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

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 Liberty

Number of Babies Named Liberty

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Liberty

What Did WWI Do for the Baby Name Liberty?

"Ring Me Again" Third Liberty Loan doorknob sign
Third Liberty Loan doorknob sign (Money Museum, Kansas City)
During World War I, the United States raised money for the war effort by selling Liberty Bonds to citizens.

The government offered a series of four Liberty Loans — two in 1917, two more in 1918.

“For Americans who were not inclined or able to enter into military service, fundraising offered an alternative demonstration of patriotism.”

A handful of parents took this patriotism even further by naming their babies Liberty.

How did this affect the overall popularity of the baby name Liberty?

The Baby Name Liberty
Liberty
(1918 spike)
  • 1919: 25 baby girls named Liberty
  • 1918: 150 baby girls, 14 baby boys named Liberty
  • 1917: 43 baby girls, 8 baby boys named Liberty
  • 1916: 6 baby girls, 7 baby boys named Liberty
  • 1915: (unlisted)
  • 1914: 7 baby girls named Liberty

Liberty became the 585th most popular baby girl name in 1918.

It wouldn’t enter the top 1,000 again until 1976, the year of the U.S. Bicentennial.

***

Families with the surname Bond must have been especially tempted to name their babies Liberty in 1917 and 1918.

I’ve found records for several babies named Liberty Bond, such as Liberty Lois Bond (b. 1917, California) and Liberty C. Bond (b. 1918, Michigan).

A baby girl who ended up with the name Liberty was born to Wallace and Jenny Bond of Oklahoma in 1917:

Named “Flossie Mae” at birth, her name was changed to “Liberty” when a relative told her father that she would buy Liberty Bonds in her name if he would make the switch. (She resented the name until she got a copy of her birth certificate decades later and learned that she otherwise would have gone through life as Flossie Mae.)

In the early 1950s, Ed Sullivan wrote that actor Ridge Bond had a cousin, born during the first World War, named Liberty Bond. “She married Frank Bell, and her name became Liberty Bell.”

***

Liberty Bond was also used more than once as a first-middle combination.

For instance, a baby named Liberty Bond Bailey, born in New York in 1918, made national headlines:

News comes from Ithaca, N.Y., that a real, live “Liberty Bond,” weighing nine pounds, arrived in that city on the morning of April 6, simultaneously with the opening of the loan drive and the anniversary of our entrance into the great war. It wasn’t of the accustomed variety, however, but a lusty, named “Liberty Bond” Bailey by his patriotic parents, Mr. and Mrs. Howard C. Bailey of 614 Utica Street. The boy’s parents were so elated by the triple significance of the day that they named the new arrival in honor of the great bond drive.

According to his wife, his name was the doctor’s idea:

“The doctor mentioned it to his mother about the bonds and as he handed (the baby) over, he said, ‘Here’s your liberty bond’,” Garetta Bailey said. “So, she named him Liberty Bond.”

And I’ve found another Liberty Bond Bailey, believe it or not, born almost exactly a year earlier in Oklahoma.

A 1918 newspaper reported that a baby boy born to Mr. and Mrs. Alex Sleime of West Virginia was named Liberty Bond.

Records suggest that around 8 other babies were also named “Liberty Bond,” including Liberty Bond Todd (b. 1917, Texas) and Liberty Bond Jones (b. 1918, North Carolina).

P.S. Another first-middle combination I spotted a handful of times was “Liberty Loan.” One example: Liberty Loan Hickman, born in Texas in 1917.

Sources:


My Top 40 Baby Name Stories

Open BookOf the hundreds of baby name stories I’ve posted so far, these are my 40 favorites (listed alphabetically).

  1. Actsapostles
  2. Airlene
  3. Aku
  4. Carpathia
  5. Cleveland
  6. Dee Day
  7. Dondi
  8. Emancipation Proclamation
  9. Frances Cleveland
  10. Georgia
  11. Grant
  12. Guynemer
  13. Ida Lewis
  14. Independence & Liberty
  15. Inte & Gration
  16. Invicta
  17. Iuma
  18. Jesse Roper
  19. Job-Rakt-Out-of-the-Asshes
  20. Karina
  21. Legal Tender
  22. Livonia
  23. Louisiana Purchase
  24. Maitland Albert
  25. Maria Corazon
  26. Mary Ann
  27. Medina
  28. Pannonica
  29. Pearl
  30. Poncella
  31. Return
  32. Robert
  33. Saarfried
  34. Salida
  35. Seawillow
  36. Speaker
  37. Speedy
  38. States Rights
  39. Thursday October
  40. Zeppelina

My favorite baby name stories tend to be those that I find most memorable. Several of them (e.g., Aku, Karina, Maitland) even taught me something new. In a few cases, it’s not the original story I like so much as something that happened later on in the tale (as with Georgia, Salida, Speaker).

War Twins Named Independence & Liberty

On October 17, 1777, British officer John Burgoyne was forced to surrender his 5,000-man army to the Americans during the Saratoga Campaign of the Revolutionary War.

A couple of weeks later, Jonathan Whipple and Mary [Jennison] Whipple of Massachusetts welcomed twin boys they agreed to name Liberty and Independence.

Dr. [William] Jennison … was a zealous supporter of the Revolution, and a member of the Provincial Congress from Mendon in 1774. His daughter, Mary, married Jonathan Whipple of Uxbridge, father of the twins, “Liberty and Independence” Whipple, who were born Oct, 31, 1777, while the country was rejoicing over the surrender of Burgoyne, the children being so named in accordance with the their grandfather’s urgent request.

The failure of the Saratoga Campaign didn’t just inspire a pair of baby names; it also boosted American morale, and convinced France to enter the war in support of the rebels.

Source: Wall, Caleb Arnold. Reminiscences of Worcester from the Earliest Period. Worcester, MA: Tyler & Seagrave, 1877.

Once You Go Unique, Is There No Going Back?

Echo has four siblings: Clint (for Clint Eastwood), Milo, Disney (in tribute to Disney films) and Dali (after Salvador DalĂ­).

She’s also a mom. Her two children are Pharrell and Lovella. She says, “I had to carry on the tradition of unusual names–and I’m sure the rest of my family will do the same.”

Her comment made me curious. Are adults who grew up surrounded by unique names more likely to give their own children unique names?

Here are a couple of case studies:

  • Frank Zappa’s four children are Moon, Dweezil, Ahmet (after Ahmet Ertegun) and Diva. His grandkids are Mathilda, Zola and Ceylon.
  • Joaquin Phoenix’s sisters and (late) brother are River, Rain, Liberty and Summer. His nieces and nephews are Jonas, Rio, Indigo, Scarlette, Indiana and Atticus.

What are your thoughts?

Source: What’s in a name? Ask the Beavers

One-Hit Wonder Baby Names from the 1910s

The names below are one-hit wonder names that ranked among the 1,000 most popular U.S. baby names only once–sometime between 1910 and 1919 (inclusive).

Girls

  • 1910 – Arietta, Loree
  • 1911 – Blanchie, Felice
  • 1912 – Maebell
  • 1914 – Orene
  • 1915 – Cleone, Lahoma
  • 1916 – Rosaria
  • 1917 – Idamae, Lavelle, Michelina
  • 1918 – Victory
  • 1919 – Haruko

Boys

  • 1911 – Amerigo
  • 1913 – Gennaro, Hymen, Melbourne
  • 1914 – Geno, Gilmore, Saverio
  • 1915 – Arvo
  • 1916 – Berlin, Gerhardt, Hughes, Tatsuo
  • 1917 – Orvin
  • 1918 – Foch – influence: Ferdinand Foch
  • 1919 – Laddie, Metro, Therman

Victory made the list the same year that WWI ended (well, the year that Germany and the Allies signed the armistice treaty). The treaty wasn’t signed until November 11th, though, so I wonder if most of the little girls named Victory were born right at the end of 1918.

(Liberty also made the list for the first time in 1918. Its second appearance was 1976, the year of the U.S. Bicentennial.)

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

Approved Baby Names in Western Australia

Parents in Western Australia must by law avoid baby names that include “symbols without phonetic significance” or that are obscene, offensive, too long or “contrary to the public interest.”

The following names all managed to make it past the censors in the last year, according to an article published in today’s edition of PerthNow:

Girl Names
Cashmere
Gidget
Jorjah
Liberty
Meggin
Phoenix
Rain
Rainbow
Reel
Somer-L’ren
Summar
Sunshine
Starsher
Synergy
Boy Names
A
B
Buzz
Chilli
Colt
E-
Juke
Legend
Mikko
Ocean
Safe
Steel
Winter
Tiger
Tin