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.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.


Popularity of the Baby Name Lester

Number of Babies Named Lester

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Lester

What Do You Think of Altruria?

sunset-islandThe 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:

Carrie Altruria Evans, born 1900 in Ohio
Carrie Altruria Evans, b. 1900

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)?

Sources: Science fiction The 19th and early 20th centuries – Encyclopedia Britannica, Altrurian Club History – Ohio Memory Collection, Altruism – Online Etymology Dictionary


Names Popular During the Victorian Era

Tuesday’s post about the Victorian-style Tylney Hall Hotel reminded me of a list of Victorian-era names that I’ve had bookmarked forever.

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
  • Ada
  • Adella
  • Agnes
  • Allie
  • Almira / Almyra
  • Alva
  • America
  • Amelia
  • Ann / Annie
  • Arrah
  • Beatrice
  • Bernice
  • Charity
  • Charlotte
  • Chastity
  • Claire
  • Constance
  • Cynthia
  • Dorothy / Dot
  • Edith
  • Edna
  • Edwina
  • Ella
  • Eleanor
  • Ellie
  • Elizabeth / Eliza / Liza / Lizzy / Bess / Bessie / Beth / Betsy
  • Elvira
  • Emma
  • Esther
  • Ethel
  • Eudora
  • Eva
  • Fidelia
  • Frances / Fanny
  • Flora
  • Florence
  • Geneve
  • Genevieve
  • Georgia
  • Gertrude / Gertie
  • Gladys
  • Grace
  • Hannah
  • Hattie
  • Helen
  • Helene
  • Henrietta / Hettie / Ettie
  • Hester
  • Hope
  • Hortence
  • Isabell / Isabella
  • Jane
  • Jennie
  • Jessamine
  • Josephine
  • Judith
  • Julia
  • Juliet
  • Katherine / Kate
  • Laura
  • Leah
  • Lenora
  • Letitia
  • Lila
  • Lilly
  • Lorena
  • Lorraine
  • Lottie
  • Louise / Louisa
  • Lucy
  • Lulu
  • Lydia
  • Mahulda
  • Margaret / Peggie
  • Mary / Molly / Polly
  • Mary Elizabeth
  • Mary Frances
  • Martha
  • Matilda / Mattie
  • Maude
  • Maxine / Maxie
  • Mercy
  • Mildred
  • Minerva
  • Missouri
  • Myrtle
  • Nancy
  • Natalie
  • Nellie / Nelly
  • Nettie
  • Nora
  • Orpha
  • Patsy
  • Parthena
  • Permelia
  • Phoebe
  • Philomena
  • Preshea
  • Rachel
  • Rebecca / Becky
  • Rhoda / Rhody
  • Rowena
  • Rufina
  • Ruth
  • Samantha
  • Sally
  • Sarah
  • Sarah Ann
  • Sarah Elizabeth
  • Savannah
  • Selina
  • Sophronia
  • Stella
  • Theodosia / Theda
  • Vertiline / Verd
  • Victoria
  • Virginia / Ginny
  • Vivian
  • Winnifred / Winnie
  • Zona
  • Zylphia
  • Aaron
  • Abraham / Abe
  • Alan / Allen
  • Albert
  • Alexander
  • Alonzo
  • Ambrose
  • Amon
  • Amos
  • Andrew / Drew / Andy
  • Aquilla
  • Archibald / Archie
  • Arnold
  • Asa
  • August / Augustus / Gus
  • Barnabas / Barney
  • Bartholomew / Bart
  • Benjamin
  • Bennet
  • Benedict
  • Bernard
  • Bertram / Bert
  • Buford
  • Byron
  • Calvin
  • Cephas
  • Charles / Charley / Charlie
  • Christopher
  • Christopher Columbus
  • Clarence
  • Clement / Clem
  • Clinton / Clint
  • Cole
  • Columbus / Lom / Lum
  • Commodore Perry
  • Daniel / Dan
  • David
  • Edmund
  • Edward / Ned
  • Edwin
  • Eldon
  • Eli
  • Elijah
  • Elisha
  • Emmett
  • Enoch
  • Ezekiel / Zeke
  • Ezra
  • Francis / Frank
  • Franklin
  • Frederick / Fred
  • Gabriel / Gabe
  • Garrett
  • George
  • George Washington
  • Gideon
  • Gilbert / Gil
  • Granville
  • Harland
  • Harrison
  • Harold / Harry
  • Harvey
  • Henry / Hank
  • Hiram
  • Horace
  • Horatio
  • Hugh
  • Isaiah
  • Israel
  • Isaac / Ike
  • Isaac Newton
  • Jacob / Jake
  • James / Jim
  • Jasper
  • Jefferson / Jeff
  • Jedediah / Jed
  • Jeptha
  • Jesse
  • Joel
  • John / Jack
  • John Paul
  • John Wesley
  • Jonathan
  • Joseph / Josephus
  • Josiah
  • Joshua
  • Julian
  • Julius
  • Lafayette / Lafe
  • Lawrence / Larry
  • Leander
  • Les / Lester / Leslie
  • Lewis / Lew / Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Louis
  • Levi
  • Lucas
  • Lucian
  • Lucius
  • Luke
  • Luther
  • Matthew
  • Marcellus
  • Mark
  • Martin
  • Martin Luther
  • Masheck
  • Maurice
  • Maxwell
  • Merrill
  • Meriwether
  • Meriwether Lewis
  • Michael / Mike
  • Micajah / Cage
  • Mordecai
  • Morgan
  • Morris
  • Nathaniel / Nathan / Nate / Nat
  • Newton / Newt
  • Nicholas / Nick
  • Nimrod
  • Ninian
  • Obediah
  • Octavius
  • Ora / Oral
  • Orville
  • Oscar
  • Owen
  • Paul
  • Patrick / Pat
  • Patrick Henry
  • Paul
  • Perry
  • Peter
  • Pleasant
  • Ralph
  • Raymond
  • Reuben
  • Robert / Bob
  • Robert Lee
  • Richard / Rich / Dick
  • Roderick
  • Rudolph
  • Rufus
  • Samuel
  • Sam Houston
  • Seth
  • Silas
  • Simon
  • Simeon
  • Stanley / Stan
  • Stephen
  • Thaddeus
  • Thomas / Tom
  • Thomas Jefferson
  • Theodore / Ted
  • Timothy / Tim
  • Ulysses
  • Uriah
  • Victor
  • Walter
  • Warren
  • Washington
  • Wilfred
  • William / Will / Bill / Billy
  • Willie
  • Zachariah
  • Zebulon
  • Zedock

