How popular is the baby name Simon 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 Simon.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Simon


Posts that Mention the Name Simon

Numerology & Baby Names: Number 7

baby names that add up to 7, numerologically

Here are hundreds of baby names that have a numerological value of “7.”

I’ve sub-categorized them by overall totals, because I think that some of the intermediate numbers could have special significance to people as well.

Within each group, I’ve listed up to ten of the most popular “7” names per gender (according to the current U.S. rankings).

Beneath all the names are some ways you could interpret the numerological value of “7,” including descriptions from two different numerological systems.

7

The girl name Aada adds up to 7.

7 via 16

The following baby names add up to 16, which reduces to seven (1+6=7).

  • “16” girl names: Ana, Jada, Alba, Heba, Fia, Jae, Adaia, Adja, Cece, Daja
  • “16” boy names: Chad, Cal, Jae, Cage, Efe, Dak, Che, Adib, Abdi, Ehab

7 via 25

The following baby names add up to 25, which reduces to seven (2+5=7).

  • “25” girl names: Cali, Amaia, Jaida, Baila, Naia, Ahana, Danae, Ania, Laci, Adara
  • “25” boy names: Jack, Gael, Aaden, Aedan, Abbas, Jan, Asad, Saad, Ahaan, Ike

7 via 34

The following baby names add up to 34, which reduces to seven (3+4=7).

  • “34” girl names: Grace, Amara, Lila, Thea, Amanda, Elle, Danna, Anne, Bailee, Della
  • “34” boy names: Micah, Jaden, Chance, Hank, Noe, Carl, Chaim, Canaan, Kacen, Neo

7 via 43

The following baby names add up to 43, which reduces to seven (4+3=7).

  • “43” girl names: Chloe, Ellie, Alexa, Andrea, Gracie, Ember, Annie, Talia, Alanna, Karla
  • “43” boy names: Finn, Mark, Derek, Rafael, Iker, Beckham, Jaiden, Keegan, Erik, Aarav

7 via 52

The following baby names add up to 52, which reduces to seven (5+2=7).

  • “52” girl names: Hazel, Nova, Naomi, Aubree, Reese, Arabella, Dakota, Charlee, Nyla, Jimena
  • “52” boy names: Cayden, Dakota, Seth, Raul, Cason, Jamari, Reese, Marcel, Keanu, Ishaan

7 via 61

The following baby names add up to 61, which reduces to seven (6+1=7).

  • “61” girl names: Isabella, Lucy, Adelyn, Catalina, Mckenna, Luciana, Miracle, Jolene, Aylin, Meadow
  • “61” boy names: Roman, Kevin, Luis, Maddox, Calvin, Richard, Andres, Corbin, Nasir, Remy

7 via 70

The following baby names add up to 70, which reduces to seven (7+0=7).

  • “70” girl names: Eleanor, Ashley, Lilly, Alexis, Lilliana, Kenzie, Alison, Sierra, Francesca, Lilith
  • “70” boy names: Henry, Carson, Ryder, Josue, Simon, Walker, Rylan, Finnegan, Otto, Philip

7 via 79

The following baby names add up to 79, which reduces to seven (7+9=16; 1+6=7).

  • “79” girl names: Rosalie, Maddison, Cheyenne, Ashlyn, Haisley, Evalyn, Adilynn, Harriet, Kyndall, Beatrix
  • “79” boy names: William, Lincoln, Connor, Colton, Xavier, Walter, Gunner, Warren, Harvey, Frederick

7 via 88

The following baby names add up to 88, which reduces to seven (8+8=16; 1+6=7).

  • “88” girl names: Elizabeth, Penelope, Journee, Jazlyn, Madelynn, Sylvia, Katelyn, Karsyn, Poppy, Kassidy
  • “88” boy names: Antonio, Francisco, Kashton, Jaxxon, Karsyn, Terrence, Immanuel, Santos, Brenton, Zephaniah

7 via 97

The following baby names add up to 97, which reduces to seven (9+7=16; 1+6=7).

  • “97” girl names: Victoria, Stephanie, Evelynn, Jacqueline, Kathryn, Itzayana, Emmalynn, Yvette, Millicent, Josephina
  • “97” boy names: Anthony, Brantley, Bronson, Valentin, Jonathon, Tyrone, Johnpaul, Kentrell, Stephon, Marshawn

7 via 106

The following baby names add up to 106, which reduces to seven (1+0+6=7).

