How popular is the baby name Marjorie 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 Marjorie.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Marjorie


Posts that Mention the Name Marjorie

The Baby Name Neysa

Neysa McMein

The name Neysa first popped up in the U.S. baby name data in 1917. It began seeing regular usage during the 1920s:

  • 1924: 10 baby girls named Neysa
  • 1923: 8 baby girls named Neysa
  • 1922: 12 baby girls named Neysa
  • 1921: 7 baby girls named Neysa
  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: 9 baby girls named Neysa
  • 1917: 9 baby girls named Neysa [debut]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: unlisted

What put this name on the map?

Illustrator Neysa McMein, whose creations — typically drawings of pretty young women — were featured prominently in magazines and advertisements during the 1920s and 1930s. For instance, Neysa drew every single McCall’s magazine cover from 1923 to 1937, 62 Saturday Evening Post covers from 1916 to 1939, and gave a face to Betty Crocker in 1936.

Beyond her art, Neysa McMein was also a well-known personality of the Roaring Twenties. She was “mentioned or quoted in magazine articles, fiction, and in advertisements with some regularity.” According to theater director George Abbott, “every taxi-cab driver, every salesgirl, every reader of columns, knew about the fabulous Neysa.”

Interestingly, though, she didn’t start out as a Neysa. She was born a Marjorie.

In 1911, after growing up in Illinois and graduating from art school in Chicago, she moved to New York City to both launch her career and forge a new identity — which included adopting a new name.

Though she told the press that “Neysa” had been suggested by a numerologist, she told her husband a different story: that “Neysa” was the name of an Arabian filly she’d encountered while visiting cartoonist/horse breeder Homer Davenport in New Jersey.

Regardless of the source, she did say that she believed the name Neysa had more “commercial value” than the name Marjorie.

What are your thoughts on the name Neysa? Would you use it?

Sources:

The Height of Hildy

Hildy McCoy, Hildy Ellis, 1957
Mr. & Mrs. Melvin Ellis with Hildy (in May of 1957)

The rare baby name Hildy — which can be traced back to the Germanic name element hild, meaning “battle” — saw successive increases in usage in 1955, 1956, and 1957:

  • 1959: 13 baby girls named Hildy
  • 1958: 19 baby girls named Hildy
  • 1957: 36 baby girls named Hildy [peak popularity]
  • 1956: 24 baby girls named Hildy
  • 1955: 15 baby girls named Hildy
  • 1954: 9 baby girls named Hildy
baby name Hildy popularity graph

What caused all this heightened interest in the name Hildy?

A little girl named Hildy who was at the center of “the most controversial and mass-mediated adoption struggle of the 1950s.”

She was born in Boston on February 23, 1951, to a 21-year-old unmarried Roman Catholic woman named Marjorie McCoy — a nursing student who’d had a romance with an intern at the Children’s Hospital.

Before the birth, Marjorie had arranged (through her family physician) for the baby to be privately adopted. So, in early March, when she was ten days old, the baby was taken home by Melvin and Frances Ellis, a “childless Jewish couple from nearby Brookline” who had paid Marjorie’s medical bills as part of a prenatal adoption agreement.

The Ellises named their new baby Hildy Carol Ellis.

Six weeks later, Marjorie learned that the Ellises were Jewish.

She didn’t want the baby back, but she also didn’t want the baby placed with a non-Catholic family. So she asked the couple to hand the child over to the Catholic Charitable Bureau. When the Ellises refused, Marjorie filed suit.

The legal battle lasted for four years, with Massachusetts courts continually siding with Marjorie (because state adoption law at the time required that, “where practicable, a child be placed with foster parents of the same religious faith as the mother”). On February 14, 1955, the highest court in the commonwealth handed down the final ruling — in Marjorie’s favor, yet again.

Now out of appeals, the Ellises promised to raise Hildy as a Catholic. The court rejected their plea and ordered them to surrender the child by June 30th.

The Ellises, unwilling to surrender Hildy, fled from Massachusetts in April. When that happened, “Hildy’s custody battle quickly became national news, captivating a large audience.”

