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

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Popularity of the Baby Name Maria


Posts that Mention the Name Maria

The 16 Children of William of Orange

William of Orange

Sixteenth-century Dutch nobleman William of Orange (also known as William the Silent) was the primary leader of the Dutch Revolt (1566-1648).

William had a total of 16 children with five different women (four wives, one mistress). All 16 received traditional first names, but four of his daughters were given location-inspired middle names — symbols of the political alliances between William and “the lands for which he fought.”

Here are the names of all 16:

  1. Maria (born in 1553)
  2. Philip William, (b. 1554)
  3. Maria (b. 1556)
  4. Justinus (b. 1559)
  5. Anna (b. 1562)
  6. Anna (b. 1563)
  7. Maurice August Philip (b. 1564)
  8. Maurice (b. 1567)
  9. Emilia (b. 1569)
  10. Louise Juliana (b. 1576)
  11. Elisabeth (b. 1577)
  12. Catharina Belgica (b. 1578)
  13. Charlotte Flandrina (b. 1579)
  14. Charlotte Brabantina (b. 1580)
  15. Emilia Antwerpiana (b. 1581)
  16. Frederick Henry (b. 1584)

Each of the regions/locations honored with a name responded by “bestow[ing] pensions upon the children”:

This inspired other parents with connections to the House of Orange-Nassau to adopt similar naming practices. For instance, Ernst Casimir I — the Stadtholder of Friesland, Groningen and Drenthe — named his daughter Elisabeth Friso (b. 1620). And Henri Charles de Le Trémoille — a direct descendant of William of Orange via Charlotte Brabantina — named his son Charles Belgique Hollande (b. 1655).

Sources:

  • Broomhall, Susan and Jacqueline Van Gent. Gender, Power and Identity in the Early Modern House of Orange-Nassau. London: Routledge, 2016.
  • Steen, Jasper van der. Memory Wars in the Low Countries, 1566-1700. Leiden: Brill, 2015.
  • William the Silent – Wikipedia

How did Mexican comic books influence U.S. baby names?

Partial cover of the comic book "Lágrimas, risas y amor" #78, featuring the story "María Isabel" (1964).
One of the “María Isabel” covers

In the 1960s, comic books were on their way out in the United States. But they were still going strong in Latin America.

In fact, one of Latin America’s best-selling comic books, Lágrimas, risas y amor (transl. Tears, Laughter and Love), was introduced in Mexico in late 1962.

Lágrimas, risas y amor was created by Yolanda Vargas Dulché. It featured romantic stories, each of which had its own unique set of characters. And, believe it or not, some of these stories ended up influencing U.S. baby names, particularly in states with large Spanish-speaking populations (like California and Texas). Here are some examples:

Yesenia

“Yesenia” (1965-1966) told the love story of Yesenia, a gypsy, and Osvaldo, a Mexican soldier. In 1966, we see the name Yesenia appear for the first time in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1968: 13 baby girls named Yesenia
  • 1967: 12 baby girls named Yesenia
  • 1966: 17 baby girls named Yesenia [debut]
  • 1965: unlisted
  • 1964: unlisted

Geisha

I don’t know anything about the plot of “Geisha” (1967), but the baby name Geisha first appeared in the U.S. data the same year:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: unlisted
  • 1967: 8 baby girls named Geisha [debut]
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted
Partial cover of the comic book "Lágrimas, risas y amor" #279, featuring the story "Geisha" (1967).
One of the “Geisha” covers

Analuisa

“El atardecer de Ana Luisa” (transl. “Ana Luisa’s Middle Years”) (1971) told the story of Ana Luisa, who lost her boyfriend to another woman when she was young, but got him back years later. There’s a gap between the publication and the debut of the compound name Analuisa, but I still think it’s likely that the two events are connected.

  • 1975: unlisted
  • 1974: unlisted
  • 1973: 5 baby girls named Analuisa [debut]
  • 1972: unlisted
  • 1971: unlisted

…And it doesn’t end there! Many Lágrimas, risas y amor stories were later adapted for TV and film, giving them extra (and much bigger) rounds of exposure. Some examples:

Rosaisela

The comic “María Isabel” (1964) featured a character named Rosa Isela. It became a telenovela in 1966, and a year later the compound name Rosaisela first emerged in the data:

  • 1969: unlisted
  • 1968: 5 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1967: 9 baby girls named Rosaisela [debut]
  • 1966: unlisted
  • 1965: unlisted

Yesenia (again)

“Yesenia” became a telenovela in 1970 and a movie in 1971. The one-two punch of both of these pieces of media, both made in Mexico, resulted in an huge increase in the usage of Yesenia in the United States:

  • 1973: 343 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 503rd]
  • 1972: 471 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 414th]
  • 1971: 526 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 410th]
  • 1970: 30 baby girls named Yesenia
  • 1969: 9 baby girls named Yesenia

Oyuki

The comic “El pecado de Oyuki” (transl. “The Sin of Oyuki”) (1975-1977) became a telenovela in 1987. It first aired in the U.S. on Univision, and the same year the name Oyuki debuted in the U.S. data:

  • 1989: 8 baby girls named Oyuki
  • 1988: 20 baby girls named Oyuki
  • 1987: 6 baby girls named Oyuki [debut]
  • 1986: unlisted
  • 1985: unlisted

Yesenia (yet again)