  • “106” girl names: Waverly, Honesty, Anniston, Krystal, Guinevere, Wilhelmina, Precious, Kaitlynn, Yulissa, Skarlett
  • “106” boy names: Russell, Trenton, Westyn, Miguelangel, Deanthony, Aurelius, Robinson, Tayvion, Hendrixx, Keyshawn

7 via 115

The following baby names add up to 115, which reduces to seven (1+1+5=7).

  • “115” girl names: Serenity, Trinity, Remington, Charleston, Brynnley, Winslow, Lilyrose, Everlynn, Yoselyn, Alexzandria
  • “115” boy names: Remington, Triston, Charleston, Trayvon, Winslow, Josemanuel, Reymundo, Whittaker, Tyrique, Trinity

7 via 124

The following baby names add up to 124, which reduces to seven (1+2+4=7).

  • “124” girl names: Rozlynn, Yatziry, Gwynevere, Brynlynn, Yaritzy, Vyolette, Graycelynn, Persayus, Gwendolyne, Maryruth
  • “124” boy names: Harrington, Thornton, Maxximus, Martavius, Treyveon, Winchester, Princetyn, Quinnton, Trayvion, Uchechukwu

7 via 133

The following baby names add up to 133, which reduces to seven (1+3+3=7).

  • “133” girl names: Gwendolynn, Tonantzin, Sigourney
  • “133” boy names: Theophilus, Princeston, Stevenson, Rutherford, Treyshawn, Rodriquez, Zulqarnain, Treyvonn

7 via 142

The following baby names add up to 142, which reduces to seven (1+4+2=7).

  • “142” girl names: Courtlynn, Scottlynn, Iyanuoluwa, Sutherlyn, Christlynn
  • “142” boy names: Huntington, Konstantine, Naetochukwu, Iyanuoluwa, Marquavius

7 via 151

The following baby names add up to 151, which reduces to seven (1+5+1=7).

  • “151” girl names: Montserrath, Victorious

7 via 160

The boy name Arinzechukwu adds up to 160, which reduces to seven (1+6+0=7).

7 via 169

The boy name Somtochukwu adds up to 169, which reduces to seven (1+6+9=16; 1+6=7).

What Does “7” Mean?

First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “7” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “7” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.

Numerological Attributes

“7” (the heptad) according to the Pythagoreans: …

  • “Since everything comes together and is distinguished by coincidence and in a critical manner at the place of the hebdomad [group of seven], they called it ‘critical time’ and ‘Chance,’ and custom has entrenched the habit of saying ‘critical time and Chance’ together.”
  • “Many things, both in the heavens of the universe and on the Earth – celestial bodies and creatures and plants – are in fact brought to completion by it. And that is why it is called ‘Chance,’ because it accompanies everything which happens, and ‘critical time,’ because it has gained the most critical position and nature.”
  • “It is also called ‘that which brings completion,’ for seven-month children are viable.”
  • “Everything is fond of sevens.”
  • “It is called ‘forager’ because its structure has been collected and gathered together in a manner resembling unity, since it is altogether indissoluble, except into something which has the same denominator as itself”

“7” according to Edgar Cayce:

  • “Seven is the spiritual number” (reading 261-15).
  • “As does seven signify the spiritual forces, as are seen in all the ritualistic orders of any nature” (reading 5751-1).
Personal/Cultural Significance

Does “7” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 25, 43, 88, 151) — have any special significance to you?

Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe you like how “88” reminds you of piano keys, for example.

Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.

If you have any interesting insights about the number 7, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!

Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).

Initials that Spell Names

initials that spell names, gus, zoe, eli, seb

In June of 1982, the Toledo Blade ran a short article about two local brothers who “enjoy the distinction of having initials which spell their names.” One was Thomas Owen Matzinger (T.O.M.), the other was James Irvin Matzinger (J.I.M.). Their dad Mike said it was “just as well” that he didn’t have any more kids, because he couldn’t think of any other sets of names to fit the pattern.

My guess is that Mike was joking, because there are several other sets of initials that could work with an M-surname like Matzinger, one of which, T.I.M., is just a letter away from T.O.M.

In fact, there are at least a couple of combinations that would work with every type of surname.

So today, in honor of the Matzingers of Toledo, I’ve come up with a long list of name-spelling initials. They’re sorted by third initial (that is, the first letter of the last name) so you can scroll straight to the set that matches up with your own surname.

Enjoy!