The fugitive family “lived secretly in no less than six places” while on the run. The media was still able to keep tabs on them, though. For instance, in January of 1956, a recent photo of Hildy ran in newspapers nationwide (but her location was not disclosed).

The Ellises eventually settled in Miami, Florida — this is where Massachusetts discovered them in March of 1957. The state requested that Melvin Ellis be extradited immediately in order to face kidnapping charges.

In May, Florida governor LeRoy Collins eloquently denied the request. He said, in part:

It is clear to me that the criminal proceedings against Mr. and Mrs. Ellis are synthetic. No crime of kidnapping in a proper sense is involved.

[…]

It has been argued that the natural mother has the right to have Hildy reared in the environment of her own faith. This is a right I respect, but it must yield to more fundamental rights. The great and good God of all of us, regardless of faith, grants to every child to be born first the right to be wanted, and secondly the right to be loved. Hildy’s mother has denied both of these rights to her.

[…]

It was the Ellises in truth and in fact who have been the persons through whom God has assured to Hildy these first two rights as one of His children. It was the Ellises who wanted Hildy to be born. It was they who anxiously awaited her birth with tender emotions of excitement, anticipating fulfillment of the joys and obligations of parenthood. It was the Ellises also who have given of themselves to Hildy, as only parents can understand, thereby fulfilling Hildy’s right to be loved.

With no feeling against the natural mother, except that of pity and compassion; with no antagonism toward our great sister State of Massachusetts; I further deny this application based upon the equities involved.

In July, a Dade County judge formally approved the adoption under Florida law.

“The child shall be hereafter known as Hildy Ellis,” the judge decreed.

Sources:

Image from The New York Times, 24 May 1957, page 1.

Baby Name Crossword Coincidence

crossword

On the evening of June 11, a baby boy was born to Jennifer and Danny Cairns of Glasgow, Scotland. The baby was named Finn Cairns.

A couple of hours later, Jennifer’s mom began calling family members to tell them about the baby. When she got to her brother John — who completes the crossword in the Daily Record every day — she learned that both “Finn” and “Cairns” had been answers in the crossword that day.

John said:

It’s just amazing and the day it happened, I will never forget.

When my sister Marjorie told me his name, I thought ‘wait a minute, that was in the crossword’ so found it and there it was.

I thought ‘this is not real!’ and kept it to pass on to my mother.

And it’s even more strange because Finn was born on the 11th, and 11 is my lucky number.

He went on to say that the coincidence was “out of this world!”

Mom Jennifer likewise said that this was one of the most “absolutely bizarre coincidences” of her life.

Source: ‘Crazy coincidence’ as Scots baby’s name predicted in Daily Record crossword clues

P.S. The crossword clue for Finn was “Nordic part of fish, reportedly (4)” and for Cairns was “This city’s hot dogs (6).”

Rare Girl Names from Early Cinema: A (part 2)

auriol

Looking for an uncommon A-name for your baby girl? Here’s half of the final installment of names from the early cinema series. The other half of the A-list will go up in a few weeks.

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Amabel
Amabel was a character played by actress Andree Tourneur in the film The Gilded Highway (1926).

  • Usage of the baby name Amabel.

Amanata
Amanata was a character played by actress Josephine West in the short film The Curse of the Great Southwest (1913).

Amarilly
Amarilly Jenkins was a character played by actress Mary Pickford in the film Amarilly of Clothes-Line Alley (1918).

Ambrosia
Ambrosia was a character played by actress Ella Hall in the films The Love Girl (1916) and The Charmer (1917).

Ameia
Ameia was a character played by actress Viola Dana in the film God’s Law and Man’s (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Ameia.

Amenset
Amenset was a character played by actress Edith Storey in the film The Dust of Egypt (1915).

Amo
Amo Ingraham was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1940s. She was born in New York in 1909.

  • Usage of the baby name Amo.

Amphirosa
Amphirosa was a character played by actress Helen Lindroth in the film The Swan (1925).

