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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Luther

Number of Babies Named Luther

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Luther

Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1866

providenceLast month we looked at the top Providence names of 1867, so today let’s check out the rankings from the year before — 1866.

First, some stats:

  • 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…

Top 5

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
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Ellen
4. Margaret
5. Sarah
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. George
5. Thomas

The girls’ top 5 is identical, while the boys’ top 5 includes Thomas instead of George.

Girl Names

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.

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 43
  3. Ellen, 40
  4. Margaret, 37
  5. Sarah, 36
  6. Elizabeth, 32
  7. Alice, 18
  8. Annie, 15
  9. Anna & Eliza, 14 each (2-way tie)
  10. Clara, 13
  11. Ann, 11
  12. Carrie, Emma, Jane & Susan, 10 each (4-way tie)
  13. Grace & Ida, 9 each (2-way tie)
  14. Esther, Martha & Minnie, 7 each (3-way tie)
  15. Anne & Julia, 6 each (2-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Charlotte, Cora, Harriet, Jennie, Joanna, Maria & Rosanna, 5 each (8-way tie)
  17. Amelia, Bridget, Ella, Frances, Hattie, Lydia, Nellie & Theresa, 4 each (8-way tie)
  18. Abby, Emily, Florence, Josephine, Laura, Lillian, Lizzie, Louise & Marion, 3 each (9-way tie)
  19. Ada, Amy, Augusta, Deborah, Edith, Etta, Eva, Fannie, Georgianna, Hannah, Henrietta, Honora, Isabel, Isabella, Lottie, Lucy, Mabel, Marietta, Maud & Teresa, 2 each (20-way tie)
  20. Almira, Annette, Bertha, Catharine, Cedelia, Celia, Christina, Delia, Diana, Dora, Dorcas, Eldora, Eleanor, Elsie, Emeline, Etherine, Eugenie, Evangeline, Fanny, Flora, Geneva, Georgia, Gracie, Helen, Helena, Imogene, Janette, Jessie, Kate, Lena, Louisa, Lucia, Lucinda, Madelina, Marian, Marsalin, May, Millie, Mina, Mini, Minna, Neatah, Nettie, Phebe, Rebecca, Rosa, Roselia, Rosetta, Ruth, Sophia, Stella, Susanna, Susannah, Tillie & Winnifred, 1 each (55-way tie)

Boy Names

John had an even more commanding lead in 1866 than in 1867.

  1. John, 109 baby boys
  2. William, 78
  3. James, 62
  4. George, 44
  5. Thomas, 41
  6. Charles, 36
  7. Edward, 28
  8. Joseph, 27
  9. Frederick, 20
  10. Henry, 18
  11. Frank, 17
  12. Michael, 15
  13. Francis, 14
  14. Daniel, 13
  15. Albert, Patrick & Robert, 12 each (3-way tie)
  16. Walter, 11
  17. Arthur, Peter & Samuel, 8 each (3-way tie)
  18. Alfred, Harry, Louis & Stephen, 7 each (4-way tie)
  19. Martin, 6
  20. Matthew, 5
  21. Christopher, Clarence, Herbert, Howard & Hugh, 4 each (5-way tie)
  22. Benjamin, Eugene, Ira & Jeremiah, 3 each (4-way tie)
  23. Aaron, Alvin, Arnold, Earl, Edgar, Elisha, Freddie, Harrison, Lewis, Marcus, Nicholas, Philip, Richard & Timothy, 2 each (14-way tie)
  24. Abner, Adam, Adolph, Alanson, Alden, Ambrose, Antonio, August, Augustavus*, Augustus, Bartholomew, Bernard, Bradford, Byron, Chauncey, Clinton, David, Duncan, Eben, Ebenezer, Edwin, Elias, Elliott, Ethan, Everett, Ezra, Ferdinand, Frederic, Fullerton, Gilbert, Gwynn, Harold, Herman, Isaac, Jesse, Josiah, Lauriston, Luther, Manuel, Marks, Maurice, Miles, Mortimer, Oliver, Olney, Oscar, Otto, Rana, Rectol, Salisbury, Shamball, Simon, Terence, Theodore, Victor, Willard, Willie & Wilton, 1 each (58-way tie)

(I didn’t combine any variant spellings, but I did lump the abbreviated names Chas., Benj., and Fred’k in with Charles, Benjamin and Frederick.)

*Does Augustavus = Augustus + Gustav, I wonder?

Twins

I counted 19 pairs of twins born in Providence in 1866. I didn’t notice any triplets this year. (All of these names have already been accounted for above.)

Twins (b/b) Twins (b/g) Twins (g/g)
Edgar & Oscar
Edward & James
Francis & James
James & John
John & Thomas
(blank) & (blank)
Frederick & Alice
John & Alice
Samuel & Sarah
Stephen & Annie
(blank) & Catherine
Agnes & Anna
Eldora & Ellen
Eliza & Mary
Elizabeth & Julia
Frances & Mary
Josephine & Mary
Mary & Sarah
Theresa & (blank)

I’ll try to finish/post the final set of rankings before the end of the year.

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence During the Year 1866. Providence: Hammond, Angell & Co., 1867.


Babies Named for Black WWII Hero Dorie Miller

Doris (Dorie) Miller, 1942
Doris “Dorie” Miller, 1942
Here’s a special name (and some little-known black history!) in honor of Martin Luther King Jr. Day.

Dorie has been on the SSA’s baby name list since the 1910s as a girl name, but it suddenly popped up as a boy name in 1942:

  • 1945: unlisted
  • 1944: 5 baby boys named Dorie
  • 1943: 9 baby boys named Dorie
  • 1942: 12 baby boys named Dorie [debut]
  • 1941: unlisted

Why?

This was the year Doris Miller — later known as “Dorie Miller” — was recognized as the first African-American hero of World War II.

Doris Miller was born in 1919 in Texas to parents Connery and Henrietta Miller. “The third of four sons, Doris Miller was named by the midwife who assisted with his birth; she was positive before the birth that the baby would be a girl.”

He enlisted in the Navy in 1939. Over the next couple of years, he worked his way up to ship’s cook, third class.

“You have to understand that when Franklin Delano Roosevelt was president in 1932, he opened up the Navy again to blacks, but in one area only; they were called mess attendants, stewards, and cooks,” says Clark Simmons, who was a mess attendant on the U.S.S. Utah during the Pearl Harbor attack. “The Navy was so structured that if you were black, this was what they had you do in the Navy–you only could be a servant.”

On the morning of December 7, 1941, the Japanese attacked the U.S. military base at Pearl Harbor, Hawaii. Doris Miller was in the middle of collecting laundry aboard the USS West Virginia when the first torpedo hit his ship at around 8 am.

He immediately headed to his combat station, but it had been destroyed by the blast.

He then rushed to the main deck, to help transport the mortally wounded captain to a more sheltered section of the bridge.

Finally, he “raced to an unattended deck [machine] gun and fired at the attacking planes until forced to abandon ship.”

It was Miller’s first experience firing such a weapon because black sailors serving in the segregated steward’s branch of the navy were not given the gunnery training received by white sailors.

Dorie Miller, Navy recruiting poster
Navy recruiting poster featuring Dorie Miller

During the first months of 1942, U.S. newspapers and radio stations shared the story of Doris and his bravery. It was during this period that the press started referring to him as “Dorie” (a nickname that apparently began as a typo).

Miller’s acts were heavily publicized in the black press, making him the iconic emblem of the war for blacks—their “Number One Hero”—thereby energizing black support for the war effort against a colored Japanese enemy.

On May 27, 1942, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz conferred the Navy Cross upon Miller, who was the very first African-American to receive the award.

Sadly, Miller never got a chance to meet any of his namesakes across the country (such as fellow veterans Dorie Miller Fells and Dorie Miller Harris). He was aboard the USS Liscome Bay in late 1943 when it was torpedoed and sunk by a Japanese submarine.

But many things beyond babies — roads, buildings, parks, and even a navy ship (the USS Miller) — have been named in his honor ever since.

P.S. In case you’re wondering, the baby name Doris did not see a corresponding uptick in usage as a boy name in the early ’40s, as the media and the Navy almost always referred to Miller as “Dorie” during this period.

Sources:

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

Popular Baby Names in Northern Ireland, 2013

Northern Ireland’s top baby names of 2013 were announced today.

According to provisional data from the Northern Ireland Statistics and Research Agency (NISRA), the most popular baby names are Grace (and Emily, see below!) and Jack.

Here are Northern Ireland’s projected top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2013:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Grace
2. Emily
3. Sophie
4. Ella
5. Lucy
6. Sophia
7. Aoife
8. Jessica
9. Amelia
10. Anna
1. Jack
2. James
3. Charlie
4. Daniel
5. Harry
6. Noah
7. Ethan
8. Matthew
9. Jacob
10. Thomas

Within the top 20, the fastest risers were Ella and Luke. New to the top 20 were Ava and Ruby.

Within the top 100, the fastest risers were Elsie and Robyn for girls, Jackson and Theo for boys. The biggest drops were Shannon and Elizabeth for girls, Corey and Reece for boys.

Some of the unusual names given to Northern Ireland babies in 2013 include Boleyn, Cadhla-lilly, Chulainn, Colmcille, Finvola, Geiste, Gillespie, Jimia, Kidd, Lucymollymay, Macushla, Martin-luther, Nittelani, Ollie-j, Oraoibhe, Phoebegail (Phoebe + Abigail? A smoosh I’ve never seen before!), Poppy-chelle, Saorfhlaith, Svajone (Lithuanian for “dream”), Testimony and Zefrito.

Northern Ireland’s finalized 2013 list will be out next summer, so I’ll come back and update this post at that point (if it needs updating). In the meanwhile, check out the 2012, 2007 and 2006 lists.

Source: Jack and Grace First Place

UPDATE, 8/2014: Here are the finalized rankings. Check out that tie for #1!

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Emily, 203 baby girls (tie)
2. Grace, 203 (tie)
3. Sophie, 194
4. Ella, 189
5. Sophia, 174
6. Lucy, 171
7. Aoife, 163
8. Amelia, 159
9. Anna, 158 (tie)
10. Jessica, 158 (tie)
1. Jack, 293 baby boys
2. James, 285
3. Charlie, 119
4. Harry, 207
5. Daniel, 201
6. Noah, 188
7. Matthew, 164
8. Ethan, 160 (tie)
9. Jacob, 160 (tie)
10. Oliver, 150

A quote from the bulletin: “None of the top 10 most popular girls’ names in 2013 were in the top 10 in 2003.” That alone is fascinating.

Here are the top names of 2013 broken down by the age of the baby’s mother:

Mother’s Age Top Girl Name Top Boy Name
<20 Amelia Riley
20-29 Sophie Jack
30-39 Anne James & Jack
40+ Grace James

For more of the top names, check out Northern Ireland’s 100 most popular baby names over at British Baby Names.

Source: Most Popular Baby Names 2013

Baby Name Needed – Atlas or Finch?

A reader and her husband are expecting a baby boy in January. They’re down to two names: Atlas and Finch.

If we decide to go with Atlas, his name will be Atlas Grey. However, if we decide to go with Finch, we’re having a terrible time deciding on a middle name. My first thought is Finch Winter but I’m not sure if it’s too feminine. We would love any kind of feedback or ideas. I’m thinking it should be two syllables and obviously something out of the ordinary.

So, here are the questions:

  1. Which name do you like better, Atlas or Finch?
  2. Is Finch Winter too feminine?
  3. What middle name(s) would you suggest for Finch?

Please give us your answers in the comments!

Here’s what I think:

1. I prefer Atlas to Finch for several reasons, one being that the name Finch immediately brought to mind Stifler’s Mom. (And another American Pie movie is due out next year. Who knows how long they’ll keep that franchise/joke alive.)

2. Finch Winter doesn’t strike me as being too “feminine” necessarily — just unisex, as nature names tend to be.

3. My first thought was Winston, which is similar to Winter, but decidedly masculine. Here are some other ideas:

Ambrose
Arthur
Clement
Cyrus
Desmond
Henry
Luther
Maxwell
Osborn
Roderick
Roland
Roman
Simon
Sinclair
Titus

What do you think?

Namestorm #8 – Baby Names for Library Lovers

Are you a library lover? Why not show it by naming your baby after a notable librarian or fellow library-lover, such as:

Thomas

  • English diplomat Thomas Bodley began reviving Oxford’s (nearly defunct) library in 1598. It was reopened as the Bodleian Library in November of 1602.
  • English librarian Thomas James was the first librarian of the Bodleian Library.

Louis
Dutch printer Louis Timothee became the first salaried librarian in the American colonies in 1732.

Gottfried
Austrian diplomat and librarian Gottfried van Swieten created the world’s first card catalog at Austria’s Imperial Library, circa 1780.

Anthony and Antonio
Italian-born librarian Anthony Panizzi (originally Antonio Genesio Maria Panizzi) was Chief Librarian of the British Museum Library during the mid-1800s.

Melvil
American librarian Melvil Dewey (born Melville Louis Kossuth Dewey) invented the Dewey Decimal Classification system as a 21-year-old, in 1876.

“Keenly interested in simplified spelling, he shortened his first name to Melvil as a young adult, dropped his middle names and, for a short time, even spelled his last name as Dui” (OCLC).

Charles
American librarian Charles A. Cutter developed the Cutter Expansive Classification system in the 1890s.

William
American librarian William Dix was the principle author of The Freedom to Read, which was adopted by the American Library Association in 1953.

Henriette
American systems analyst Henriette Davidson Avram developed the MARC standards in the late 1960s.

Judith
American librarian and anti-censorship activist Judith Fingeret Krug co-founded Banned Books Week in 1982.

Librarians of Congress
There have been 13 so far. Four of them were named John, and the others were named Ainsworth, Daniel, George, Herbert, James, Lawrence, Luther, Patrick and Archibald (as in, three-time Pulitzer Prize winner Archibald MacLeish).

And now, the same two questions as always:

  • Can you come up with any other library-related baby names?
  • What interests/activities should we namestorm about next?

Sources: List of Librarians, Library of Congress

Namestorm #2 – Baby Names for Shoe Lovers

Love shoes as much as Imelda Marcos? If so, this post is for you.

C in DC suggested last week that I brainstorm for names associated with shoes, and I thought that was a great idea. So here’s my stab at it.

Luther
In 1938, American archaeologist Luther Cressman discovered a 10,000-year-old pair of sandals–the oldest pair of shoes ever found in North America (and maybe the world).

Louis and Nicolas
French shoemaker Nicolas Lestage designed elaborate high heeled shoes — the “Louis heel” — for Louis XIV around 1660.

Arthur
Anglo-Irish soldier/politician Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, created (with the help of his shoemaker) the Wellington boot in the early 1800s.

Charles

  • American inventor Charles Goodyear figured out how to vulcanize rubber in 1839. This discovery paved the way for the invention of sneakers.
  • Speaking of sneakers…Chuck Taylor All-Stars were named after American basketball player and shoe salesman Charles “Chuck” Taylor.

Mary Jane
Mary Janes got their name from the Buster Brown comic strip character Mary Jane in the early 1900s.

Salvatore and Judy (and Dorothy)
Italian shoemaker Salvatore Ferragamo created the ruby slippers worn by Judy Garland in the movie The Wizard of Oz (1939).

Klaus
German army doctor Klaus Märtens started making boots in the late 1940s.

Roger
French fashion designer Roger Vivier created his iconic Pilgrim pumps in the 1960s.

Chelsea
Chelsea boots were fashionable during the 1960s.

Nancy
Nancy Sinatra helped popularize go-go boots with her song “These Boots Are Made for Walkin'” (1966).

Christian
French footwear designer Christian Louboutin first introduced his red-lacquered soles in 1992.

And now, just like last time, two questions:

  • What other shoe-inspired names can you come up with?
  • What interests/activities should we namestorm about next?

Sources: History of Footwear, Wikipedia