Initials that Spell Names & Nicknames

Surname starts with: Potential full initials (& example combo):
A A.D.A. (Adelaide Diane A.)
A.N.A. (Anastasia Nadine A.)
A.S.A. (Asa Scott A.)
A.V.A. (Ava Virginia A.)
B.E.A. (Beatrix Elaine A.)
E.V.A. (Eva Veronica A.)
G.I.A. (Gia Idonea A.)
I.D.A. (Idabelle Daria A.)
I.N.A. (Ina Nigella A.)
I.R.A. (Ira Ralph A.)
I.S.A. (Isabel Simone A.)
K.I.A. (Kia Ianthe A.)
L.E.A. (Leah Elizabeth A.)
M.I.A. (Mia Imelda A.)
N.I.A. (Nia Ilona A.)
O.D.A. (Odalys Delfina A.)
O.R.A. (Ora Ruth A.)
U.M.A. (Uma Magnolia A.)
U.N.A. (Una Normina A.)
B D.E.B. (Deborah Ethel B.)
J.E.B. (Jeb Evan B.)
L.I.B. (Libbie Ione B.)
R.O.B. (Robert Orville B.)
S.E.B. (Sebastian Everly B.)
S.Y.B. (Sybil Yvette B.)
T.A.B. (Tabitha Araminta B.)
Z.E.B. (Zebulon Ezekiel B.)
C B.E.C. (Becky Eowyn C.)
M.A.C. (Mackenzie Anne C.)
N.I.C. (Nicole Isabelle C.)
V.I.C. (Victor Ivan C.)
Z.A.C. (Zackary Arlo C.)
D J.E.D. (Jedidiah Easton D.)
R.O.D. (Rodney Orrin D.)
T.E.D. (Theodora Eugenia D.)
Z.E.D. (Zedekiah Ezra D.)
E A.B.E. (Abraham Benjamin E.)
A.C.E. (Ace Corbin E.)
E.V.E. (Eve Violet E.)
F.A.E. (Fae Adina E.)
I.K.E. (Isaac Keith E.)
J.O.E. (Joseph Owen E.)
L.E.E. (Lee Ethan E.)
M.A.E. (Maebelle Alice E.)
M.O.E. (Morris Oscar E.)
R.A.E. (Raelene Alicia E.)
S.U.E. (Susan Ursula E.)
Z.O.E. (Zoe Ocean E.)
F A.L.F. (Alfred Leonard F.)
D.U.F. (Duffy Ultan F.)
J.E.F. (Jeffrey Elliott F.)
G M.E.G. (Megan Emiliana G.)
P.E.G. (Peggy Elise G.)
R.E.G. (Reggie Elmo G.)
R.O.G. (Roger Olav G.)
H A.S.H. (Ashton Samuel H.)
I A.B.I. (Abigail Bailey I.)
A.L.I. (Alison Layla I.)
A.M.I. (Ami May I.)
A.R.I. (Ariana Rafaela I.)
A.V.I. (Avi Vincent I.)
E.D.I. (Edith Daisy I.)
E.L.I. (Elijah Logan I.)
E.V.I. (Evie Venetia I.)
J.O.I. (Joi Olivia I.)
K.A.I. (Kai Alexander I.)
O.L.I. (Oliver Lennox I.)
J R.A.J. (Rajesh Ajay J.)
K M.A.K. (Makayla Ashley K.)
O.A.K. (Oakley Atlas K.)
L C.A.L. (Callum Audley L.)
D.E.L. (Delaney Estelle L.)
G.I.L. (Gilbert Ishmael L.)
H.A.L. (Harry Archibald L.)
L.I.L. (Lillian Iva L.)
M.A.L. (Malcolm Angus L.)
M.E.L. (Melanie Eloisa L.)
M.O.L. (Molly Odette L.)
S.A.L. (Sally Angelica L.)
S.O.L. (Solomon Osborn L.)
V.A.L. (Valerie Annette L.)
W.I.L. (Willy Ingo L.)