“Yesenia” was made into yet another telenovela in 1987, and this resulted in the name’s highest-ever usage in the U.S. the same year:

  • 1989: 1,303 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 204th]
  • 1988: 1,208 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 215th]
  • 1987: 2,003 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 137th]
  • 1986: 845 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 293rd]
  • 1985: 522 baby girls named Yesenia [rank: 422nd]

Alondra

The comic “Casandra” (which came out during the ’80s) was adapted as Alondra for TV in 1995. It was renamed in honor of Yolanda Vargas Dulché’s granddaughter, orchestra conductor Alondra de la Parra. The same year, the popularity of the name Alondra (the Spanish word for “lark”) rose considerably:

  • 1997: 1,837 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 167th]
  • 1996: 2,020 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 157th]
  • 1995: 1,205 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 238th]
  • 1994: 149 baby girls named Alondra
  • 1993: 193 baby girls named Alondra [rank: 972nd]

Rosaisela (again)

“María Isabel” was made into yet another telenovela in 1997. A year later, the name saw its highest-ever U.S. usage:

  • 2000: 20 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1999: 33 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1998: 51 baby girls named Rosaisela [peak]
  • 1997: 10 baby girls named Rosaisela
  • 1996: 10 baby girls named Rosaisela

…Do you know anyone who was named with one of these comics or telenovelas in mind? Which name did they get?

Sources:

  • Foster, David William. (Ed.) Handbook of Latin American Literature. New York: Routledge, 2015.
  • Hinds, Harold E. and Charles M. Tatum. Not Just for Children: The Mexican Comic Book in the Late 1960s and 1970s. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992.
  • Lágrimas, risas y amor – Wikipedia

Images adapted from Lagrimas, Risas y Amor #78 and Lagrimas, Risas y Amor #279 from the Grand Comics Database under CC BY-SA 4.0.

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (Y, Z)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with Y- and Z-names…

  • Yeoman:
    • Elizabeth Victoria Yeoman Goddard, born in 1887
  • York:
    • Christopher York Gurten, born in 1862
    • John York Lillis, born in 1862
  • Young England:
    • Young England Coleman, born in 1865
  • Zamora:
    • Julia Zamora Fitzgerald, born in 1877
    • Agnes Maria Zamora Gabaluseke, born in 1881
    • Zamora Jane Walker, born in 1881
    • Edward Zamora Bently, born in 1882
    • Joseph Zamora Daly, born in 1882
  • Zeno:
    • Annie Zeno Babin, born in 1876
  • Zealandia:
    • Zealandia Helena Harvey, born in 1875
  • Zephyr:
    • Edith Anjer Zephyr Watson, born in 1878

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org

Popular Baby Names in Moscow, 2020

According to the Civil Registry of Moscow, the most popular baby names in the city last year were (again) Sofia and Alexander.

Here are Moscow’s top 6 girl names and top 6 boy names of 2020:

Girl Names

  1. Sofia (Sofya), over 2,800 baby girls
  2. Maria, 2,200 baby girls
  3. Anna, 2,084
  4. Alisa, 1,729
  5. Viktoria, 1,705
  6. Polina, 1,603

Boy Names

  1. Alexander, over 2,500 baby boys
  2. Mikhail, 2,427 baby boys
  3. Maxim, 2,284
  4. Artyom, 1,827
  5. Mark, 1,666
  6. Ivan, 1,617

Less commonly bestowed names include Vesna, Dionysus, Iskra (“spark”), Lucifer, Venus-Veronica, Sever, Severina, and Yermak-Alexander. (Yermak could be a reference to the Russian folk hero Yermak Timofeyevich.)

Sources: From Mars to Zlatoslava and many more 2020 rare baby names

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (T)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with T-names…

  • Tamar:
    • Carlotta Tamar Estevez, born in 1891
  • Tanjire:
    • Charles Tanjire Mylne, born in 1865
  • Taranaki (likely named for Mount Taranaki):
    • Fred William Taranaki Ward, born in 1883
  • Tarifa:
    • Elizabeth Tarifa Wood, born in 1867
    • Tarifa Swish, born in 1870
  • Taroba:
    • Rose Taroba Reid, born in 1888
  • Tasmania:
    • Sarah Edith Tasmania Baines, born in 1881
  • Taymouth Castle:
    • William Adreph Taymouth Schuhardt, born in 1877
  • Temple Bar:
    • Benjamin Temple Vaughan, born in 1887
  • Trefusis:
    • John Trefusis Lamont, born in 1877
  • Trevelyan:
    • Trevelyan Wood, born in 1880
    • Edward Trevelyan Martin, born in 1880
    • Trevelyan Edwardina Roberts Boardman, born in 1883
  • Trinacria:
    • Ann Trinacria Boyle, born in 1872
    • Concetta Trinacria Ermina Filice, born in 1886
  • Trinidad:
    • Maria Trinidad Baz, born in 1866
    • Martha Trinidad Wallace, born in 1883
  • Tripoli:
    • Thomas Tripoli McMahon, born in 1866
  • Trojan:
    • Charles George Trojan Glass, born in 1881
  • Tweed:
    • Tweed Ann Gardner, born in 1870
  • Tyne:
    • Charlotte Tyne Hastler, born in 1857

Do you think any of the ship names above work particularly well as human names?

Source: FamilySearch.org