Amrah
Amrah was a character played by actress Dale Fuller in the film Ben-Hur: A Tale of the Christ (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Amrah.

Amzie
Amzie Strickland was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to 2000s. She was born in 1919 in Oklahoma.

  • Usage of the baby name Amzie.

Anaioe
Anaioe was a character played by actress Mary Fuller in the short film A Daughter of the Nile (1915).

Anastasie
Anastasie Goriot was a character played by actress Jocelyn Lee in the film Paris at Midnight (1926).

Anbella
Anbella was a character played by actress Maria Montez in the film The Exile (1947).

Ancaria
Ancaria was a character played by actress Joyzelle Joyner in the film The Sign of the Cross (1932).

Andra
Andra West was a character played by actress Heather Angel in the film Cry ‘Havoc’ (1943).

  • Usage of the baby name Andra.

Andree
Andree was a character name in multiple films, including The Eternal Struggle (1923) and Human Desires (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Andree.

Anemone
Anemone Breckenridge was a character played by actress Mary Pickford in the film The Eagle’s Mate (1914).

Aneth
Aneth Consinor was a character played by actress Vivian Reed in the film The Last Egyptian (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Aneth.

Angella
Angella was a character played by actress Marian Swayne in the short film The Heavenly Widow (1913).

Angharad
Angharad was a character played by actress Maureen O’Hara in the film How Green Was My Valley (1941).

  • Usage of the baby name Angharad (which debuted in the data in 1943).

Angine
Angine Sprunt was a character played by actress Charlotte Merriam in the film The Nth Commandment (1923).

Angy
Angy was a character name in multiple films, including The Famous Mrs. Fair (1923) and Here Comes the Groom (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Angy.

Anice
Anice was a character name in multiple films, including The Wrong Man (1917) and The Railroader (1919).

  • Usage of the baby name Anice.

Anielka
Anielka Elter was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in 1901.

Anitah
Anitah was a character played by actress Zena Keefe in the film Out of the Snows (1920).

Anitia
Anitia was a character played by actress Annette Kellerman in the film A Daughter of the Gods (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Anitia.

Anitra
Anitra was a character name in multiple films, including Runaway, Romany (1917) and The Amazing Woman (1920).

  • Usage of the baby name Anitra.

Aniuta
Aniuta was a character played by actress Bernice Claire in the film Song of the Flame (1930).

Annana
Annana was a character played by actress Movita in the film Captain Calamity (1936).

Annetta
Annetta von Tollen was a character played by actress Beverly Bayne in the short film The Ambition of the Baron (1915).

Anni
Anni Pavlovitch was a character played by actress Joan Crawford in the film The Bride Wore Red (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Anni.

Annice
Annice Van Dorn was a character played by actress Grace Darmond in the film Where the Worst Begins (1925).

  • Usage of the baby name Annice.

Annis
Annis Grand was a character played by actress Kathleen Kirkham in the film The Foolish Matrons (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Annis.

Annushka
Annushka was a character played by actress Amy Veness in the film Black Roses (1936).

Anola
Anola was a character played by actress Caroline Frances Cooke in the short film Metamorphosis (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Anola.

Anthea
Anthea Dane was a character played by actress Elissa Landi in the film The Price of Things (1930).

  • Usage of the baby name Anthea.

Antinea
Antinea was a character name in multiple films, including Missing Husbands (1921) and Siren of Atlantis (1949).

Antiope
Antiope was a character played by actress Elissa Landi in the film The Warrior’s Husband (1933).

Antonita
Antonita was a character played by actress Merle Oberon in the film The Private Life of Don Juan (1934).

Anyana
Anyana was a character played by actress Movita in the film El Capitan Tormenta (1936).

Apricottia
Apricottia was a character played by actress Ethel Teare in the short film The Knaves and the Knight (1915).

Arabel
Arabel Barrett was a character played by actress Katharine Alexander in the film The Barretts of Wimpole Street (1934).

  • Usage of the baby name Arabel.

Arai
Arai was a character played by actress Movita in the film The Hurricane (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Arai.

Araminta
Araminta was a character name in multiple films, including David Garrick (1912) and Love Birds (1934).

Arathea
Arathea Manning was a character played by actress Mae Murray in the film Big Little Person (1919).

Arbutus
Arbutus Quilty was a character played by actress Louise Fazenda in the film Listen Lester (1924).

Ardis
Ardis Delafield was a character played by Nora Lane in the film Careless Lady (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Ardis.

Ardita
Ardita was a character name in multiple films, including The Off-Shore Pirate (1921) and The Siren of Seville (1924).

  • Usage of the baby name Ardita.

Argyl
Argyl Crawford was a character played by actress Ann Little in the film Under Handicap (1917).

  • Usage of the baby name Argyl.

Aritana
Aritana was a character played by actress Adele Mara in the film Call of the South Seas (1944).

Arla
Arla Dean was a character played by actress Dorothy Lamour in the film Moon Over Burma (1940).

  • Usage of the baby name Arla.

Arleta
Arleta Vance was a character played by actress Marie Prevost in the film Call of the Rockies (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Arleta.

Arline
Arline Pretty was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1950s. She was born in Washington, D.C., in 1885. Arline was also a character name in multiple films, including Only Thing (1925) and Back in Circulation (1937).

  • Usage of the baby name Arline.

Arly
Arleta “Arly” Harolday was a character played by actress Ella Raines in the film Tall in the Saddle (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Arly.

Armida
Armida Vendrell, often credited simply as Armida, was an actress who appeared in films films from the 1920s to the 1950s. She was born in Mexico in 1911.

  • Usage of the baby name Armida.

Arna
Arna was a character played by actress Rose Tapley in the short film War (1911).

  • Usage of the baby name Arna.

Arnice
Arnice was a character played by actress Ella Hall in the film Secret Love (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Arnice.

Arrah
Arrah Meelish was a character played by actress Gene Gauntier in the film Arrah-Na-Pogue (1911).

  • Usage of the baby name Arrah.

Arria

Arria was a character played by actress Helen Wright in the film Damon and Pythias (1914).

  • Usage of the baby name Arria.

Arrita
Arrita was a character played by actress Reina Valdez in the short film Italian Love (1914).

Arte
Arte O’Neill was a character played by actress Helen Lindroth in the short film The Shaughraun (1912).

Artemisia
Artemisia Stebbins was a character played by actress Mabel Stoughton in the short film Balked at the Alter (1908).

Arvia
Arvia was a character played by actress Carmel Myers in the film The Dancer of the Nile (1923).

  • Usage of the baby name Arvia.

Arvilla
Arvilla Howe was a character played by actress Ruth Roland in the short film The Egyptian Mummy (1913).

Ashubetis
Ashubetis was a character played by actress Valda Valkyrien in the film The Image Maker (1917).

Aspasia
Aspasia Conti was a character played by actress Agnes Moorehead in the film Mrs. Parkington (1944).

Assina
Assina was a character played by actress Mrs. George O. Nichols in the short film Women of the Desert (1913).

Asta
Asta Nielsen was an actress who appeared in films from the 1910s to the 1930s. She was born in Denmark in 1881. Asta was also a character played by actress Esther Ralston in the film Rome Express (1932).

  • Usage of the baby name Asta.

Ata
Ata was a character played by actress Elena Verdugo in the film The Moon and Sixpence (1942).

  • Usage of the baby name Ata.

Atala
Atala was a character played by actress Bessie Eyton in the short film Atala (1912).

Athene
Athene Seyler was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1960s. She was born in England in 1889.

  • Usage of the baby name Athene.

Athole
Athole Shearer was an actress who appeared in films in the 1920s. She was born in Canada in 1900.

Atoline
Atoline France was a character played by actress Carol Dempster in the film The Girl Who Stayed Home (1919).

Attarea
Attarea was a character played by actress Seena Owen in the film The Fall of Babylon (1919).

Attosa
Attosa was a character played by actress Gale Sondergaard in the film Night in Paradise (1946).

Auber
Auber was a character played by actress Lana Turner in the film The Great Garrick (1937).

Audelle
Audelle Higgins was an actress who appeared in films in the 1910s.

Augusta
Augusta was a character played by actress Emily Fitzroy in the film Timbuctoo (1933).

Augustina
Augustina was a character played by actress Mary Alden in the film The Beloved Brute (1924).

Aurelie
Aurelie Lindstrom was a character played by actress Bessie Love in the film The Midlanders (1920).

Auriol
Auriol Lee was an actress who appeared in films from the 1930s to the 1940s. She was born in England in 1880. Auriol was also a character played by actress Anna Q. Nilsson in the film The Side Show of Life (1924).

Auriole
Auriole Praed was a character played by actress Marjorie Rambeau in the film The Greater Woman (1917).

Aurore
Princess Aurore was a character played by actress Elissa Landi in the film Crimson Dynasty (1935).

  • Usage of the baby name Aurore.

Australia
Australia was a character name in multiple films, including Lovey Mary (1926) and Children of Chance (1949).

Australy
Australy was a character played by actress May McAvoy in the film Mrs. Wiggs of the Cabbage Patch (1919).

Averil
Averil Rochester was a character played by actress Benita Hume in the film A South Sea Bubble (1928).

  • Usage of the baby name Averil.

Avesa
Avesa Pomeroy was a character played by actress Elisabeth Risdon in the film The Mother of Dartmoor (1917).

Avice
Avice Bereton was a character played by actress Enid Markey in the film The Phantom (1916).

  • Usage of the baby name Avice.

Avis
Avis was a character name in multiple films, including The Roughneck (short, 1915) and Beyond (1921).

  • Usage of the baby name Avis.

Avonia
Avonia was a character played by actress Gwen Lee in the film The Actress (1928).

Avonne
Avonne Taylor was an actress who appeared in films from the 1920s to the 1930s. She was born in Ohio in 1899.

  • Usage of the baby name Avonne.

Awaneta
Awaneta was a character played by actress Teddy Sampson in the short film The Boundary Line (1915).

Awretha
Awretha Pickering was an actress who appeared in 1 film in 1919.

Axelle
Axelle von Meirbach was a character played by actress Leila Hyams in the film Surrender (1931).

  • Usage of the baby name Axelle.

Azaline
Azaline was a character played by actress Emily Barrye in the film Volcano! (1926).

Azamora
Azamora was a character played by actress Lila Leslie in the short film A Clean Slate (1915).

Azella
Azella was a character played by actress Gloria Jetter in the film Dixie Jamboree (1944).

  • Usage of the baby name Azella.

Azuri
Azuri was a character played by actress Myrna Loy in the film The Desert Song (1929).

  • Usage of the baby name Azuri.

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…Which of the above names do you like best?

Source: IMDb

The Arrival of Randye

randye, baby name, 1949, triplets
Most of the Herman family, 1949

The baby name Randye debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1949. The usage was primarily in New York state.

YearRandye, usage in U.S.Randye, usage in N.Y.
195311 baby girls10 baby girls
195224 baby girls11 baby girls
195112 baby girls6 baby girls
19509 baby girls6 baby girls
194924 baby girls [debut]14 baby girls [debut]
1948unlistedunlisted
1947unlistedunlisted

Why the debut, and why New York?

Because of a set of identical triplets born to New York City couple Murray and Marjorie Herman in May of 1949. The three girls were born at Polyclinic Hospital and named Jaimye, Randye, and Vickye.

My guess is that the triplets — plus their older sister, Leslye — were featured in the local news throughout their childhood. All four of must have been in the papers around 1952, for instance, because usage of three of the four names increased that year.

Female usage of names similar to Randye (like Randy and Randi) were seeing higher usage in general during this time period, likely thanks to the influence of movie actress Randy Stuart (born Elizabeth Shaubell).

Sources: