The SSA says that 12 baby girls were named Thurley that year, though the SSDI tells me the number could in fact be 31, or higher.
Why the Thurley spike?
A book called Thurley Ruxton, written by Philip Verrill Mighels, was published in 1911. The story was also serialized in several newspapers. Here’s how a reviewer at LibriVox describes it:
This is a rags to riches romance about an exceedingly beautiful, poor, young girl (Thurley Ruxton) who is mentored by one of New York’s elite hostesses. In order to draw them into her social circle, she allows all the famous and moneyed populous of Gotham to believe that Thurley is the princess Thurvinia hiding in New York to escape an arranged marriage.
I haven’t yet managed to find anyone named Thurvinia, though I did discover a Thurley Ruxton Matthews Zabor (1912-2009) in Ohio. Her obituary states that she was “named for the title character in a contemporary novel, “Thurley Ruxton.””
If you’d like to give the book a read/listen, here’s the text and here’s the audio.
Though vast majority of the baby names on the Social Security Administration’s yearly baby name lists are repeats, every list does contain a handful of brand-new names.
Below are the highest-charting debut names for every single year on record, after the first.
Why bother with an analysis like this? Because debut names often have cool stories behind them, and high-hitting debuts are especially likely to have intriguing pop culture explanations. So this is more than a list of names — it’s also a list of stories.
Here’s the format: “Girl name(s), number of baby girls; Boy name(s), number of baby boys.” Keep in mind that the raw numbers aren’t too trustworthy for about the first six decades, though. (More on that in a minute.)
I’ve already written about some of the names above, and I plan to write about all the others as well…eventually. In the meanwhile, if you want to beat me to it and leave a comment about why Maverick hit in 1957, or why Moesha hit in 1996, feel free!