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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Irving

Number of Babies Named Irving

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Irving

8 Impressive People Named Cooper

The baby name Cooper comes from an English surname that referred to someone who made or repaired barrels. It’s based on a Latin word meaning “cask, vat.”

Here are more than a half dozen impressive people named Cooper:

  1. Alan Cooper (1952-), American software designer and programmer. Developed the visual programming language used to create Visual Basic.
  2. Astley P. Cooper (1768-1841), English surgeon and anatomist. First to tie the abdominal aorta to treat aneurysm in 1817.
  3. Irving S. Cooper (1922-1985), American neurosurgeon.
  4. Kenneth H. Cooper (1931-), American doctor. Introduced the concept of aerobics in 1968.
  5. Leon N. Cooper (1930-), American physicist. Co-developed the first microscopic theory of superconductivity in 1957.
  6. Martin Cooper (1928-), American engineer. Led the team that built the first mobile phone (1972-1973) and made the first public mobile phone call (1973).
  7. Peter Cooper (1791-1883), American inventor and manufacturer. Designed and built the first steam locomotive in the U.S. in 1830.
  8. Whina Cooper (1895-1994), Māori leader and activist.

Do you know of any other equally cool people named Cooper?


On the “Changed Nomenclature of Our Babies”

An opinion about “modern names” from 1907:

A very good guide, in the study of New England genealogy, is given by the Christian name. In some families, Simon, Stephen and Thomas may follow down the line of sons; while others carry only John, James and William. Genealogists have great confidence in this clue, for those Christian old worthies used to name their sons after themselves and their fathers. They had not evolved into the “Vernons” and “Cecils” and “Irvings” of now-a-days; these modern names which mean nothing but a morbid craving for the romantic and unusual. Romances guide the Christian names of babies today, alas, instead of sense of family loyalty. Have we not lost something of the real spirit of genuineness and fealty with the changed nomenclature of our babies?

So amusing to think of Vernon, Cecil and Irving as romantic or unusual. I wonder what this writer would have thought of Jayden, Jaxon and Jace.

Source: “Genealogy.” Deseret Evening News 26 Jan. 1907: 26.

1940s Family with 24 Kids – Largest Family in U.S.?

In 1946, the National Father’s Day Committee declared 63-year-old New Yorker George N. Davis the father with the largest family in the United States.

largest family 1940s
The Davis family of New York, 1946

Whether or not his family really was “the largest family in the United States” at that time I don’t know, but I can tell you that he had a total of 24 children (though only 20 were still living in 1946). He had seven with his first wife, Lillian, and the rest with his second wife, Anna.

Here are the names of all 24, in alphabetical order:

  1. Alice
  2. Anna
  3. Arthur
  4. Beulah
  5. Blanche
  6. Brayton
  7. Clark
  8. Charles (died in infancy)
  9. Derwood
  10. Emma Jean
  11. Geneva
  12. George
  13. Irving
  14. Isaac (died in infancy)
  15. Isaac
  16. Joyce Mae (died in infancy)
  17. Laura (died as an adult)
  18. Lena
  19. Lovisa
  20. Raymond
  21. Rupert
  22. Viva
  23. Wallace
  24. Winrick

According to the 1920 Census, he also had a stepdaughter named Ella.

Out of the 24 names on the list, which girl and boy names do you like best?

Source: George N. Davis, Father of the Year

P.S. Here’s a short newsreel movie [vid] about the family.

Namestorm 14 – Baby Names Inspired by Photographers

We’ve already done a photography namestorm, but I received a request for a namestorm about photographers specifically.

Some of these names I found in the comments to the the earlier namestorm (thank you Nancy, Bridgett and Julie) and others I found on various photography websites.

  • Alfred, for Alfred Eisenstaedt (who took that famous V-J Day shot) and Alfred Stieglitz.
  • Anna-Lou (or Annie), for Anna-Lou “Annie” Leibovitz.
  • Ansel, for Ansel Adams.
  • Berenice, for Berenice Abbott.
  • Carleton, for Carleton Watkins.
  • Dorothea, for Dorothea Lange.
  • Edward, for Edward Steichen and Edward Weston.
  • Eugene, for Eugène Atget and W. Eugene Smith.
  • Galen, for Galen Rowell.
  • Garry, for Garry Winogrand.
  • Harry, for Harry Callahan.
  • Helen, for Helen Levitt.
  • Henri, for Henri Cartier-Bresson.
  • Imogen, for Imogen Cunningham.
  • Irving, for Irving Penn.
  • Julia, for Julia Margaret Cameron.
  • Margaret, for Margaret Bourke-White.
  • Mathew, for Mathew Brady.
  • Richard, for Richard Avedon.
  • Roger, for Roger Fenton.
  • Robert, for Robert Capa and Robert Adams.
  • Timothy, for Timothy O’Sullivan.
  • Walker, for Walker Evans.
  • Yousuf, for Yousuf Karsh.

Who else would you add to this list?

What interests/activities should we namestorm about next?

Baby Name Needed – Names That Go with Saling

A reader named Kim wrote to me the other day with a surname question:

My husband and I are pregnant with our first child, my husband and his family are really proud of their last name. I was wondering what names go along with Saling (pronounced like sailing) that actually sound like names and not just boat terms.

This question reminds me of the post I wrote about the surname Gripe a few months ago.

They key with surnames like Saling and Gripe is to pick a first and middle names that don’t make them seem like anything other than surnames. That is, names that don’t pull them out of context. This entails avoiding:

  • Names, nicknames, and initials that are (or sound like) nouns, verbs, adjectives, adverbs, or other parts of speech. Examples: Christian Saling, Sky Saling, Ernest Saling, Ben Saling, Izzy Saling, Will B. Saling, C. U. Saling.
  • Names and nicknames that have too many sounds in common with the surname. Alliteration can make a name sound cartoonish (e.g. Olive Oyl, Betty Boop). Examples: Stella Saling, Cecilia Saling, Irving Saling, Sal Saling.
  • Names that don’t work with the surname specifically. Examples: Clara Saling, Perry Saling (both are close to parasailing).

Here are some names that I think would work with Saling:

Boy names: Girl names:
Brian
David
Derek
Dominic
Eric
Ethan
Frederick
Gregory
Henry
Jacob
Jeffrey
Jonathan
Nathan
Ryan
Timothy
Zachary
Bethany
Brianna
Catherine
Diane
Hannah
Heidi
Jennifer
Megan
Monica
Naomi
Natasha
Norah
Phoebe
Rebecca
Veronica
Zoe

Which of the above do you like best? What other names would you suggest to Kim?