Mystery 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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