Which female name and male name do you like best?

Source: Victorian Era Names, A Writer’s Guide

Pilgrim Surnames for Thanksgiving

Signing the Mayflower CompactThanksgiving is almost here!

I’ve already posted about Pilgrim names and Pilgrim baby names, so this year let’s try Pilgrim surnames. Specifically, would any of them make good baby names?

Here are the 37 surnames of the 41 men who signed the Mayflower Compact:

  1. Alden (John Alden)
  2. Allerton (Isaac Allerton, John Allerton)
  3. Billington (John Billington)
  4. Bradford (William Bradford)
  5. Brewster (William Brewster)
  6. Britteridge (Richard Britteridge)
  7. Browne (Peter Browne)
  8. Carver (John Carver)
  9. Chilton (James Chilton)
  10. Clarke (Richard Clarke)
  11. Cooke (Francis Cooke)
  12. Crackstone (John Crackstone)
  13. Doty (Edward Doty)
  14. Eaton (Francis Eaton)
  15. English (Thomas English)
  16. Fletcher (Moses Fletcher)
  17. Fuller (Samuel Fuller, Edward Fuller)
  18. Gardiner (Richard Gardiner)
  19. Goodman (John Goodman)
  20. Hopkins (Stephen Hopkins)
  21. Howland (John Howland)
  22. Lester (Edward Lester)
  23. Margeson (Edmund Margeson)
  24. Martin (Christopher Martin)
  25. Mullins (William Mullins)
  26. Priest (Degory Priest)
  27. Rigsdale (John Rigsdale)
  28. Rogers (Thomas Rogers)
  29. Soule (George Soule)
  30. Standish (Myles Standish)
  31. Tilley (Edward Tilley, John Tilley)
  32. Tinker (Thomas Tinker)
  33. Turner (John Turner)
  34. Warren (Richard Warren)
  35. White (William White)
  36. Williams (Thomas Williams)
  37. Winslow (Edward Winslow, Gilbert Winslow)

Some aren’t too appropriate (I’m looking at you, Crackstone!) but I think many of the others — Martin, Warren, Brewster, Fletcher, Lester — would be great options for Thanksgiving Day babies.

Which of the above surnames would you be most likely to use as a first name?

Babies Named for First Transpacific Flight

Lt. Albert Hegenberger and Lt. Lester MaitlandTwo babies born in Honolulu, Hawaii, on June 29, 1927, were named Maitland. Why?

Because pilot Lt. Lester Maitland had just landed in Honolulu after piloting the very first transpacific flight from the mainland to the islands.

He and navigator Lt. Albert Hegenberger had left San Francisco, California, early on June 28. They flew 2,400 miles in about 24 hours.

(This was just five weeks after Charles Lindbergh’s famous solo transatlantic flight from New York to Paris.)

The babies’ full names were Maitland Paul Stearns and Maitland Albert Jowell (Albert for Hegenberger).

Sources:

  • “Active Day for Flyers to Islands.” Los Angeles Times 2 Jul. 1927: 1.
  • “Honolulu Baby Is Named for Pacific Aviators.” Evening News [San Jose] 12 Jul. 1927: 7.
  • Lt. Lester Maitland – Hawaii Aviation

Baby Born During Flood Named L’Eau Haute

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.

Baby Named Linda Ann After WWII Plane

The 1940s baby named Linda from the other day reminded me of another 1940s baby named Linda:

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.