Z.E.L. (Zelda Erin L.)
M C.A.M. (Cameron Aidan M.)
D.O.M. (Dominic Orson M.)
J.E.M. (Jemima Eleanor M.)
J.I.M. (James Irvin M.)
K.I.M. (Kimberly Imogene M.)
L.E.M. (Lemuel Emerson M.)
P.A.M. (Pamela Alys M.)
R.A.M. (Ramsey Archer M.)
S.A.M. (Samuel Aaron M.)
S.I.M. (Simon Isidore M.)
T.A.M. (Tammy Anita M.)
T.I.M. (Timothy Isaac M.)
T.O.M. (Thomas Owen M.)
N A.N.N. (Annie Nuala N.)
B.E.N. (Benjamin Ellis N.)
C.Y.N. (Cynthia Yelena N.)
D.A.N. (Daniel Avery N.)
D.O.N. (Donovan Oliver N.)
F.I.N. (Finley Ivor N.)
J.A.N. (Janice Andrina N.)
J.O.N. (Jonathan Octavian N.)
K.E.N. (Kenneth Eric N.)
L.E.N. (Leonard Earl N.)
L.Y.N. (Lynnette Yasmin N.)
N.A.N. (Nancy Azalea N.)
R.E.N. (Renato Elian N.)
R.O.N. (Ronald Ormond N.)
V.A.N. (Vanessa Athena N.)
W.I.N. (Winifred Inez N.)
Z.E.N. (Zenobia Evelyn N.)
O F.L.O. (Florence Lily O.)
L.E.O. (Leo Elton O.)
P C.A.P. (Caprice Amity P.)
K.I.P. (Kip Indigo P.)
Q J.A.Q. (Jaquan Anthony Q.)
R.A.Q. (Raquel Alaiah Q.)
R G.A.R. (Gareth Alfie R.)
S C.A.S. (Caspian Atticus S.)
G.U.S. (Gustavo Ulises S.)
J.E.S. (Jessica Esther S.)
L.E.S. (Lester Edward S.)
R.U.S. (Russell Upton S.)
W.E.S. (Wesley Elwood S.)
T A.R.T. (Arthur Roland T.)
C.A.T. (Catherine Aveline T.)
D.O.T. (Dorothy Olive T.)
M.A.T. (Matthew Alastair T.)
N.A.T. (Nathan Arnold T.)
P.A.T. (Patricia Ainsley T.)
U L.O.U. (Louisa Ophelia U.)
P.R.U. (Prudence Rhoda U.)
S.T.U. (Stuart Tucker U.)
T.R.U. (Trudie Rose U.)
V B.E.V. (Beverly Evangeline V.)
L.I.V. (Livia Indiana V.)
N.E.V. (Neville Eldon V.)
V.I.V. (Vivian Ingrid V.)
W L.A.W. (Lawson Amos W.)
L.E.W. (Lewis Edgar W.)
X B.A.X. (Baxter Andrew X.)
D.A.X. (Dax Alec X.)
D.E.X. (Dexter Edison X.)
J.A.X. (Jaxon Antony X.)
L.E.X. (Lexie Eliza X.)
M.A.X. (Maximus Alvin X.)
P.A.X. (Pax Amelia X.)
R.E.X. (Rex Elias X.)
R.O.X. (Roxanna Opal X.)
T.E.X. (Tex Emmanuel X.)
Y A.M.Y. (Amy Michelle Y.)
G.U.Y. (Guy Urban Y.)
I.V.Y. (Ivy Verity Y.)
J.A.Y. (Jay Adam Y.)
J.O.Y. (Joyce Ondina Y.)
K.A.Y. (Katherine Addison Y.)
M.A.Y. (May Augusta Y.)
R.A.Y. (Raymond Adrian Y.)
R.O.Y. (Royce Oberon Y.)
S.K.Y. (Skylar Kerry Y.)
Z H.E.Z. (Hezekiah Ellery Z.)
J.E.Z. (Jezebel Eulalia Z.)
L.I.Z. (Lizzie Iris Z.)
K.I.Z. (Kizzy Isla Z.)
R.O.Z. (Rosalind Olga Z.)

