
George & William
James & John
John & Martin
Albert & Harriet
Ashel & Ida
George & Grace
James & Mary
Maurice & Ann
Annie & Fannie
Annie & Mary
Ann & Ellen
Jennie & Minnie
Margaret & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Carl, (blank) & (blank)
James, Alexander & Sarah
I’ll post Providence’s 1866 and 1868 rankings as soon I get them done. Until then, here are two older posts featuring uniquely named Rhode Islanders: Aldaberontophoscophornia (b. 1812) and Idawalley (b. 1842).
According to data from Malta’s National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups in Malta in 2014 were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.
Here are Malta’s top 10 girl and boy name-groups of 2014:
Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 97 baby girls
Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 37 [tie]
Anna/Hannah/Ann, 37 [tie]
Luke/Luca/Lucas, 98 baby boys
Liam/William, 51 [tie]
John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 51 [tie]
Kaiden/Kayden/Kai ,46 [tie]
Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 46 [tie]
Down in 15th place on the boys’ side is “Yannick/Yan” — both are versions of John, and yet they’re not part of the John group, which is tied for 6th.
Speaking of strange things…
The current Maltese birth registration system does not allow for Maltese fonts, which essentially means that names with ċ such as Ċikku or Ċensa; with a ġ such as Ġorġ or Ġanna; and with a ż such as Liża or Ġużi, are out – or at least will be recorded without the essential dots which distinguish the Maltese phonetical sound.
I’ve seen governments (e.g., NWT, California) make excuses about not being able to render minority/ethnic names properly on birth certificates, but I’ve never heard of a country that couldn’t render names from its own national language.
Earlier this month, husband and I spent a week camping on the Big Island of Hawaii.
It’s not easy to find names to blog about while you’re traversing the still-steaming surface of a pit crater, but I did manage to spot a few names here and there. :)
We spent the first half of the trip in Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park. Our campsite was located off Hilina Pali Road. Here’s the view:
Hilina, which immediately reminded me of Helena, seemed like it might be a name…but turns out it’s just a vocabulary word. In Hawaiian it means “struck (as by wind)” — which is appropriate, as the campsite was extremely windy. But hilina did help me discover Hilina’i on the SSA’s baby name list:
2012: 6 baby girls named Hilina’i (all born in Hawaii)
2011: 11 baby girls named Hilina’i (9 born in Hawaii)
2009: 5 baby girls named Hilina’i (all born in Hawaii)
2008: 7 baby girls named Hilina’i (all born in Hawaii) [debut]
Hilina’i means “to believe, trust; to lean on, rely on; trust, confidence” in Hawaiian.
Hawai’i Volcanoes National Park is also where the Thomas A. Jaggar Museum is located. It’s named after geologist Thomas Augustus Jaggar (1871-1953), founder of the Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (HVO).
One of the museum’s exhibits included three posters that were blown-up copies of pages taken from the old Volcano House hotel register. Each included at least one Hawaiian name. The longest list of names on display came from May, 1891:
These are the Hawaiian forenames I think I can make out:
The Hawaiian names on the other two posters were Mihana, I Kaia, and Pele-liilii. (Liilii isn’t part of the name, but means “small; little; diminutive; young.”)
Another exhibit included a short bio of Thomas Jaggar, and it mentioned that he’d invented an amphibious vehicle in the 1920s “for offshore lava flow observations.”
The vehicle’s name? ‘Ohiki, Hawaiian for “sand crab.”
We also did a lot of sightseeing outside the park. One of the places we visited was Rainbow Falls in Hilo, on the east side of the island. One of the plants there had graffiti all over the leaves. We weren’t able to see every name, but here are shots of “Silas + Sarah F.” and “Rachel + Jackson.”
The plant seemed healthy despite the vandalism, thankfully.
Something even cooler growing by the falls was this fantastic banyan tree. (That’s me hanging off the tree. Behind me is someone’s bicycle.)
Did you know that Banyan has been on the national baby name list for more than a decade now?
2013: 22 baby boys named Banyan [6 in Hawaii]
2012: 19 baby boys named Banyan [6 in California, 5 in Florida]
2011: 26 baby boys named Banyan [5 in California]
2010: 18 baby boys named Banyan [6 in California]
2009: 21 baby boys named Banyan
2008: 14 baby boys named Banyan
2007: 13 baby boys named Banyan
2006: 15 baby boys named Banyan
2005: 7 baby boys named Banyan
2004: 16 baby boys named Banyan
2003: 7 baby boys named Banyan
2002: 8 baby boys named Banyan
1996: 5 baby boys named Banyan [debut]
Banyan trees grow best in warm climates, so it doesn’t surprise me that usage of the name is highest in warmer states.
