Earlier this year, singer Ed Sheeran welcomed a baby girl named Lyra Antarctica Seaborn Sheeran. She wasn’t actually born at sea — “Seaborn” is her mother’s surname — but did you know that many of the babies named “Seaborn” throughout history were in fact born at sea?
And it doesn’t stop at “Seaborn.” These sea-born babies got all sorts of interesting names hinting at the circumstances of their birth. Here’s a round-up of what I’ve spotted in the records…
Seaborn (The earliest American example I know of is Seaborn Cotton, born in August of 1633 while as his parents were traveling from England to New England. Notably, he was the uncle of Cotton Mather.)
Sea-Mercy (This one comes from Sea-Mercy Adams, a man who got married in Philadelphia in 1686.)
So today let’s check out another fun set of “top” names: the top rises. The names below are those that increased the most in usage, percentage-wise, from one year to the next according to the SSA data.
Here’s the format: girl names are on the left, boy names are on the right, and the percentages represent single-year jumps in usage. (For example, from 1880 to 1881, usage of the girl name Isa grew 240% and usage of the boy name Noble grew 333%.)
The SSA data isn’t perfect, but it does get a lot better in the late 1930s, because “many people born before 1937 never applied for a Social Security card, so their names are not included in our data” (SSA). Now, back to the list…
(Did you catch all the doubles? Tula, Delano, Tammy, Jermaine, and Davey/Davy.)
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and I plan to write about many of the others. In the meanwhile, though, feel free to beat me to it! Leave a comment and let us know what popularized Dorla in 1929, or Lauren in 1945, or Dustin in 1968, or Kayleigh in 1985, or Talan in 2005…
Three recent name stories featuring rescued babies:
Pingan: In March of 2014, a woman in labor and her husband were traveling to the hospital in Fujian, China, when their motorbike was hit by a truck. The couple did not survive, but their baby boy did. He has since been named Pingan, which means “safe and sound” in Chinese.
Jeremy: In April of 2015, Australian paramedics Jeremy Lawrance and Alex May saved the life of a baby boy who “emerged blue with the umbilical cord wrapped around his neck.” The baby’s parents named him Jeremy Alex, in honor of paramedics.
Francesca Marina: In May of 2015, the Italian navy (Marina Militare) rescued thousands of migrants in the Mediterranean. One of those migrants was a pregnant Nigerian woman who ended up giving birth aboard a navy vessel. The baby girl was named Francesca Marina — Francesca after Francis of Assisi, Marina in honor of the navy. “To her mother, she is simply called Gift.”