Independent baby name blog & directory, est. 2006.
How popular is the baby name Lester in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Lester and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Lester.
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The names Dorcasina, Malaeska, and Trilby were inspired by characters from 19th-century novels. Altruria also comes from a 19th-century novel, but not from a character.
A Traveler from Altruria (1894) by William Dean Howells was first published in installments in Cosmopolitan in 1892-1893. The protagonist is Aristides Homos, a visitor to America from the fictional island of Altruria, “a Utopian world that combined the foundations of Christianity and the U.S. Constitution to produce an “ethical socialism” by which society was guided.”
The fictional place-name Altruria is a play on the word “altruism,” which was coined relatively recently (circa 1830) by French philosopher Auguste Comte.
Though A Traveler from Altruria isn’t well-remembered today, it was influential during the 1890s. Altrurian Clubs started sprouting up across the country. A short-lived commune called Altruria was established in Sonoma County, California, in the mid-1890s. And at least two babies were given the (middle) name Altruria:
Carrie Altruria Evans, born in 1900 in Van Wert, Ohio
Lester Altruria Eby, born in 1895 in Des Moines, Iowa
The official history book of the Van Wert Altrurian Club even mentions Carrie by name:
What do you think of Altruria as a baby name? Do you think it could be an alternative to the fast-rising Aurora (which broke into the top 100 last year)?
The list was created by amateur genealogist G. M. Atwater as a resource for writers. It contains names and name combinations that were commonly seen in the U.S. from the 1840s to the 1890s. Below is the full list (with a few minor changes).
Victorian Era Female Names
Victorian Era Male Names
Abigale / Abby
Almira / Almyra
Ann / Annie
Dorothy / Dot
Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
Just like the parents of Dee Day, Mrs. Lester Renfrow of Dallas, Texas, welcomed a baby girl on 6 Jun. 1944. The baby was born at about 2:30 in the morning, as sirens marking the allied invasion of France were sounding. So she was named Invasia Mae.
Source: “Invasion’s First Namesake Is Born.” St. Joseph News-Press 6 Jun. 1944: 6.
During the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927, Mrs. Lester Guidry of Evangeline, Louisiana, gave birth to a baby boy at a refugee camp. She asked the attending physician to name the child. He wrote L’Eau Haute (French for “high water”) on the birth certificate.
Source: “First Baby Born In Refugee Camp Named “High Water.”” Atlanta Constitution 21 May 1927: 20.
On 31 July 1944, a baby named Linda Ann was born to parents Manuel and Ida Bonito of San Jose. “The baby was named after the airplane on which an uncle, Frank Bonito, a member of the Army Air Forces, is serving.”
Baby Linda’s 20-year-old identical twin brothers, Lester and Lawrence, were also in the service at the time she was born.
Source: “Baby Sister Greeted by Twin Soldiers.” San Jose Evening News 9 Aug. 1944: 1.