Where did the baby name Junellen come from in 1947?

Junellen Hawthorne on the cover of "Calling All Girls" (November, 1944)
Junellen Hawthorne

The baby name Junellen has appeared in the U.S. baby name data just once so far, in 1947:

  • 1949: unlisted
  • 1948: unlisted
  • 1947: 12 baby girls named Junellen [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted

Where did it come from?

A fashion model named Junellen Hawthorne.

Junellen was profiled in an article called “Model from Vermont” that was published in Parade, the nationwide Sunday newspaper magazine, in March of 1947. The issue’s cover also featured a photo of Junellen (though not her name).

Junellen Hawthorne in Parade Magazine (March, 1947)
“Model from Vermont”

According to the article, 20-year-old Junellen Hawthorne lived part-time on her family’s farm in Vermont, and the other part of the time in New York City, where she worked as a fashion model for the John Robert Powers modeling agency (believed to be the world’s first modeling agency).

Junellen’s Parade photos were shot by photographer André de Dienes, who, about a year and a half earlier, had hired a 19-year-old named Norma Jeane Baker (the future Marilyn Monroe!) for her first modeling job.

So how did Junellen come to have her unusual first name? Her parents created it by combining their own names, Junior and Ellen. (Junellen was an only child.)

What are your thoughts on the name Junellen?


5 thoughts on “Where did the baby name Junellen come from in 1947?

  1. She looks like someone famous on that magazine cover photo. Maybe a young Cybil Shepherd? I like the name June, and Ellen is fine, but Junellen looks kind of strange to me. It’s not terrible, but as compound names go, definitely not a favorite. However, it struck me that a first name that ends with a n-sound followed by Ellen, Ellie, Ella, etc. is a good way to invite Nellie as a nickname.

  2. Did you see she named her own daughter Junellen as well? And one of her sons named his daughter Ellenka – maybe after grandma Junellen?

    I can only hope my obituary looks like this: “In the 1980’s Norm and Junellen started spending their winters in the Florida Keys, where they spent their time playing golf, fishing on their boat and spending time with their friends. Later in life Junellen became a Bridge Grand Master, played a mean game of Blackjack and practiced yoga.”

    She may not have become famous, but she lived a better life than her predecessor Norma Jeane Baker.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.