…And that’s it! So I’ll wrap up with this gratuitous shot of the black sand beach in Pololu Valley:
Have you ever been to the Big Island? Do you remember seeing/hearing any interesting names while there?
Malta’s top baby names of 2013 came out a few weeks ago.
According to data from the National Statistics Office, the most popular name-groups last year were Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella and Luke/Luca/Lucas.
Here are Malta’s top 20 girl name-groups and top 20 boy name-groups of 2013:
Elena/Elenia/Helena/Ella, 106 baby girls (5.5% of all girls)
Eliza/Elisa/Elizabeth/Elise, 78 (4.0%)
Julia/Yulia/Julianne, 69 (3.6%)
Emma/Emmanuela/Ema, 51 (2.6%)
Maya/Mia/Myah, 47 (2.4%)
Maria/Marija/Mariah/Marie, 42 (2.2%)
Lea/Leah/Leia, 37 (1.9%)
Martina/Martine, 36 (1.9%)
Christina/Christa/Christabel/Krystle, 35 (1.8%)
Kailey/Kai/Kaleigh, 34 (1.8%)
Catherine/Katrina/Kate/Katya, 34 (1.8%)
Emilia/Emily/Emelie, 34 (1.8%)
Amy/Aimee, 32 (1.6%)
Anna/Hannah/Ann, 31 (1.6%)
Mikela/Makaila/Michelle, 27 (1.4%)
Alison/Alice/Alicia/Alyssa/Aly, 27 (1.4%)
Sophia/Sophie, 26 (1.3%)
Jade/Giada, 22 (1.1%)
Alexandra/Alessia/Alexia/Lexi, 22 (1.1%)
Aaliyah/Alaya, 21 (1.1%)
Chloe/Khloe, 20 (1.0%)
Amber/Amberley, 20 (1.0%)
Karla/Carla/Carly, 20 (1.0%)
Jasmine/Yasmine/Yasmeen, 17 (0.9%)
Nina, 17 (0.9%)
Faith, 17 (0.9%)
Hailey/Hailee/Hayleigh, 16 (0.8%)
Nicole/Nicola/Nicky, 14 (0.7%)
Rachel/Raquel, 14 (0.7%)
Keira/Kyra, 14 (0.7%)
Claire/Clara/Clarisse, 14 (0.7%)
Luke/Luca/Lucas, 106 baby boys (5% of all boys)
Matthew/Matthias/Matteo, 93 (4.4%)
Jacob/Jake, 70 (3.3%)
Zachary/Zak/Zack, 56 (2.6%)
John/Jean/Jonathan/Juan/Gan, 53 (2.5%)
Michael/Miguel/Mikhail, 53 (2.5%)
Andrew/Andreas/Andre/Andy, 46 (2.2%)
Kaiden/Kayden/Kai, 45 (2.1%)
Alexander/Alessandro/Alec, 45 (2.1%)
Aiden/Ayden, 43 (2.0%)
Liam/William, 42 (2.0%)
Nicholas/Nick/Nicolai, 41 (1.9%)
Benjamin/Ben, 40 (1.9%)
Daniel/Dan/Danil, 33 (1.5%)
Isaac/Izaak, 32 (1.5%)
Mason/Maison, 32 (1.5%)
Jack/Jackson/Jacques, 30 (1.4%)
Jaden/Jayden/Jadon, 29 (1.4%)
Thomas/Tommas/Tommy, 29 (1.4%)
Nathan/Nathaniel, 28 (1.3%)
Julian/Julien/Guiliano, 27 (1.3%)
Gabriel/Gabrijel/Gabryl, 24 (1.1%)
Adam, 24 (1.1%)
Joseph/Beppe/Giuseppe/Josef, 23 (1.1%)
Noah, 23 (1.1%)
James/Jamie/Jayme, 22 (1.0%)
Samuel/Sam, 22 (1.0%)
Keiran/Kyran, 22 (1.0%)
Some of the unusual names registered in Malta last year were Aizley, Amporn, Breeze, Chinenye, Coco, Delson, Diyas, Enonima, Freedom, Gundula, Jaceyrhaer, Kobbun, Limoni, Love, Netsrik, Summer, Symphony, Zarkareia and Zveyrone.
Malta’s 2012 list was topped by Eliza/Lisa/Elsie/Elyse/Bettina and Matthew/Matthias/Matteo.