How popular is the baby name Mary 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 Mary.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Mary


Posts that Mention the Name Mary

How did Cara Delevingne get her name?

British fashion model Cara Delevingne in 2014.
Cara Delevingne

Here’s a baby name explanation I’ve never come across before: in-flight magazine!

British property developer Charles Hamar Delevingne — talking last month to the Irish Times at an event celebrating the centenary of the Anglo-Irish Treaty (which his father, Hamar, helped negotiate) — let it slip that he’d named his famous fashion-model daughter Cara Delevingne after the Aer Lingus in-flight magazine Cara:

I remember I used to go backwards and forwards to Dublin a lot, and the name of the Aer Lingus magazine was Cara. I loved the name.

Cara was first published in 1968. The magazine’s title comes from the Irish word cara, meaning “friend.” Cara was discontinued in December of 2020 due to “the impact of Covid-19,” but the airline plans to re-introduce it as a digital publication in the future.

Cara Jocelyn Delevingne (pronounced DEL-ah-VEEN) was born in 1992. Her middle name presumably honors her maternal grandfather, Sir Jocelyn Stevens.

And let’s not forget the distinctive name Hamar. According to one source, Hamar’s birth name was Thomas Hubbard Hamer Greenwood, but he chose to go by “Hamar” — an altered spelling of the maiden name of his Welsh paternal grandmother (Mary Hamer, 1795-1838).

Sources:

Image by U.S. Embassy London from Wikipedia

Baby Name Story: James Nicholas Gregory

On November 16, 1959, the home of Vincent and Josephine Jennings of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, was consumed by fire.

Vincent, Josephine and their five daughters escaped without injury, but the family’s three sons — James (age 8), Nicholas (7), and Gregory (5) — did not survive.

On March 28, 1960, Mrs. Jennings gave birth to her ninth and last baby — a boy.

He was named James Nicholas Gregory Jennings.

(The Jennings’ daughters were named Mary, Connie, Dorothy, Patty, and Rosie.)

Sources:

  • “New Baby Named for Three Lost in Fire.” Warren Times-Mirror 29 Mar. 1960: 8.
  • Josephine Jennings Obituary (orig. pub. in the East Valley Tribune)
  • “Police Remove Their Hats.” East Liverpool Review 16 Nov. 1959: 1.

Babies Named for Sailing Ships (U, V, W)

The people below were born aboard — and named after! — ships with U-, V-, and W-names…

