How popular is the baby name Philander in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Philander and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Philander.
Boston’s Central Burying Ground was established in 1756, so it’s newer than the other Boston cemeteries I’ve blogged about (King’s Chapel, Granary, and Copp’s Hill). Nevertheless, it still contains some pretty interesting names:
- A: Aderline, Alford, Alona, Alpheus, Alsendorf, Annjulett, Antice, Anstice, Arodi, Artemis, Asadel
- B: Barstow, Barzillia, Belcher, Benaset
- C: Calista, Christeena, Clarena, Clarentine, Cumming
- D: Dolley
- E: Ede, Elbridge, Elhanah, Eliakim, Emely
- F: Fletcher, Freelove
- G: Giles, Gilman, Gustavus
- H: Hannahretta, Hawkes, Hepzibah, Hermione, Hezekiah, Hitty
- I: Ichabod, Ignatius, Iphigenia
- J: Jaazaniah, Jennet
- K: Keziah
- L: Lendall, Llewlwyn, Loms, Lot, Lyman
- M: Manasseh, Mansfred, Marayanna, Marston, Mayday, Mehitable, Micajah, Milla, Mindwell, Minerva
- N: Nabby, Nahum
- O: Orvilla
- P: Pamelia, Percival, Phebee, Philander, Pliny
- R: Rodolth, Rosalinda, Rosamund, Ruhamah
- S: Sally, Salome, Seiba, Shubael, Shubel, Sibley, Silence, Silvanus, Sophronia, Sukey, Sylvanus
- T: Tamer, Ternon, Theophilus, Tristam, Tryphena
- V: Vivia
- W: Waverly, Wentworth, Worham, Winthrop
- Z: Zabiah, Zebiah, Zeal, Zephaniah, Zilpah
I bet Vivia would appeal to modern parents looking for an alternative to Olivia and/or Vivian.
Which of the above do you like best? How about least?
Source: Gravestone Inscriptions and Records of Tomb Burials in the Central Burying Ground (1917) by Ogden Codman
The most bizarre name I spotted while reading through headstone inscriptions from Copp’s Hill Burying Ground (est. 1659) was Tickleemanbeck:
Is that a surname or a first name? Or, was this a mononymous person? A Native American, maybe? I have no idea.
The rest of the more unusual names weren’t all that unusual, really, given the time period. Most of these occurred just once in the records:
- A: Achsah, Ales, Almeda, Ammi, Annis, Aquila, Archibald, Artor, Asahel, Avis
- B: Bethesda, Buckland
- C: Cornelius, Cotton (Cotton Mather), Christiana, Christon, Custin
- E: Edee, Eliphal, Ellsy, Esdras
- F: Flora, Fortesque, Furnell
- G: Gershom, Gibbins, Goodeth
- H: Harbottle, Hemmen, Henretta, Hephsibah, Hezekiah, Hindreh (called Henry in other records), Holland, Hopestill, Hotton
- I: Increase (Increase Mather)
- J: Jemimia, Job, Joses, Judet
- K: Kathron, Kezia
- L: Lettice/Lettuce, Love
- M: Mehetebel/Mehitabel
- O: Obedience
- P: Palsgrave, Pelatiah, Philander, Prissilah
- R: Rosetta
- S: Seeth, Sewall, Shem (Shem Drowne), Sibella, Silvanus
- T: Tamazen, Temperance, Theodocia, Tickleemanbeck
- W: Willmoth
Finally, here are two earlier posts with names from two more historical Boston cemeteries: King’s Chapel (est. 1630) and Granary (est. 1660).
Yup. A baby girl born in New York in 1814 was named Encyclopedia Britannica Dewey.
Her father was a minister named Timothy Dewey. With his first wife, Anne, he had a baby boy who got a traditional name (George Robert Dewey). But with his second wife, Beulah, he had at least 10 kids, all of whom got more distinctive names:
- Anna Diadama Dewey, b. 1802
- Philander Seabury Dewey, b. 1803
- Franklin Jefferson Dewey, b. 1804
- Armenius Philadelphus Dewey, b. 1805
- Almira Melphomenia Dewey, b. 1807
- Marcus Bonaparte Dewey, b. 1808
- Pleiades Arastarcus Dewey, b. 1810
- Victor Millenius Dewey, b. 1811
- Octavia Ammonia Dewey, b. 1812
- Encyclopedia Britannica Dewey, b. 1814
The most notable name of the bunch is certainly Encyclopedia Britannica. Like Prockie, she didn’t use her full name in everyday life but went by a modified form of her middle name: Britannia.
Would you consider giving any of these names to a child nowadays? If so, which one(s)?
Source: Rev Timothy Dewey (1771 – 1850) – Find A Grave Memorial
Image: Old school knowledge by Joi Ito under CC BY 2.0.
Jonathan and Patience Sprague of Douglas, Massachusetts, welcomed a baby boy on October 16, 1790.
They named him Federal Constitution Sprague.
Well, he was born a year after the U.S. Constitution went into effect. (It had been was created in 1787 and ratified in 1788.)
As one source put it, “Federal Constitution Sprague evidently had a father to whom the new nation meant something. He was interested evidently in the document for which he named his son.”
Yes, evidently. :)
None of Federal Constitution’s 13 siblings, nine full siblings and four half-siblings, got a name as notable (or as patriotic) as his:
- Federal Constitution
- Jonathan, Jr.
F.C. ended up having a dozen children, ten from his first marriage and two from his second, but didn’t pass his unique name down to any of them:
- Philander (twin)
- Philinda (twin)
I’ve also found a handful of other people named Constitution (or some variation thereof). Most were born in France in the 1790s, around the time France adopted several new constitutions during the French Revolution. Several other Constitutions were from countries in South America. One was born in New South Wales in 1855, the year of the New South Wales Constitution Act.
- Crane, Ellery Bicknell. Historic homes and institutions and genealogical and personal memoirs of Worcester County Massachusetts. New York: Lewis Publishing Company, 1907.
- Sprague, Augustus B. R. Genealogy in part of the Sprague Families in America. Worcester, MA: Augustus B. R. Sprague, 1902.
I thought I would follow up my posts on bad meanings and unlikable names with ten baby names that have been rendered fairly unusable for modern parents, for various reasons.
- Dorcas (f) – last ranked among the top 1,000 U.S. names in 1950.
- Fairy (f) – last ranked in 1932.
- Fanny (f) – last ranked in 1939.
- Gaylord (m) – last ranked in 1956, though — who knows? — maybe those Focker movies will spark a comeback. :)
- Hortense (f) – last ranked in 1941.
- Hymen (m) – last ranked in 1913.
- Maxie/Maxi (f) – Maxie last ranked in 1962; Maxi has never ranked.
- Pansy (f) – last ranked in 1952.
- Philander (m) – has never ranked, likely because its negative connotation dates all the way back to the mid-19th century (before data was collected).
- Rube (m) – last ranked in 1907.
Did I miss any good ones? (Good as in bad, of course.)