How popular is the baby name Thankful in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, see baby names similar to Thankful and check out all the blog posts that mention the name Thankful.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Thankful

Number of Babies Named Thankful

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Thankful

Unique Baby Name – Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin

Samuel and Abigail Pond of Branford, Connecticut, had 8 kids between 1705 and 1721.

The first 7 got familiar names: Samuel, Philip, Bartholomew, Josiah, Abigail, Phineas and Peter.

But the last? The last was named Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin.

Huh?

Turns out it’s Biblical. Not a Biblical name, but a Biblical phrase. It refers to the story of “the writing on the wall” in the Book of Daniel.

Here’s a summary: In the middle of a banquet being hosted by Belshazzar, King of Babylon, a disembodied hand appears and writes four Aramaic words – Mene, Mene, Tekel and Parsin — on the wall. (In the King James version of the Bible, the last word is transcribed as “Uphardin.”) Belshazzar calls on Daniel to interpret the words, and Daniel tells him that the words foretell the fall of Babylon.

Why would the Ponds choose a name like this? Likely for no reason at all. One of the parents probably just opened the family Bible, shut his/her eyes, and pointed. (Notwithstanding Griswold, another 18th-century Connecticut baby, was no doubt named the same way.)

One genealogist wondered if Mene’s name wasn’t “intended to commemorate the final downfall of the Stuarts, which seven years before had been assured by the succession of the House of Hanover.” This seems unlikely, though, given the 7-year gap and the fact that there’d been two previous opportunities to bestow a commemoration name (older brothers Phineas and Peter were both also born after the death of Queen Anne).

Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin Pond didn’t live to adulthood, but I managed to find one similarly named person who did: Mene Tekel Virgo (née Beacon) who lived in Kent, England, from 1827 to 1895.

Sources:

  • Belshazzar’s feast – Wikipedia
  • Jacobus, Donald Lines. “Early New England Nomenclature.” The New England Historical and Genealogical Register, Jan. 1923: 10-16.
  • Pond, Nathan Gillette. “Pond Family of Milford, Connecticut.” The Connecticut Magazine 1906: 161-176.

P.S. Mene Mene Tekel Upharsin’s older brother Philip married a lady with the fantastic name Thankful Frisbie.


Names on Cape Cod Gravestones – Kimball, Mehetabel, Sparrow, Temperance

Want to get a feel for the types of names used on Cape Cod in centuries past? Check out the names at Cape Cod Gravestones.

Most of the names are biblical, of course, and they range from those still used today (e.g., Abigail, Benjamin, Hannah, Joshua, Mary and Samuel) to those that have long since fallen out of favor (e.g., Barzillai, Dorcas, Gamaliel, Mehetabel, Peleg and Zipporah).

Some of the most interesting names listed at the site are:

Male Female
Almond
Andronicus
Archelaus
Argo
Bangs
Chillingsworth
Dillingham
Doane
Eros
Fessenden
Gambyses
Giraud
Greenleaf
Johnbeare
Kenelm
Kimball
Kiriathian
Knyvet
Moody
Odlin
Onesimus
Perez
Rosseter
Scamons
Snow
Sparrow
Squire
Southworth
Varanies
Vickery
Zazud
Allithena
Angmora
Arrozana
Berenthia
Casilda
Celestia
Celissa
Chylena
Deliverance
Dyantha
Emmeretha
Experience
Fear
Flavilla
Fostenna
Grisylda
Lucyette
Minnie-Mary
Mulfretta
Noraetta
Oregon
Phebbediah
Pruella
Roana
Sadie-Sarah
Silpha
Statire
Temperance
Thankful
Tryanna
Tryphosa
Vashti
Weltha
Zulette

The two funniest names? Thankful Sweat (female) and Moody Fish (male). Both Thankful and Moody were born in the late 18th century.