How popular is the baby name Myra in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Myra and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Myra.
Back in the 1910s, serial films with female protagonists were very trendy.
Many of these films had titles that followed the same formula: “The (Plural Noun) of (Female Name).”
- The Adventures of Kathlyn* (1913-1914)
- The Hazards of Helen (1914-1917)
- The Perils of Pauline (1914)
- The Exploits of Elaine* (1915)
- The Mysteries of Myra (1916)
- The Adventures of Ruth (1919)
First question: Using the same formula, can you create a serial title with your own name? (You don’t need to have a female name to play along, of course.) The Enigmas of Nancy, The Nuisances of Nancy, The Entanglements of Nancy, The Nail-Biters of Nancy…not that great, but I’m sure you guys can do better.
Second question: Of the six names listed above, which one do you like best?
*The baby names Kathlyn and Elaine saw jumps in usage in 1914 and 1915, respectively.
The registrar of Providence, Rhode Island, published a series of documents listing all “of the names of persons deceased, born and married in the city of Providence” during years 1866, 1867 and 1868. The series may have been longer, but these are the only documents I could find online.
I’ve finally finished creating a set of rankings using one of the documents — 1867. But before we get to the rankings, here are some stats:
- 1,547 babies were born in Providence in 1867, going by the number of babies listed in the document itself. According to the document’s introduction, though, the number is 1,625. Not sure what to make of this discrepancy.
- 1,431 of these babies (713 girls and 718 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 116 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps they died young and never received a name.
- 254 unique names (141 girl names and 113 boy names) were shared among these 1,431 babies.
And now, on to the names…
A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1867:
|Top Baby Girl Names
||Top Baby Boy Names
Notice how the #1 name, Mary, was bestowed three times as often as the #2 name, Catherine.
- Mary, 138 baby girls
- Catherine, 46
- Ellen, 37
- Margaret, 34
- Sarah, 31
- Annie, 19
- Elizabeth, 16
- Alice, 15
- Florence, 14
- Ann, Emma & Ida, 12 each (3-way tie)
- Minnie, 11
- Harriet & Julia, 9 each (2-way tie)
- Anna, Caroline, Carrie, Jennie, Joanna & Louisa, 8 each (6-way tie)
- Cora & Eliza, 7 each (2-way tie)
- Agnes, Clara, Edith, Rosanna & Theresa, 6 each (5-way tie)
- Bertha, Grace, Hannah, Hattie, Jane, Lillian, Maria, Martha, Nellie & Susan, 5 each (10-way tie)
- Eleanor, Fannie, Gertrude, Helen, Isabella, Lucy & Rosa, 4 each (7-way tie)
- Anne, Bridget, Ella, Emily, Esther, Eva, Lizzie, Mabel, Matilda & Ruth, 3 each (10-way tie)
- Ada, Amelia, Charlotte, Dora, Eleanora, Elvira, Henrietta, Jessie, Josephine, Kate, Louise, Lydia, Maggie & Rosella, 2 each (14-way tie)
- Abby, Addie, Adelaide, Adelia, Almina, Almira, Amanda, Amey, Amy, Anastasia, Angelie, Annis, Antoinette, Augusta, Aurelia, Bethiah, Cecelia, Celia, Clarissa, Clementina, Corielynn, Cornelia, Drusilla, Effie, Emeline, Estella, Ethelin, Fanny, Florentina, Frances, Gelie, Genevieve, Georgiana, Georgianna, Helena, Honora, Irene, Isabel, Issie, Juliann, Julietta, Katie, Laura, Leah, Leonora, Lillie, Lillis, Lily, Lottie, Luella, Margaretta, Margery, Margret, Marietta, Maude, May, Millie, Myra, Nelly, Phebe, Robie, Rosalthe, Rose, Selina, Sophia, Susanna, Susannah, Vienna, Viola, Vira, Virginia & Winifred, 1 each (72-way tie)
- John, 87 baby boys
- William, 75
- James, 64
- Charles, 50
- George, 45
- Thomas, 40
- Joseph, 30
- Walter, 21
- Edward, 16
- Francis & Michael, 14 each (2-way tie)
- Patrick, 13
- Arthur & Robert, 12 each (2-way tie)
- Frank, Frederick & Henry, 11 each (3-way tie)
- Albert, 9
- Daniel & Peter, 8 each (2-way tie)
- David, Eugene, Howard & Samuel, 6 each (4-way tie)
- Alexander, Louis & Stephen, 5 each (3-way tie)
- Harry, Herbert, Hugh & Martin, 4 each (4-way tie)
- Carl, Edgar, Everett, Jeremiah & Willie, 3 each (5-way tie)
- Abraham, Alfred, Clarence, Cornelius, Dennis, Ernest, Ezra, Franklin, Freddie, Jacob, Jesse, Lewis, Luke, Nicholas, Philip, Sylvester, Theodore, Timothy, 2 each (18-way tie)
- Abner, Adam, Adolph, Amos, Andrew, Appleton, Archibald, Ashel, August, Benjamin, Benno, Bernard, Bertram, Burt, Byron, Clifford, Davis, Dexter, Dunlap, Edmund, Edwin, Elmer*, Embert, Forrest, Freddy, Gustav, Herman, Isaac, Jeffrey, Jerome, Josiah, Lucian, Malcolm, Matthew, Maurice, Milton, Nathan, Nehemiah, Nelson, Oren, Oscar, Otto, Owen, Paul, Ralph, Reginald, Richard, Sanford, Seth, Shirley, Sullivan, Terence, Theobald, Victor, Wanton, Warren, Weston, Wheelan, Wilford, 1 each (59-way tie)
*Elmer, who had the middle initial “E.,” was likely named after Civil War casualty Elmer E. Ellsworth.
