Baby name story: Anker


During his lifetime, Anker Smith (1759-1819) was one of England’s best line engravers. (Line engravings were used to create illustrations for books and magazines.)

How did Anker, who was the only son in the family, get his unusual first name?

He is said to have owed his curious Christian name to the fact that he was regarded as the ‘anchor’ or sole hope of his parents.

While Anker isn’t commonly used as a name in the U.S., the more familiar spelling Anchor has been picking up steam lately, according to the SSA data.

What do you think of the name Anchor? (How about Anker?)

Sources: Anker Smith – Wikipedia, Dictionary of National Biography, 1885-1900

Image: Adapted from Old anchors near Ballywalter by Rossographer under CC BY-SA 2.0.

4 thoughts on “Baby name story: Anker

  1. I just learned that the female names Ankarette, Achoretta (and other spellings) are anglisations of the Welsh name Angharad. They make nice precedents for Anchor/Anker, don’t they?

  2. My 5th great grandmother was named Anchor Fox (1729-1780). Family legend has it that as her parents arrived in New Jersey from England, Anchor was being born on the boat while at sea or at the harbor. She also went by “Anclie” and “Anche”. Anclie is used on the gravestone.

    Nothing can be proven as to the origin of Anchor’s name, but it’s interesting to note that the name Anchor was passed down for 5 generations after her. It was always for a girl, not a boy.

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