Mexico, the 10th-most-populated country in the world, is located in the southern part of North America.
In 2021, Mexico welcomed 1,912,178 babies. What were the most popular names among these babies? Sofia and Santiago.
Here are Mexico’s top 50 girl names and top 50 boy names of 2021:
Sofia, 6,552 baby girls
Maria Jose, 6,019
Maria Fernanda, 3,779
Ana Sofia, 2,790
Maria Guadalupe, 2,468
Yamileth, 1,730 – a Latin American variant of the Arabic name Jamila
Danna Sofia, 1,696
Ana Victoria, 1,644
Ana Paula, 1,620
Santiago, 9,963 baby boys
Miguel Angel, 4,019
Tadeo, 2,795 – the Spanish form of Thaddeus
Luis Angel, 2,632
Jose Angel, 2,442
Jose Luis, 2,374
Juan Pablo, 2,080
Juan Carlos, 2,052
Jose Manuel, 2,046
Jose Miguel, 1,739
The girls’ top 100 included Dulce Maria (51st), Aylin (58th), Itzayana (67th), and Lucero (93rd).
The boys’ top 100 included Juan (56th), Abraham (66th), Erick (83rd), and Brayan (87th).
Compound first names tend to be shortened for everyday use (e.g, “Juan Carlos” into “Juanca”), but few of these shortened forms have evolved into popular legal names, which I find surprising. I didn’t spot any examples on the boys’ side of the rankings, and only a handful — such as Mayte/Maite, short for María Teresa, and Maribel, short for María Isabel — on the girls’ side.
The baby name Esty (a diminutive of Esther) is primarily used in the state of New York, thanks to the large Jewish community in New York City.
But the name was also featured in the Emmy-winning Netflix series Unorthodox a couple of years ago. So, last year, I checked the Esty data (both the national data and the New York data) to see if the show had influenced the name’s usage.
It may have — Esty did indeed see its highest-ever usage both nationally and in New York in 2020. Even more intriguingly, though, I noticed what seemed to be gaps in the recent NY data. Specifically, New York had no data on the name Esty for the years 2016, 2018, and 2019.
Check it out:
Esty usage in the U.S.
Esty usage in New York
I mean, It’s possible that the New York usage of Esty simply dropped below the 5-baby minimum during those particular years. As per the SSA:
To safeguard privacy, we exclude from our tabulated lists of names those that would indicate, or would allow the ability to determine, names with fewer than 5 occurrences in any geographic area.
If that were the case, though, you’d expect to see corresponding dips in the national usage. And we don’t see that here.
It seems more likely to me that some of the New York data is simply…missing.
So the next question is: Are there gaps in the NY data for other names as well?
George Brinton McClellan, born in Philadelphia in 1826, served as a general during the initial years of the American Civil War. For several of those months — from November 1861 to March 1862 — he was the commander of the entire Union Army.
In 1864, he unsuccessfully ran for president against Abraham Lincoln. Years later, he was elected governor of New Jersey (1878-1881).
Hundreds of U.S. baby boys were named after George B. McClellan, particularly during the first half of the 1860s. Some examples…
A high percentage of McClellan’s namesakes were born in his home state of Pennsylvania. In fact, the name Brinton (which was McClellan’s mother’s maiden name) still sees its highest usage in Pennsylvania, according to the SSA’s state-by-state baby name data.
If you know Major League Baseball history, no doubt you’re familiar with Kenesaw Mountain “Ken” Landis, who served as professional baseball’s first commissioner from 1921 to 1944.
But…do you know how he got that unusual name?
In 1862 — in the middle of the Civil War — Ken’s father, Dr. Abraham Landis, left his family behind in Ohio to serve as a surgeon in the Union Army. (His family, at that time, consisted of wife Mary and five young children.)
Abraham was severely wounded at the Battle of Kennesaw Mountain in Georgia on June 27, 1864. He spent many weeks in the hospital recovering before he was finally able to return home.
His sixth child, a son, arrived on November 20, 1866 — long after the war was over.
[I]t took Dr. and Mrs. Landis some time to decide on his name. In fact, the delay in providing a name prompted both family and community members to suggest a deluge of different names. Mary Landis did not like the name Abraham, so when Dr. Landis suggested calling their son “Kenesaw,” the name and alternate spelling stuck. Clearly, the site of the doctor’s personal tragedy remained in his thoughts.
The name of the mountain is an Anglicized form of the Cherokee name Gahneesah, which means “burial ground” or “place of the dead.”
(All of Ken’s eventual six siblings had more ordinary names: Katherine, Frances, Walter, Charles, John, and Frederick.)
Ken went on to pass the bar exam and attend law school (in that order) and, by the early 1890s, was practicing law in Chicago. Within a couple of years, he was offered (and accepted) a job in the federal government:
In the Union Army, Abraham Landis was under the command of Lt. Col. Walter Quinton Gresham during Sherman’s advance through Tennessee and Georgia. […] In 1893 Gresham was appointed secretary of state by President Grover Cleveland. He needed a personal secretary and he chose a 26-year-old Chicago attorney with no knowledge of foreign affairs, Kenesaw Mountain Landis.
When Gresham unexpectedly died in 1895, Grover Cleveland offered Ken the post of minister to Venezuela. Ken declined this offer to return to private practice in Chicago and to get married to his fiancée, Winifred Reed.
A year later, Kenesaw and Winifred welcomed their first child, a son named Reed Gresham Landis — middle name in honor of Ken’s late boss (and his father’s former commander).
I have more to say about Kenesaw Mountain Landis, but I’ll save the rest for tomorrow. In the meanwhile, here’s a post about Malvern Hill — another unusual baby name inspired by a Civil War battle/location.