How popular is the baby name Willem 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 Willem.

The graph will take a few seconds to load, thanks for your patience. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take nine months.) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.

Popularity of the Baby Name Willem

Posts that Mention the Name Willem

Popular Baby Names in British Columbia, 2016

According to British Columbia’s Vital Statistics Agency, the most popular baby names in the province in 2016 were Olivia and Lucas.

Here are British Columbia’s top 10 girl names and top 10 boy names of 2016:

Girl Names
1. Olivia, 265 baby girls
2. Emma, 218
3. Charlotte, 194
4. Ava, 185
5. Sophia, 175
6. Chloe, 164
7. Emily, 155
8. Abigail, 152
9. Amelia, 141
10. Evelyn, 138

Boy Names
1. Lucas, 231 baby boys
2. Benjamin, 222
3. Ethan, 213
4. Oliver, 210
5. Liam, 200
6. Noah, 199
7. James, 189
8. William, 186
9. Jacob, 176
10. Owen, 174

In the girls’ top 10, Evelyn replaces Ella.

In the boys’ top 10, Noah, James, and Owen replace Alexander, Mason, and Hunter.

Names at the other end of the spectrum — used just five times each in 2016 — include:

  • Althea, Blaire, Daya, Emberly, Felicity, Genesis, Hallie, Jaskirat, Lisa, Melissa, Naira, Oona, Patricia, Remy, Silver, Taryn, Uma, Violette, Whitney (girl names)
  • Augustus, Brixton, Cristiano, Duncan, Emilio, Finnian, Gibson, Hassan, Jared, Koa, London, Mantaj, Noel, Rayden, Shea, Tony, Umar, Willem, Zian (boy names)

The top names in 2015 were Emma and Oliver.

According to preliminary 2017 data (covering January 1st to December 15th) the top two names of the current year are likely Olivia and Benjamin.

Sources: Baby’s Most Chosen Names in British Columbia, 2016, British Columbia’s top baby names (prelim. 2017)

Baby Name Story: Tesselschade

The other day, I visited the Rijksmuseum Amsterdam website to admire Still Life with a Gilt Cup by Willem Claeszoon Heda. (Here’s more on the name Claeszoon.) A few clicks later, I was learning about römer drinking glasses (there’s one in the painting). And that led me to a Dutch glass engraver Maria Tesselschade Visccher (b. 1594).

There’s an interesting story behind Tesselschade. Although, as with Return Meigs, so many versions of the story exist that it’s hard to know which to believe.

The name Tesselschade is made up of two parts: Tessel, which refers to the Dutch island of Texel, and schade, Dutch for “damage.” Sources agree that Tesselschade’s father, Roemer, was a Dutch merchant whose ships had been caught in a storm near Texel sometime before her birth. But sources disagree on when the storm happened, how many ships sank, and whether or not Roemer had been aboard one of them and rescued.

And Rijksmuseum Amsterdam adds another little twist to the story:

According to tradition, he gave his daughter the rather unusual name of Tesselschade (i.e., Texel damage), because his ships had recently foundered in a storm off the coast of Texel.

Tradition? I wonder what tradition they’re talking about. Were many other 16th-century Dutch babies named for shipping accidents? (I’m going to email the museum and ask about this. If I get a response, I’ll let you know.)

Tesselschade ended up having three daughters: Taddea, Maria Tesselschade, and an unnamed third. She outlived all of them, sadly. I don’t believe the name was given to any other descendants.


  • Carroll, Jane Louise and Alison G. Stewart. Saints, Sinners, and Sisters. Burlington, VT: Ashgate Publishing Company, 2003.
  • “Lights of Dutch Literature.” The Eclectic Magazine of Foreign Literature, Science and Art. May 1854: 134-141.
  • Schama, Simon. The Embarrassment of Riches. New York: Alfred A. Knopf, 1987.
  • Sneller, A. Agnes and Olga van Marion. De Gedichten van Tesselschade Roemers. Hilversum: Uitgeverij Verloren, 1994.

Name of the Day – Claesgie

While I was reading about Dutch sailor Abel Tasman the other day for the explorer namestorm, I discovered that the name of Abel’s first wife was Claesgie Meyndrix.

Claesgie? Now that’s a name I’d never seen before.

But it wasn’t totally unfamiliar. It reminded me of Claesz, which I knew from the Dutch painters Willem Claesz. Heda and Pieter Claesz (both of whom have painted some amazing still lifes).

Claesz is a short form of Claeszoon, which is a patronymic (i.e. it refers to bearer’s father). The first part, Claes, is a form of Claus. Claus comes from Nicholas, which can be traced back to two Greek words: nike, “victory,” and laos, “poeple.” The second part of Claeszoon, zoon, is Dutch for “son.”

And once I remembered all that, Claesgie didn’t seem so intimidating anymore. It was just Claes with a feminine suffix. (In fact, the name of Abel and Claesgie’s daughter, Claesjen, follows the same Claes+suffix formula.)