More WWI names: Allenby, Joffre, Pershing, Tasker

joffree, cover of collier's, 1915
Joffre, Collier’s cover, Mar. 1915

The top debut names of 1918 were Foch and Marne, for French general Ferdinand Foch and the Second Battle of the Marne. Of course, Foch and Marne weren’t the only WWI-related baby names to debut in the SSA data during the 1910s. Here are four more:


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

Allenby, which made the SSA’s list 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

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 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.


  • 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

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

Tasker, which has been on the list a total of three times, 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 a few did reappear on the SSA’s list in the early ’40s (during WWII) — Pershing in 1940, and Joffre and Tasker in 1942.

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

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