Where did the baby name Westmoreland come from in 1917?

Politician Westmoreland "Morley" Davis (1859-1942)
Westmoreland “Morley” Davis

The unwieldy name Westmoreland was a one-hit wonder in the U.S. baby name data in 1917:

  • 1919: unlisted
  • 1918: unlisted
  • 1917: 6 baby boys named Westmoreland [debut]
  • 1916: unlisted
  • 1915: unlisted


Because that’s the year Westmoreland Delaware “Morely” Davis was elected 48th Governor of Virginia in late 1917. He served from 1918 to 1922.

But the early SSA data only accounted for a portion of the U.S. population, so the actual number of Westmorelands born that year is higher. For instance, according to records I’ve seen, at least 7 Westmorelands were born in Virginia alone in 1917:

(I especially like the well-balanced “Westmoreland Eastwood.” Even better, Westmoreland Snead’s father’s name was Grievous: “Grievous Snead.”)

Sources: Westmoreland Delaware Davis – Dictionary of Virginia Biography, SSA
Image: Westmoreland Davis (LOC)

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