  • Umbria:
    • Umbria Alva Marie Lindh, born in 1889
  • Utopia:
    • Daniel Utopia Thomson Sullivan, born in 1874
  • Valetta:
    • Maggie Valetta Riddock, born in 1887
  • Valiant:
    • Valiant (surname unknown), born in 1980
  • Varuna:
    • Varuna Rowe Kennedy, born in 1874
  • Venture:
    • Avis Cygnet Venture Hilliard, born in 1892
  • Verum:
    • Mary Verum Parry, born in 1863
  • Victory:
    • Victoria Gibbon Baird, born in 1863
    • Jane Frances Victoria Mosley, born in 1883
    • Victory Elcoate Dowle, born in 1884
  • Viscata:
    • Elizabeth Sofia Viscata Drummond, born in 1865
  • Voltaic:
    • Elizabeth Moore Voltaic Boyle, born in 1889
  • Waikato:
    • Ruth Waikato Eswick, born in 1875
  • Waimate:
    • Annie Rose Waimate James, born in 1874
  • Wainsfell:
    • Eliza Wainsfell Trescoth, born in 1863
    • Hugh Wainsfell Garbride, born in 1863
  • Wairoa:
    • William Wairoa Joss Diffey, born in 1877
    • Joseph Wairoa Hill, born in 1879
  • Waitangi:
    • Alexander Waitangi Danks, born in 1876
    • William George Waitangi Connelly, born in 1877
    • Priscilla Waitangi Rundle, born in 1878
  • Waitara:
    • Emily Waitara Morgan, born in 1876
    • James Waitara Jenkins, born in 1877
    • Anne Waitara Adcock, born in 1879
    • Waitara Sarah Clark, born in 1879
  • Walmer Castle:
    • Charles Walmer Bud, born in 1859
    • Jane Walmer Fergusson, born in 1880
  • Waroonga:
    • Mary Waroonga Cook, born in 1883
    • Rose Waroonga Buchanan, born in 1883
    • Alice Waroonga Poffley, born in 1883
    • Elizabeth Waroonga Brown, born in 1883
    • Margaret Waroonga McLaughlin, born in 1885
    • Emily Waroonga Griffiths, born in 1887
    • Emily Waroonga Finlay, born in 1887
    • David Waroonga Griffiths, born in 1887
  • Warren Hastings:
    • Taylor Hedley Warren Hastings Henley, born in 1863
  • Warwick:
    • Ellen Mary Warwick Bourke, born in 1874
    • Warwick Temperley Skinner, born in 1874
    • Warwick Sexton Clifford Timmins, born in 1879
    • James Warwick Davis, born in 1879
    • Annie Warwick Chappell, born in 1884
    • Warwickina Shields, born in 1884
  • Wellesley:
    • Charles James Wellesey Taylor, born in 1858
  • Wellington:
    • David Cowan Wellington McColl, born in 1876
    • George Edward Wellington Duncan, born in 1878
    • Harry Cowan Wellington Haworth, born in 1879
    • William Wellington Chaplin, born in 1882
    • Ida Wellington Cowan, born in 1884
  • Western Monarch:
    • Thomas Western Radcliffe, born in 1876
  • Westmeath:
    • May Westmeath Wright, born in 1884
  • Westminister:
    • Mary Westminster Lucas, born in 1956
  • Wimmera:
    • George Wimmera Bennett, born in 1874
  • Windsor Castle:
    • Bertha Windsor Schultz, born in 1881
  • Winifred:
    • Winifred Hascher, born in 1881
  • Wishart:
    • Emma Wishart Willard, born in 1874
    • Emma Edith Wishart Brown, born in 1874
    • Daisy Constance Wishart Layard, born in 1874
  • Wisconsin:
    • Francis Owen Wisconsin O’Donald, born in 1879
    • Sarah Wisconsin Whitehead, born in 1879
    • Wisconsin Beardall, born in 1880
    • Jennie Wisconsin Cottrell, born in 1882
    • Wisconsin Ward, born in 1883
    • Wisconsin Wolfer, born in 1886
    • Elizabeth Wisconsin Hanlon, born in 1886
    • James Wisconsin Goodall, born in 1886
    • Johanna Wisconsin Cunningham, born in 1887
    • Edward Wisconsin Cothom, born in 1887
  • Wistow:
    • Wistow Tapp, born in 1885
  • W. J. Pirrie (now part of a marine sanctuary):
    • Nora Pirrie Duckworth, born in 1886
  • Wyoming:
    • Wyoming Grainger, born in 1880
    • Wyoming Liddle, born in 1883

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

Source: FamilySearch.org

Babies named for the Battle of Antietam

The Civil War’s Battle of Antietam (pronounced an-TEE-tum) took place on September 17, 1862, in northwest Maryland, close to Antietam Creek.

The Union and Confederate armies — led by George B. McClellan and Robert E. Lee, respectively — each lost a large number of men in what turned out to be “the bloodiest single day in American history.”

So far I’ve found a handful of people named after the battle, including these three females, all of whom were born during the Civil War:

  • Mary Antietam Cheney, b. Oct. 7, 1862, in Vermont.
  • Mary Antietam McCulloch, b. Sept. 22, 1862, in Massachusetts.
  • Antietam Burnside Mann, b. Jan. 31, 1863, in Connecticut. (Her father died in the battle. The middle name “Burnside” refers to Gen. Ambrose Burnside.)

While the Battle of Antietam was a tactical draw, it was still a strategic victory for the Union, and this “gave [President] Lincoln what he needed to issue the Emancipation Proclamation that would free the slaves in the Confederate states the following January.”

The place-name Antietam was derived from an Algonquian word that may mean “swift water.”

Sources: Battle of Antietam – Wikipedia, Antietam: A Savage Day In American History, Antietam – Online Etymology Dictionary

P.S. Did you know that Antietam was the first American battlefield to be “photographed before the dead had been buried”? Here are some Antietam battlefield photographs (via the U.S. National Park Service).

Rexall baby names: Juneve, Jonteel, Cara Nome

juneve, cosmetics, 1924, baby name, brand name
Juneve advertisement, circa 1924

The United Drug Company — a cooperative of dozens of independently-owned drugstores — was founded by businessman Louis K. Liggett in Boston in 1902.

The affiliated drug stores soon began selling medicines and other products under the brand name Rexall. (Eventually, “Rexall” became the name of thousands of drug stores across the U.S. and Canada.)

Rexall products included perfumed toiletries — talcum power, complexion powder, cold cream, vanishing cream, toilet soap, toilet water, etc. — plus the perfumes themselves. And, interestingly, some of the fragrance names had a small influence on U.S. baby names.

I don’t know precisely when each fragrance was put on the market, so I’ll just list them alphabetically…

Cara Nome

This is a fun one to start with because the fragrance name actually refers to a name.

United Drug’s Cara Nome fragrance was introduced around 1918 and saw its best sales in the 1920s. The Italian name, which translates to “dearest name,” was apparently inspired by an aria called “Caro nome che il mio cor” from the Verdi opera Rigoletto. (In case you’re wondering, the “caro nome” being referred to in the song is Gualtier.)

I found several people in the records named Cara Nome or Caranome:

  • Betty Cara Nome Patesel, b. 1923 in Indiana
  • Cara Nome Schemun, b. circa 1926 in North Dakota
  • Cara Nome Grable, b. 1929 in Michigan
  • Caranome Haag, b. circa 1931 in Wisconsin
  • Caranome Vollman, b. circa 1932 in Nebraska
  • Caranome Stiffey, b. circa 1933 in Pennsylvania
  • Caranome Fox, b. circa 1936 in Oklahoma
  • Caranome Cody, b. 1936 in Tennessee

In Italian, nome is pronounced noh-may (2 syllables). I don’t know how any of the people above pronounced their names, though.

Jeanice

Bouquet Jeanice, introduced around 1913, was one of United Drug’s earliest fragrances. It wasn’t on the market under the name “Bouquet Jeanice” very long, though, because the name was changed to “Bouquet Laurèce” (see below) in late 1915 due to a trademark dispute.

Still, the baby name Jeanice managed to debut in the U.S. baby name data during that short span of time, in 1915:

  • 1917: 11 baby girls named Jeanice
  • 1916: 11 baby girls named Jeanice
  • 1915: 7 baby girls named Jeanice [debut]
  • 1914: unlisted
  • 1913: unlisted

A lot of Jean-names had appeared in the data up to this point, but none of them ended with an “-s” sound.

Jonteel

United Drug introduced Jonteel products in late 1917 and marketed them heavily with full-page color advertisements in major women’s magazines (like Cosmopolitan, Good Housekeeping, and Ladies’ Home Journal).

French names (or French sounding names) were all the rage for cosmetics at the time, and the name Jonteel — presumably based on the French word gentil, meaning “kind, courteous” — fit the trendy perfectly. (In fact, the name that was originally proposed “by a copywriter working for United Drug’s advertising manager” was Caresse-Jonteel, but the “Caresse” part was ultimately dropped.)

I found several people in the records with the name Jonteel:

Juneve

Juneve, pronounced “June Eve,” wasn’t one of United Drug’s more successful scents. It was introduced in 1923, seems to have been off the market entirely by 1928.

Despite this, it popped up on quite a few birth certificates. Here are the Juneves I found that were born during that window of time:

  • Juneve Key, b. December 1923 in Missouri
  • Mary Juneve Jones, b. 1924 in Utah
  • Juneve Black, b. circa 1924 in Kansas
  • Juneve Alsaida Foreman, b. 1924 in Michigan
  • Juneve Jura, b. circa 1924 in Illinois
  • Frances Juneve Smith, b. 1924 in Texas
  • Juneve Carlson, b. circa 1925 in Wisconsin
  • Juneve Massad, b. circa 1925 in Oklahoma
  • Juneve George, b. circa 1925 in Texas
  • Juneve Abraham, b. circa 1925 in Kansas
  • Clara Juneve Morris, b. 1925 in Texas
  • Juneve Friedrick, b. circa 1925 in Texas
  • Ruth Juneve Dehut, b. circa 1925 in Nebraska
  • Juneve Babcock, b. 1925 in Oregon
  • Juneve Gibbs, b. circa 1926 in North Carolina
  • Joyce Juneve Gutzmann, b. 1926 in Minnesota
  • Juneve Hodges, b. circa 1927 in Oklahoma
  • Juneve Malouf, b. circa 1927 in Texas
  • Juneve Fuller, b. 1927 in California
  • Gwendolyn Juneve Gepford, b. 1928 in Oklahoma
  • Juneve Malstrom, b. circa 1928 in Minnesota

The name Juneve also appeared a single time in the U.S. baby name data, the year after the scent was introduced:

  • 1926: unlisted
  • 1925: unlisted
  • 1924: 5 baby girls named Juneve [debut]
  • 1923: unlisted
  • 1922: unlisted

Laurece

Bouquet Laurèce was the new name for Bouquet Jeanice (see above). Advertisements for Bouquet Laurèce started appearing in the papers in late 1915, but I could find no mention of the scent after 1917, so apparently it was only on the market for a couple of years. But that was enough for the name Laurece to become a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data:

  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: unlisted
  • 1917: 6 baby girls named Laurece [debut]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: unlisted

Shari

United Drug introduced a scent called Shari in early 1926 with ads featuring copy like this:

Shari is something new in toilet goods. Shari appeals to most every woman and tends to add to personal loveliness. The distinctive fragrance of Shari perfume incorporated in the following beauty aids (now on sale at all our stores) will be the cause of their use on thousands of dressing tables during 1926.

Shari products proved popular, and the scent was on the market all the way until the early 1940s.

The baby name Shari debuted in the SSA data in 1927 and — like the Shari products themselves — gained momentum over the years that followed.

  • 1929: 10 baby girls named Shari
  • 1928: 8 baby girls named Shari
  • 1927: 9 baby girls named Shari [debut]
  • 1926: unlisted
  • 1925: unlisted

(Similar names like Sharon and Sherry were also slowly picking up steam in the 1920s. All three names would go on to see peak usage in the middle decades of the 20th century.)

Violet Dulce

United Drug’s Violet Dulce fragrance was introduced in the early 1910s — even earlier than Bouquet Jeanice. The name Violet was already relatively popular for newborns at that time, but I did find a single example of a newborn with the first-middle combo “Violet Dulce”:

  • Violet Dulce Starr, b. 1913 in Washington state

Rexall

Finally, I’ll mention that the baby name Rexall has popped up in the data a handful of times (1910s-1950s), though the usage doesn’t seem to follow any patterns.

How was the word coined? Here’s the story:

[Liggett] asked Walter Jones Willson, his office boy and an amateur linguist, to invent the brand name. It had to be short, distinctive, original, and easy to pronounce; it also had to look good in type and meet the legal requirements for a trademark. Willson submitted a long list of coined words, including “Rexal,” to Liggett, who added another “l.” Since “rex” was the Latin word for king, the new name supposedly meant “king of all.” (According to another explanation, “Rexall” stood for “RX for all.”)

Before settling upon “Rexall,” Liggett had considered using “Saxona” as the name of the brand.


Do you like any of the perfume names above? Would you give any of them to a modern-day baby?

Sources: