Mystery baby name: Trenace

Graph of the usage of the baby name Trenace in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Trenace

The baby name Trenace debuted in the U.S. baby name data in 1953:

  • 1957: unlisted
  • 1956: 5 baby girls named Trenace
  • 1955: unlisted
  • 1954: 6 baby girls named Trenace
  • 1953: 32 baby girls named Trenace [debut]
  • 1952: unlisted

It was the top debut name that year, but…I can’t figure out why.

My only theory is a weak one: Sutton Roley, a director associated with various well-known ’60s and ’70s television shows, welcomed a baby girl named Trenace in 1953. In the early ’50s he wasn’t a household name — I don’t think he was ever a household name — but he was working as a stage manager at NBC. So it’s plausible that the baby’s name was mentioned on-air for some reason, and that this is what caused the spike.

Any other ideas?

Source: Sutton Wilson Roley – Prabook

2 thoughts on “Mystery baby name: Trenace

  1. I was born in 1953 and my mother named me Trenace. Her story of its origin was while watching a Kate Smith show, Kate Smith asked one of the people working on the show what they had named their baby. He said his wife was reading a French book and it came from that. I was so pleased to come across this article as it confirms what I tell everybody who asked about my name.

  2. Oh wow, that’s so intriguing! Thank you so much Trenace for leaving a comment with your story. Now we have something to search for!

    Sutton Roley’s 2007 obituary does indeed mention that he worked on The Kate Smith Hour (1950-1954), so that’s a match.

    Records suggest that his daughter Trenace (full name: Trenace Carman Roley) was born in April of 1953, which would put us somewhere in season 3 of the show.

    Did your mother recall anything else about that particular episode? Maybe the song(s) Kate sang, or any special guests?

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