Baby Born at Sea, Named ‘Atlantic’

On March 24, 1889, the Danish steamship Danmark began its journey from Europe to America with hundreds of Danish, Swedish, and Norwegian emigrants on board.

But the Danmark was discovered in distress in the mid-Atlantic by the British cargo ship Missouri on April 5. The Missouri first tried towing the Danmark, but when that proved impossible, the captain decided to throw all cargo overboard in order to make room for the 700+ passengers and crew on the slowly sinking Danmark.

In the early morning of April 7, rescued Danmark passenger Kristine Linne (an 18-year-old Danish woman traveling to America to meet her husband) gave birth to a baby girl aboard the Missouri. The baby was named Atlantic Missouri Linne.

The Missouri backtracked to the Azores, reaching São Miguel Island on April 10. Half of the Danmark survivors (primarily single men) were dropped off. The other half (primarily families) remained on the ship. Extra provisions were brought on board.

In the meanwhile, Americans kept their fingers crossed. Some quotes from the New York Times:

  • April 13: “The Inman Line steamer City of Chester…arrived here today. She reports that April 8, in latitude 46 degrees north, longitude 37 degrees west, she passed the Danish steamer Danmark […] The Danmark had been abandoned by her crew. […] She was apparently sinking.
  • April 14: “The mystery surrounding the disappearance of seven hundred or more persons on board the steamship Danmark, whose deserted hulk was seen in midocean on April 8, remains as deep as it was when the news of the disaster first reached this city.”
  • April 16: “Many dreary hours were spent yesterday in waiting for news from the 700 people on the lost ship Danmark, but none came.”
  • April 17: “No news of the missing Danmark passengers was brought by incoming vessels yesterday.”
  • April 18: “Another day has passed without any news of the fate of the passengers and crew of the Thingvalla steamer Danmark.”

On April 22, the Missouri finally arrived in Philadelphia with 365 survivors from the Danmark. As you can imagine, this was front page news on April 23.

The New York Times reported that the newborn’s name was ‘Atlanta Missouri Linnie.’ The Missouri‘s captain was quoted as saying she was “born during a howling storm, which rocked the vessel and caused the sea to break over us.”

I’m not sure where little Atlantic Missouri ended up, but the majority of the emigrants were headed West to places like Minnesota and the Dakota Territory (which was split into North and South later the same year).

About a decade later, the Missouri was used as a hospital ship during the Spanish-American War.

Sources:

Train Baby Named ‘Santa Fe’

santa fe, baby, train, baby name

A short newspaper item from early 1908:

TOPEKA. Kas., Jan. 4. — A little girl was born to Mr. and Mrs. J. D. Harvey today on an Atchison, Topeka & Santa Fe train as the latter was pulling into Topeka. The parents of the little girl are prosperous residents of Chicago and were en route from San Francisco to that city. They named the child “Santa Fe.”

I couldn’t find any record of this Santa Fe Harvey, but I did found another Santa Fe Harvey — though it was her married name. She was born in New York in 1889.

Related name: Seeva Fair. Baby Seeva Fair, born four decades after baby Santa Fe, had initials that referenced the Santa Fe Railroad.

Source: “Child Born on Train.” Los Angeles Herald 5 Jan. 1908: 2.

Belgian Baby Named for American Soldier

Not long after Belgium was liberated from Germany by Allied forces in 1944, an American Tank Destroyer battalion passed through the town of Neufchâteau in southern Belgium.

A jeep carrying American lieutenant James E. “Monty” Goforth happened to stop outside the home of the Halter family, which had just welcomed a baby boy.

The Halter family “wanted the new-born baby to be named after the first American they saw,” and so the baby was named James E. Goforth Halter.

“In a few years, a little Belgian kid in Neufchateau is going to begin to wonder how in hell his name got to be James E. Goforth Halter, instead of Francois or Albert like his little friends.”

Source: “Belgian Baby Named for Monty Goforth.” Middlesboro Daily News 4 Nov. 1944: 1.

The Namesakes of Huey P. Long

Huey on Time, Apr. 1935

Yesterday’s name, Broderick, was popularized by a movie based on the life of populist politician Huey P(ierce) Long, nicknamed “The Kingfish,” who served as Governor of Louisiana (1928-1932), U.S. Senator (1932-1935), and was gearing up for a presidential run in 1935. At that time…

Long’s Senate office was flooded with thousands of letters daily, prompting him to hire 32 typists, who worked around the clock to respond to the fan mail. As the nation’s third most photographed man (after FDR and celebrity aviator Charles Lindbergh), Long was recognized from coast to coast simply as “Huey.”

He never ran for president, though, because he was assassinated in September of 1935.

So how did Long’s his political rise (and sudden death) affect the usage of the baby name Huey?

In April of 1929, newspapers reported that, since the gubernatorial election the previous May, “Governor Long has presented a [silver] cup to every baby in the state which is made his namesake. He says there are now are 90 “Huey P’s” and he believes the total will run well over 200 before his term of office expires.”

According to the SSA’s baby name data, the national usage of Huey spiked twice: the year Long was elected governor, and the year he was killed. Notice how much of the usage happened in Huey’s home state of Louisiana:

Year U.S. boys named Huey Louisiana boys named Huey
1937 214 boys [rank: 378th] 95 boys (44% of U.S. usage) [rank: 50th]
1936 353 boys [288th] 153 boys (43%) [30th]
1935 494 boys [237th] 202 boys (41%) [14th]
1934 187 boys [403rd] 86 boys (46%) [48th]
1933 154 boys [447th] 66 boys (43%) [67th]
1932 144 boys [480th] 76 boys (53%) [61st]
1931 162 boys [443rd] 98 boys (60%) [39th]
1930 174 boys [447th] 119 boys (68%) [37th]
1929 194 boys [424th] 146 boys (75%) [26th]
1928 215 boys [411th] 159 boys (74%) [22nd]
1927 114 boys [579th] 62 boys (54%) [75th]
1926 62 boys [840th] 22 boys (35%) [179th]

Huey P. Long was named after his father. He had nine siblings: brothers Julius, George and Earl (who also served as governor of Louisiana) and sisters Charlotte, Clara, Helen, Lucille, and Olive. Speedy Long was a cousin.

Sources:

Image: Senator Huey P. Long © 1935 Time

Anne Rice’s Birth Name Was Howard

Anne RiceDid you know that author Anne Rice was born “Howard Allen O’Brien”?

The vampire novelist (and creator of Lestat) was born in New Orleans in 1941 to Howard and Katherine O’Brien. “Howard” came from her father — who went by Mike most of the time, ironically — and “Allen” was her mother’s maiden name.

Apparently she went by both names together as a youngster; Anne said in a recent interview that she “was Howard Allen, it was a double name” [vid].

Anne didn’t like having a male name, though, so in the first grade she started calling herself “Anne.” Eventually her name was legally changed to Anne O’Brien.

All three of Anne’s sisters (Alice, Tamara, and Karen) were given traditionally female names at birth.

[Related post: Stanley Ann Dunham, who later dropped the “Stanley.”]

Source: Ramsland, Katherine. Anne Rice Reader. New York: Ballantine Books, 1997.