Can you come up with other good ones? If so, please leave a comment!

Source: “So Named.” Toledo Blade 29 Jun. 1982: P-1.

Man Renames Himself “Bacon Double Cheeseburger”

painted-burgerA 33-year-old London man, formerly called Simon Smith, officially changed his name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger in late February.

He admitted that the decision was “the culmination of probably too many drinks in the pub,” but doesn’t regret it. He now signs all his work emails “B. D. Cheeseburger.”

His fiancée Isabella, on the other hand, is not pleased with the change. He says she’s “fairly reluctant about marrying a Cheeseburger.”

Notably, a record-breaking 85,000 people changed their name in the UK last year.

Louise Bowers, of the UK Deed Poll Service, said: “One man changed his name to Happy Birthday. It gave us a chuckle but if that is what they want to do, it’s their choice.”

She added: “Some people simply don’t like their original name — we’ve changed Cock to Cox and Smellie to Smiley.”

If you’re a UK resident ready for a name change, the process is both easy and inexpensive — just make a deed poll, which is free, then “enroll” the new name at the Royal Courts of Justice, which costs £36 (in U.S. dollars, a bit over $50).

Sources: Meet Mr Bacon Double Cheeseburger, North London man changes name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger by deed poll, ‘Why I changed my name to Bacon Double Cheeseburger’

Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1866

providenceLast month we looked at the top Providence names of 1867, so today let’s check out the rankings from the year before — 1866.

First, some stats:

  • 1,633 babies were babies were born in Providence in 1866, by my count. (The number given by the author of the document is 1,632.)
  • 1,457 of these babies (707 girls and 750 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 176 babies got blank spaces.
  • 234 unique names (123 girl names and 108 boy names) were shared among these 1,457 babies.

And here’s some extra information I forgot to mention in the last post: In 1860, the city of Providence was home to 29.0% of Rhode Island’s population. In 1870, it was home to 31.7% of the population. So each of these 3 sets of rankings (1866, 1867, 1868) ought to account for roughly 30% of the residents of the state.

Now, on to the names…

Top 5

The top 5 girl names and boy names of 1866 were, unsurprisingly, very similar to the top names of 1867.

Top Baby Girl Names Top Baby Boy Names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Ellen
4. Margaret
5. Sarah
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. George
5. Thomas

The girls’ top 5 is identical, while the boys’ top 5 includes Thomas instead of George.

Girl Names

As expected, Mary was the front-runner by a huge margin. And, while there were dozens of Catherines, and a single Catharine, there weren’t any Katherines.

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 43
  3. Ellen, 40
  4. Margaret, 37
  5. Sarah, 36
  6. Elizabeth, 32
  7. Alice, 18
  8. Annie, 15
  9. Anna & Eliza, 14 each (2-way tie)
  10. Clara, 13
  11. Ann, 11
  12. Carrie, Emma, Jane & Susan, 10 each (4-way tie)
  13. Grace & Ida, 9 each (2-way tie)
  14. Esther, Martha & Minnie, 7 each (3-way tie)
  15. Anne & Julia, 6 each (2-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Charlotte, Cora, Harriet, Jennie, Joanna, Maria & Rosanna, 5 each (8-way tie)
  17. Amelia, Bridget, Ella, Frances, Hattie, Lydia, Nellie & Theresa, 4 each (8-way tie)
  18. Abby, Emily, Florence, Josephine, Laura, Lillian, Lizzie, Louise & Marion, 3 each (9-way tie)
  19. Ada, Amy, Augusta, Deborah, Edith, Etta, Eva, Fannie, Georgianna, Hannah, Henrietta, Honora, Isabel, Isabella, Lottie, Lucy, Mabel, Marietta, Maud & Teresa, 2 each (20-way tie)
  20. Almira, Annette, Bertha, Catharine, Cedelia, Celia, Christina, Delia, Diana, Dora, Dorcas, Eldora, Eleanor, Elsie, Emeline, Etherine, Eugenie, Evangeline, Fanny, Flora, Geneva, Georgia, Gracie, Helen, Helena, Imogene, Janette, Jessie, Kate, Lena, Louisa, Lucia, Lucinda, Madelina, Marian, Marsalin, May, Millie, Mina, Mini, Minna, Neatah, Nettie, Phebe, Rebecca, Rosa, Roselia, Rosetta, Ruth, Sophia, Stella, Susanna, Susannah, Tillie & Winnifred, 1 each (55-way tie)

Boy Names

John had an even more commanding lead in 1866 than in 1867.

  1. John, 109 baby boys
  2. William, 78
  3. James, 62
  4. George, 44
  5. Thomas, 41
  6. Charles, 36
  7. Edward, 28
  8. Joseph, 27
  9. Frederick, 20
  10. Henry, 18
  11. Frank, 17
  12. Michael, 15
  13. Francis, 14
  14. Daniel, 13
  15. Albert, Patrick & Robert, 12 each (3-way tie)
  16. Walter, 11
  17. Arthur, Peter & Samuel, 8 each (3-way tie)
  18. Alfred, Harry, Louis & Stephen, 7 each (4-way tie)
  19. Martin, 6
  20. Matthew, 5
  21. Christopher, Clarence, Herbert, Howard & Hugh, 4 each (5-way tie)
  22. Benjamin, Eugene, Ira & Jeremiah, 3 each (4-way tie)
  23. Aaron, Alvin, Arnold, Earl, Edgar, Elisha, Freddie, Harrison, Lewis, Marcus, Nicholas, Philip, Richard & Timothy, 2 each (14-way tie)
  24. Abner, Adam, Adolph, Alanson, Alden, Ambrose, Antonio, August, Augustavus*, Augustus, Bartholomew, Bernard, Bradford, Byron, Chauncey, Clinton, David, Duncan, Eben, Ebenezer, Edwin, Elias, Elliott, Ethan, Everett, Ezra, Ferdinand, Frederic, Fullerton, Gilbert, Gwynn, Harold, Herman, Isaac, Jesse, Josiah, Lauriston, Luther, Manuel, Marks, Maurice, Miles, Mortimer, Oliver, Olney, Oscar, Otto, Rana, Rectol, Salisbury, Shamball, Simon, Terence, Theodore, Victor, Willard, Willie & Wilton, 1 each (58-way tie)

(I didn’t combine any variant spellings, but I did lump the abbreviated names Chas., Benj., and Fred’k in with Charles, Benjamin and Frederick.)

*Does Augustavus = Augustus + Gustav, I wonder?

Twins

I counted 19 pairs of twins born in Providence in 1866. I didn’t notice any triplets this year. (All of these names have already been accounted for above.)

Twins (b/b) Twins (b/g) Twins (g/g)
Edgar & Oscar
Edward & James
Francis & James
James & John
John & Thomas
(blank) & (blank)
Frederick & Alice
John & Alice
Samuel & Sarah
Stephen & Annie
(blank) & Catherine
Agnes & Anna
Eldora & Ellen
Eliza & Mary
Elizabeth & Julia
Frances & Mary
Josephine & Mary
Mary & Sarah
Theresa & (blank)

I’ll try to finish/post the final set of rankings before the end of the year.

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence During the Year 1866. Providence: Hammond, Angell & Co., 1867.

The Hillbilly Baby Name Saford

Clayton and Saford Hall in in 1940
Clayton and Saford Hall in 1940

In 1941, the name Saford debuted in the U.S. baby name data with 11 baby boys — enough to make it the top boy name debut of the year.

It was never to be seen in the data again, though. This made Saford the top one-hit wonder name of 1941. And it’s tied for 9th on the list of most popular one-hit wonder boy names of all time.

So what’s the story behind this mysterious name? The state-by-state data offers a big clue:

  • 1942: unlisted
  • 1941: 11 baby boys named Saford
    • 9 born in Virginia specifically
  • 1940: unlisted

The name Saford was inspired by Virginia fiddler Saford Hall. Saford and his identical twin brother Clayton (who played the banjo) were born in rural Patrick County, Virginia, in 1919. They were the last of 10 children. (Their older siblings were named Lee, Roxie, Thamon, Mack, Romie, Samson, Simon and Asa.)

In the late ’30s, the boys formed their first band: the Hall Twins.

In 1939, the twins joined Roy Hall (no relation) and His Blue Ridge Entertainers. The band had a radio show that started out in Winston-Salem (WAIR), but saw much more success after moving to Roanoke (WDBJ) in April of 1940. The show consisted of musical numbers and comedy skits. In fact, Saford and Clayton had a comedy segment in which they played hillbilly characters named Monk and Gibb.

And while Saford and Clayton were radio stars in Roanoke, Saford’s name emerged in the U.S. baby name data — thanks to strong usage in Virginia. Clayton‘s name was already being given to hundreds of U.S. babies per year by the early ’40s, but usage in both Virginia and North Carolina was higher than expected in 1942. I even found a Virginia baby named Saford Clayton! (He wasn’t born until 1944, though.)

Ralph Berrier, Jr. — a journalist who happens to be Clayton’s grandson — wrote about the twins in his book If Trouble Don’t Kill Me. Here’s how he describes them on his website (which also includes recordings of several performances from the early ’40s):

The Hall twins rose from mountain-bred poverty to pickin’ and yodelin’ all over the airwaves of the South in the 1930s and 1940s, opening shows for the Carter Family, Roy Rogers, the Sons of the Pioneers, and even playing the most coveted stage of all: the Grand Ole Opry.

(They played the Grand Ole Opry twice, in 1941 and in 1942, as part of the Blue Ridge Entertainers.)

But just as their musical careers were beginning to take off, the brothers were drafted. Saford was sent to North Africa and Europe, and Clayton was sent to the South Pacific.

The Hall twins survived WWII, and they continued playing music after returning to the States, but they were never able to achieve the same level of musical success. Saford passed away in 1999, Clayton in 2003.

Sources: