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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mae

Number of Babies Named Mae

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Mae

Popular Baby Names in British Columbia, 2015

According to data released on December 30th by British Columbia’s Vital Statistics Agency, the most popular baby names in the province in 2015 were Emma and Oliver.

Here are British Columbia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names
1. Emma, 258 baby girls
2. Olivia, 256
3. Emily, 183
4. Sophia, 173
5. Ava, 163
6. Chloe, 159
7. Charlotte, 155
8. Abigail, 150
9. Amelia, 140
10. Ella, 133

Boy Names
1. Oliver, 217 baby boys
2. Ethan, 206
3. Liam, 203
4. Benjamin, 201
5. Lucas, 193
6. Alexander, 183 (tie)
7. Jacob, 183 (tie)
8. Mason, 177
9. William, 173
10. Hunter, 169

On the girls’ list, Emma replaces Olivia as the #1 name and Ella replaces Lily in the top 10.

On the boys’ list, Oliver replaces Ethan as in the top spot and Alexander and Hunter replace Noah and Logan in the top 10.

BC Vital Statistics also attempted to come up with rankings that combined variant spellings:

Girl Names (spellings combined)
1. Emma
2. Olivia
3. Sophia/Sofia
4. Emily/Emilee/Emilie
5. Amelia/Emelia/Emilia

Boy Names (spellings combined)
1. Jackson/Jaxon/Jaxson
2. Lucas/Lukas
3. Oliver
4. Ethan
5. Liam

But combining spellings isn’t as straightforward as it might seem. For instance, if “Amelia” is combined with “Emilia” (which is actually in the Emily family) then why wasn’t “Alivia” combined with “Olivia”? That would boost Olivia/Alivia into the #1 spot. And should “Eva” go with “Ava,” since they’re occasionally pronounced the same way…?

Here are some names from the other end of the rankings, each used just five times in 2015:

  • Girl Names: Anahat, Avreet, Bronwyn, Calla, Clementine, Deanna, Gaia, Harseerat, Jayla, Karis, Lynn, Mae, Mehar, Mirabelle, Ocean, Sailor, Senna, Sahej
  • Boy Names: Andrei, Apollo, Boaz, Brighton, Cory, Dorian, Elio, Fergus, Haroon, Indy, Jimmy, Jodh, Luciano, Nigel, Pasha, Stellan, Trent, Viraj

The news release also mentioned that the top names of 2016 would likely be Olivia and Lucas (according to data covering the year up to December 12). Here are the 2014 rankings.

For more Canada-specific baby name rankings, check out the Canadian name rankings subcategory.

Source: British Columbia‚Äôs top baby names for 2015, Baby’s Most Chosen Names in British Columbia, 2015


Baby Named for Slain Amish Schoolgirl

On the morning of October 2, 2006, a gunman took ten girls (aged 6 to 13) hostage in a one-room Amish schoolhouse in Nickel Mines, Pennsylvania. He shot the girls, killing five and wounding the other five, before committing suicide.

One of the victims was 7-year-old Naomi Rose Ebersol. Earlier during the incident — before the gunman had ordered the adult women and the boys to leave — Naomi had been comforted by a pregnant woman named Lydia Mae Zook:

[Lydia] reached over and patted the frightened child on the back.

“It’s going to be all right,” she assured the little girl.

On October 10, Lydia gave birth to her baby girl three weeks early. She named the baby Naomi Rose.

(The other little girls who lost their lives were named Anna, Lena, Marian, and Mary.)

Source: Dribben, Melissa. “In Amish survivor’s baby, hope lives “Shattered, but strong”: Woman who escaped death relates her story.” Philadelphia Inquirer 22 Oct. 2006.

Popular Baby Names in Sonoma County, CA, 2015

Sonoma_County
According to Sonoma County’s data site SoCo Data, the most popular baby names in 2015 were Ava and Olivia (tie) and Mateo and Daniel (tie).

Here are the county’s top 5 girl names and top 5 boy names of 2015:

Girl Names Boy Names
1. Ava and Olivia (tie), 28 baby girls
2. Camila, 25
3. Isabella, Mia and Emma (3-way tie), 23
4. Charlotte and Sophia (tie), 21
5. Alexa, 20
1. Mateo and Daniel (tie), 28 baby boys
2. Jackson, 27
3. Sebastian, 25
4. Benjamin, 24
5. Julian, Jayden and Noah (3-way tie), 22

In 2014, the top names in the county were Emma and Logan.

Of the 1,204 girl names bestowed last year, 811 (67%) were used just once. A smaller proportion of the 919 boy names — 549 (60%) — were bestowed once. Here are a few of those single-use names:

Unique Girl Names Unique Boy Names
Amarilla, Antimony, Edelweiss, Ember, Fanny, Lluvia, Lovely Estrella, Mae Pearl, Magnolia, Nkirote, Reminisce, Rosalene, Rurapenthe*, Summit Attimus, Banyan, Cypress, Cyprus, Destry, Ernestor, Fogatia, Iknav, Montgomery, Mercury, Orion, Quintil, Thornhill, Zinley

*Looks like Rurapenthe is based on “Rura Penthe,” the name of a planetoid used as a Klingon penal colony (!) in the Star Trek universe. Its name is a nod to Rorapandi, a penal colony island in the Disney movie 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea (1954). Rorapandi was invented by Disney; it did not appear in the Jules Verne novel Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea (1870).

Source: SoCo Data

The Mystery of Essfa

baby name essfa mysteryThis might not be a mystery. It might just be my imagination running away with me. But I’ll put it out there anyway.

We all know there are flaws with the SSA data. Data scientist David Taylor made a slide deck illustrating several issues with the SSA data a few years ago, and I’ve blogged specifically about the baby name glitch of 1989 and the Korea-Kansas mis-codes.

So my question is this: Could Essfa, a one-hit wonder from 1921, be another flaw?

According to the SSA data, the name Essfa was given to 6 babies in 1921, and all 6 of these babies were born in Vermont.

But when we look for these Essfas in the SSDI, we get…nothing. Not a single Essfa from anywhere, born in any year.

This doesn’t prove anything, but it is very curious.

Then there’s the fact that all these Essfas were born in Vermont, a relatively small state not known for adventurous baby-naming. The SSA’s Vermont-specific data from 1921 puts oddball Essfa on par with classics like Emma and Julia:

All baby names given to 6 babies
in VT in 1921, according to SSA
VT,F,1921,Emma,6
VT,F,1921,Essfa,6
VT,F,1921,Germaine,6
VT,F,1921,Glenna,6
VT,F,1921,Gloria,6
VT,F,1921,Harriett,6
VT,F,1921,Julia,6
VT,F,1921,Kathryn,6
VT,F,1921,Mae,6
VT,F,1921,Margery,6
VT,F,1921,Wilma,6

Again, very curious.

After doing more research, I was only able to find a single person named Essfa who was born in Vermont in 1921. The intriguing part? She had multiple identities:

  • She was born Essfa Estella Bickford Vermont on May 7, 1921.
  • She became Essfa E. Davis upon marrying William Earl Davis in Vermont in 1937.
  • She became Essfa E. Millette upon marrying Rupert Frank Millette in New Hampshire in 1941.
  • She became Essfa E. Walker upon marrying Howard C. Walker in New Hampshire in 1953.
  • She became Essfa E. Davis (again) upon marrying Arthur I. Davis in Connecticut in 1964, and passed away in 1976 as a Davis.

And I found a sixth alias — in Billboard magazine, oddly enough. For decades Billboard operated a mail-forwarding service for traveling performers. The name “Essfa E. White” appeared regularly on their Letter List from 1945 until 1948. (She was also listed under the surname Millette once, in 1946.)

So we know for sure that one Essfa was born in Vermont in 1921, and that this Essfa used at least six different names (if you count Davis twice) throughout her lifetime.

At this point, I can’t help but wonder whether this particular Essfa was counted 6 different times in the SSA data somehow.

What do you think?

Source: Billboard – Wikipedia

Baby Names from Early Beauty Queens

Garnelle HaleyIn 1921, the St. Louis Globe-Democrat newspaper held a beauty contest.

About 7,000 girls from across the U.S. entered the contest by sending in their photographs.

These entrants were split up into 4 “districts” depending on where they were from — the city of St. Louis, the state of Missouri, the state of Illinois, or anywhere else in the United States.

Several dozen finalists were asked to come to St. Louis for in-person judging, and ultimately a first ($1,000), second ($500), and third ($100) place winner was chosen for each district.

I’m not sure who won 1st place in the city of St. Louis, but here are the other three first-place winners:

  • Illinois: Leola Aikman, 18 years old, from Salem, Illinois
  • Missouri: Garnelle Haley, 17 years old, from Moberly, Missouri
  • United States: Edith Mae Patterson, 19 years old, from Pine Bluff, Arkansas

As it turns out, two of these winners had a small influence on U.S. baby names…

Garnelle

Garnelle Haley’s photo was featured on the front page of several Missouri newspapers after her win.

That year, the baby name Garnelle debuted on the SSA’s baby name list with 11 baby girls — five born in Missouri specifically.

  • 1922: unlisted
  • 1921: 11 baby girls named Garnelle [debut]
  • 1920: unlisted

Garnelle never appeared on the list again, but its debut was impressive enough to make Garnelle the top one-hit wonder baby name of 1921.

The name Garnell also debuted on the girls’ list in 1921.

Edithmae

Edith Mae Patterson wasn’t just a district winner, but also the grand prize winner. Her title was “The Most Beautiful Girl in the United States,” and she received an added $2,500.00.

Right on cue, the baby name Edithmae made its debut on the national list in 1921:

  • 1924: unlisted
  • 1923: 5 baby girls named Edithmae
  • 1922: unlisted
  • 1921: 5 baby girls named Edithmae [debut]
  • 1920: unlisted

It made the list again in 1923, perhaps because Patterson remained in the public eye for several more years, “cross[ing] the country in the capacity of everything from civic-club speaker to fashion model to aspiring Hollywood actress.” She gave it all up in the mid-1920s, though, after a religious conversion.

Which name do you like more, Garnelle or Edithmae? Why?

Sources:

  • “Egyptian Girl is Handsomest.” Marion Semi-Weekly Leader 30 Sept. 1921: 1.
  • Full Gospel Temple Plant of Renown, Inc. Founder
  • Lindsey, William D. and Mark Silk. Religion and Public Life in the Southern Crossroads: Showdown States. Walnut Creek, CA: Rowman Altamira, 2005.
  • “Miss Garnelle Haley.” Mansfield Mirror 22 Sept. 1921: 1.
  • “A Moberly Girl Wins.” Chariton Courier 23 Sept. 1921: 1.
  • Pennington, Edith Mae. “From the Foot-Lights to the Foot of the Cross.” Latter Rain Evangel Aug. 1931: 16.