More WWI names: Allenby, Joffre, Pershing, Tasker

French General Joseph Joffre (1852-1931)
Joseph Joffre

The highest-debuting baby names of 1918 were Foch and Marne, for French general Ferdinand Foch and the Second Battle of the Marne. But Foch and Marne weren’t the only WWI-related baby names to debut in the U.S. baby name data during the 1910s. Here are four more…


  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: 6 baby boys named Allenby [debut]
  • 1917: unlisted
  • 1916: unlisted

The name Allenby, which appeared in the baby name data only once, comes from British Field Marshal Edmund Allenby (1861-1936). He was given command of the Egyptian Expeditionary Force (EEF) in mid-1917.


  • 1919: 7 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1918: 35 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1917: 37 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1916: 16 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1915: 14 baby boys named Joffre
  • 1914: 6 baby boys named Joffre [debut]
  • 1913: unlisted

The name Joffre, which debuted in 1914 and peaked in 1917, was inspired by French General Joseph Joffre (1852-1931). He was commander-in-chief of the French Army during World War I.

The Social Security Death Index (SSDI) tells me that two of those 1917 babies were named Joffre Pershing and Joffre Haig, and that another Joffre Pershing was born in 1918.

American General John Pershing (1860-1948)
John Pershing


  • 1920: 28 baby boys named Pershing
  • 1919: 103 baby boys named Pershing [rank: 595th]
  • 1918: 295 baby boys named Pershing [rank: 334th]
  • 1917: 53 baby boys named Pershing [rank: 882nd]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: 10 baby boys named Pershing [debut]
  • 1914: unlisted

The name Pershing, which debuted in 1915 and peaked in 1918, was inspired by General John Pershing (1860-1948). He was the only person promoted to the highest rank in the U.S. Army — General of the Armies — during his lifetime (in 1919).

No doubt scores of other baby boys were named “John Pershing,” such as John Pershing Williams, born in August of 1917 to Mr. and Mrs. W. J. S. Williams of Scioto County, Ohio.


  • 1920: unlisted
  • 1919: 8 baby boys named Tasker
  • 1918: 7 baby boys named Tasker [debut]
  • 1917: unlisted
  • 1916: unlisted

The name Tasker comes from General Tasker Bliss (1853-1930). He was the Chief of Staff of the U.S. Army from 1917 to 1918.

Not surprisingly, the WWI names above fell out of favor after the early 1920s. But the last three did reappear in the U.S. baby name data in the early ’40s, during WWII. Pershing returned in 1940, while Joffre and Tasker came back in 1942.

What are your thoughts on these names?

Source: “Namesake Son for General Pershing.” Portsmouth Times 26 Oct. 1917.

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