Twins & Triplets
Twenty-one sets of twins and two sets of triplets were born in Providence in 1867. (All of these names were accounted for above — I just thought it’d be fun to check out the sibsets.)
Abraham & George
Charles & George
Charles & John
Daniel & David
Dunlap & Frank
Eugene & Timothy
George & John
George & William
James & John
John & Martin
Albert & Harriet
Ashel & Ida
George & Grace
James & Mary
Maurice & Ann
Annie & Fannie
Annie & Mary
Ann & Ellen
Jennie & Minnie
Margaret & Martha
(blank) & (blank)
Carl, (blank) & (blank)
James, Alexander & Sarah
I’ll post Providence’s 1866 and 1868 rankings as soon I get them done. Until then, here are two older posts featuring uniquely named Rhode Islanders: Aldaberontophoscophornia (b. 1812) and Idawalley (b. 1842).
In early 1916, Photoplay Magazine came up with a list of potential titles for serial films using the formula established by The Perils of Pauline (1914), The Exploits of Elaine (1914), and The Hazards of Helen (1914).
(Just a few months after the above was published, The Mysteries of Myra came out.)
Which of those 26 names — Abigail, Bertha, Calpurnia, Delilah, Evangeline, Florence, Garnet, Hazel, Imogene, Jezebel, Kitty, Lizzie, Margaret, Nancy, Orillia, Priscilla, Queenie, Roberta, Sibyl, Theodosia, Ursula, Victoria, Winifred, Xanthippe, Yetta or Zira — do you like best?
And, which of those serials would you be most likely to watch? :)
A while ago I found a book called “A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names” that was published in Toronto in 1888.
I won’t post any of the poems, which are all pretty cheesy, but author George J. Howson does include an intriguing selection of names. He notes that he wrote acrostics for “all the most popular feminine christian names of the day, and many more that, while not in common use, are known to exist in actual life.”
Here’s the list:
Have any favorites?
Hulda/Huldah is one I like. It’s one of those names that I always see on old New England gravestones but never come across in real life. Wonder when that one will become stylish again.
BTW, has anyone ever seen a good name acrostic? Like, one that’s actually well-written and/or thought-provoking? Because I don’t think I ever have.
Source: A Collection of Original Acrostics on Ladies’ Christian Names by George J. Howson
A reader named Skylar is expecting triplets in June. She writes:
I do not know the gender of the babies yet as my husband and I have decided to keep it a surprise. The triplets will be joining and older brother Beckett Wade (Wade after my brother) and Britton Pearl (Pearl after my great grandmother, also my middle name). I am looking for boys and girls names to name the triplets. I do not like common names, I would prefer something trendy to pair with family middle names.
I rarely get requests for trendy names, so this e-mail really stood out.
One great place to look for trendy (or soon-to-be trendy) names is the SSA’s Change in Popularity page, which lists names that increased in popularity from 2008 to 2009. Here are some of the names on that list:
The SSA’s list doesn’t include names that didn’t make the top 500, though, so here are a few more names (from a bit lower down in the rankings) that also increased in popularity from 2008 to 2009:
Do you like any of the above with Beckett and Britton? What other names would you suggest? How about name combinations?