How popular is the baby name Abraham in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Find out using the graph below! Plus, check out all the blog posts that mention the name Abraham.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Abraham


Posts that Mention the Name Abraham

Glitch alert: Why are there gaps in the recent New York baby name data?

glitch

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
20216357
20206860
201959
201841
20173636
201643
20153937
20143735

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?

To check, I grabbed all the names with heavy New York usage listed in the 2021 state-by-state post and the 2020 state-by-state post — 34 names in total — and looked the data.

The result? Exactly half had similar gaps.

Here’s what I found…

The boy name Cheskel (a form of Chatzkel, which is based on Ezekiel) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 5 years straight:

Cheskel usage in the U.S.Cheskel usage in New York
20212929
202018
201927
201830
201723
201627
20152221
20142523

The girl name Chany (a diminutive of Channah) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 4 years straight:

Chany usage in the U.S.Chany usage in New York
20216558
202056
201960
201855
201756
20165555
20154443
20144241

The boy name Naftuli (based on the Biblical name Naphtali) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 4 years straight:

Naftuli usage in the U.S.Naftuli usage in New York
20212929
202033
201933
201827
201724
20163333
20152422
20142925

The girl name Idy didn’t appear in the New York state data for 4 years:

Idy usage in the U.S.Idy usage in New York
202146
20204747
20193126
201829
201726
201625
20151716
20141513

The boy name Shmiel (a form of Shmuel, which is based on Samuel) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 4 years:

Shmiel usage in the U.S.Shmiel usage in New York
20214040
202045
20193838
201831
201735
201644
20154444
20143837

The girl name Yides (a diminutive of Yehudit, which is a form of Judith) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 4 years:

Yides usage in the U.S.Yides usage in New York
202139
20203434
201951
20183232
201739
201635
20154242
20143838

The boy name Berl didn’t appear in the New York state data for 4 years:

Berl usage in the U.S.Berl usage in New York
202119
20201717
20192323
201818
201716
201622
20152121
20141918

The girl name Frady (a diminutive of Freyde) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 3 years straight:

Frady usage in the U.S.Frady usage in New York
20212525
202022
201923
201821
20172121
20162020
20151714
20141919

The girl name Pessy (a diminutive of Batya, which is a form of the Biblical name Bithiah) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 3 years:

Pessy usage in the U.S.Pessy usage in New York
20216351
202062
201941
20185446
20174133
201634
20154645
20144240

The boy name Lipa (a short form of Lipman, which is based on the name Liberman) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 3 years:

Lipa usage in the U.S.Lipa usage in New York
20215044
20204843
201953
20184438
201737
201642
20154340
20145050

The boy name Usher (a form of Asher) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 3 years:

Usher usage in the U.S.Usher usage in New York
20214136
202037
201958
20183629
201734
20164135
20154540
20143128

The boy name Avrum (a form of Abraham) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 3 years:

Avrum usage in the U.S.Avrum usage in New York
20214234
20203728
201924
20182924
201727
201625
20151716
20142322

The boy name Lazer (a form of Eliezer) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 3 years:

Lazer usage in the U.S.Lazer usage in New York
202140
20203731
20194539
201829
201728
20164335
20152928
20143331

The boy name Yossi (a diminutive of Yosef) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 3 years:

Yossi usage in the U.S.Yossi usage in New York
20213529
202030
20192318
20183024
201721
201629
20152019
20142519

The girl name Goldy (a diminutive of Golda) didn’t appear in the New York state data for 2 years:

Goldy usage in the U.S.Goldy usage in New York
20216957
20206353
20195144
20186254
201756
201646
20154842
20142822

And, finally, the boy name Nachman didn’t appear in the New York state data for 2 years:

Nachman usage in the U.S.Nachman usage in New York
20212718
20202317
201918
20182012
201721
20162116
20152824
20142720

If the gap years matched up more closely with one another — as with the glitch of 1989, for instance — I could chalk it up to a few incomplete batches of data.

But they don’t, so…I don’t know what to make of this.

Do you guys have any thoughts, or theories?

(If you’d like to examine the New York data for yourself, download the “State-specific data” file from the SSA website.)

Sources: Behind the Name, SSA

Babies named for George B. McClellan

Union officer George B. McClellan (1826-1885)
George B. McClellan

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.

Source: George B. McClellan – Wikipedia

How did Kenesaw Mountain Landis get his name?

Baseball commissioner Kenesaw Mountain Landis (1866-1944)
Kenesaw Mountain Landis

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.

Sources:

Popular baby names in Casper (Wyoming), 2020

In 2020, the Wyoming Medical Center in Casper welcomed 892 babies. The names of about 620 of these babies were shared online via the hospital’s website. A few days ago, the hospital “mined those announcements for our most popular names list for 2020,” finding that the most frequently occurring names for girls was Paisley and for boys was Jackson.

I don’t usually post rankings from non-governmental sources, but, in this case, there were just so many names in comparison to the size of the city (about 58,000 residents) that I decided to go ahead and publish the full list…

10 babies named:

  • Jackson (Jaxen, Jaxon, Jaxson, Jaxxon)

7 babies named:

  • Logan
  • Oliver
  • Paisley (Paizlee, Paizleigh)

6 babies named:

  • Adaline (Adeline, Adalyn, Adalynn, Addilynn)
  • Amelia (Emelia, Emilia)
  • Emma
  • Grayson
  • Reilly (Rieleigh, Riely, Riley, Ryleigh)
  • Sawyer

5 babies named:

  • Cooper
  • Everlee (Everleigh, Everly)
  • Oakleigh (Oakley)
  • Theodore

4 babies named:

  • Addison (Addyson)
  • Asher
  • Ava
  • Benjamin
  • Caysen (Kasen, Kason)
  • Charlie (Charlee, Charles)
  • Everette
  • Isabella (Izabella, Izzabella)
  • Kinsleigh (Kinsley)
  • Nathan
  • Wyatt

3 babies named:

Adrian, Alexander, Ashton (Ashtyn), Aspen, Aurora, Bennett, Blake (Blayke), Bristol, Brixley (Brixleigh, Brixli), Brooklyn, Carter, Christian, David, Declan (Deklynn), Elijah, Elizabeth, Ella, Ellie, Ethan, Ezra, Grace, Hunter, Holden, Jack, Layla, Leo, Liam, Lyla (Lilah), Lincoln, Lorenzo, Lydia, Lyra, Mason, Noah, Olivia, Owen, Richard, Rilynn (Ryelin, Ryelynn), Rowan (Rowen), Ryker, Skyla, Sophia (Sofia)

2 babies named:

Aiden/Aidyn, Allison/Alyson, Amara, Annabelle, Arya, Aubriella, Averie/Avery, Barrett, Bentley, Bodhi/Bodie, Braxton, Bryar/Bryor, Brynlee, Caroline, Carson/Karson, Catherine/Katherine, Colt, Colten/Colton, Damian, Daniel, Daxton, Dayton, Dylan, Eli, Eliana, Elliot, Emerson/Emersyn, Emery/Emory, Evelyn, Finley, Gabriella, Gentry, Harmony, Harper, Harrison, Haven/Hayven, Hayden, Hazel, Hazely/Hazleigh, Henry, Hudson, Ian, Isaac, Isaiah, Islah/Islla, Jasper, Jaxtyn, Jayden, Joel, Julian, Julius, Justin, Kaiser/Kaizer, Kamara, Kaysen/Kayson, Kellen, Kennedi/Kenydee, Kenzlee/Kenzleigh, Kinley/Kynleigh, Kyran/Kyren, Leighton/Leyten, Lenix/Lennox, Levi, Lorelai/Lorelei, Madeline/Madelyn, Malachi, Malaya/Maleah, Maria/Meriah, Maverick, Maya, Mila, Miles, Millie, Naomi, Natalia, Nevaeh, Parker, Paul, Penelope, Rachael/Rachel, Rae/Rey, Raylan, Ronan, Ryder, Samantha, Samuel, Sara/Sarah, Savanna/Savannah, Scarlett, Sebastian, Silas/Sylias, Skylar/Skyler, Spencer, Sydney/Sidney, Tenslee/Tensley, Theo, Weston/Westin, Violet, Zachary, Zoey

1 baby named:

  • Abel, Abraham, Ace, Adam, Adonis, Aeris, Adrian, Aiden, Aksel, Aleassia, Alexandria, Alianna, Allen, Ambrose, Amias, Amiya, Anderson, Angel, Anika, Annalynn, Annie, Anson, Antonina, Archer, Ariella, Ariya, Armando, Arrow, Ashlyn, Athena, Aubree, August, Augustus, Avaianna, Aynslee, Azariah, Azayla
  • Bailey, Baylor, Beau, Becklynn, Bella, Berklie, Bethany, Bonnie, Bradley, Braitton, Branson, Brantley, Braxley, Brayden, Braylee, Brennan, Brexton, Brian, Briggson, Brittany, Brixon, Brock, Broden, Bronx, Brooks, Brylee, Burke
  • Caelan, Cain, Callie, Callum, Calvin, Cameron, Cannon, Carilina, Case, Cash, Charisma, Chasyn, Chloe, Christopher, Ciella, Claire, Cody, Colby, Collyn, Colter, Cree, Crew, Cullen, Cuyler
  • Dailyn, Dakota, Dani, Dean, Delilah, Destin, Diesel, Divine, Douglas, Draco, Draeden
  • Ebony, Eccho, Edison, Eleanor, Elias, Elivia, Ellen, Ellis, Ember, Emily, Emmanuel, Emmie, Emmitt, England, Etta, Evan, Evander, Ezmae
  • Felix, Francis, Fredrick, Freya
  • Genevieve, George, Gideon, Graham, Grey, Griffin
  • Hodassah, Haddie, Hadley, Hailey, Harlan, Harley, Harlow, Harris, Harvey, Hayes, Hendrix, Henleigh
  • Icelynn, Ily, Isabelle, Isaias, Ivan, Ivy, Iylah
  • Jaden, Jaime, Jalin, James, Jameson, Jase, Javier, Jayce, Jaycee, Jayson, Jeremiah, Jessica, Jessie, Jett, JJ, Joanna, John, Jojo, Jolie, Jonah, Jonathan, Josephine, Josie, Joyce, Jude, Julie, June
  • Kade, Kaelyn, Kaiden, Kaii, Kaleah, Kamari, Kambry, Kambryn, Kamdyn, Kane, Karalynn, Kaspian, Kaylee, Kaylynn, Keaton, Keenston, Keira, Kenai, Kendrey, Kevin, Keylin, Khaos, Kieran, Killian, Kimber, Kimora, Kit, Klarke, Kodah, Koen, Kolby, Kole, Korah, Korbyn, Koy, Kyara, Kyden, Kylie, Kyson
  • Lainey, Lakelyn, Lance, Laramie, Laura, Layne, Legend, Lennon, Leopold, Lillian, Lilliean, Lillyanna, Lily, Lola, Londyn, Lorraine, Luca, Lucius, Luke, Lynlee, Lyvie
  • Macie, Macklin, Maddison, Maddox, Mae, Maevelyn, Maggie, Maisey, Mandy, Marceline, Margaret, Mario, Marisa, Marisol, Marleigh, Mary, Mateo, Matthias, Mavis, Maxwell, Mazikeen, Mckenzie, Meadow, Melia, Melody, Merrik, Merritt, Meyer, Mia, Michael, Michelle, Miklo, Milo, Mira, Montana, Myra
  • Nancy, Nash, Natalie, Nathaneil, Naylin, Nehemiah, Nicholas, Nolen, Nora, Nova, Nylin
  • Oaks, Onyx, Oraya, Orian, Orin, Ostara
  • Paxton, Persephone, Presley, Pyper
  • Quincy
  • Rableen, Raeleah, Raven, Reed, Relik, Remi, Remington, Renato, Revi, Rhett, Riatta, Riggs, Rodolfo, Rogan, Roman, Rosalee, Rosemarie, Rowdy, Roxas, Roy, Ruby, Ryann, Ryatt, Ryott
  • Sadie, Sage, Sandra, Saphira, Seraphina, Serenah, Serenity, Shadow, Shelby, Sheridan, Shyanne, Simon, Skadi, Skylynn, Solveig, Sophie, Sorin, Stella, Sterling, Stetley, Storey, Sturgis, Sutton, Sylar, Sylvia
  • Tala, Talia, Tareyn, Tate, Tavin, Taylee, Teagan, Tennyson, Tess, Tessin, Theotis, Thomas, Tillie, Tinlee, Titan, Tobin, Travis, Trenton, Trexton, Tripp, Turner
  • Vada, Vanessa, Vera, Vincent
  • Walker, Watson, Waylon, Westley, Wilder, Wiley, William
  • Xavier, Xia, Xililah, Ximena
  • Yianeli
  • Zachariah, Zaydin, Zayne, Zeppelin, Zinnia, Zoe

Source: Casper’s most popular baby names, 2020 – Wyoming Medical Center (via archive.org)

Popular male names in England, 1560-1621

A while back, I stumbled upon a register of people associated with Oxford University in the late 1500s and early 1600s. The most interesting part? The author of the register included a chapter dedicated to first names and surnames, and that chapter featured a table of male forenames ranked by frequency of occurrence from 1560 to 1621.

The author claimed that, for several reasons, these rankings were “probably…more representative of English names than any list yet published” for that span of time. One reason was that the names represented men from “different grades of English society” — including peers, scholars, tradesmen, and servants.

Ready for the list?

  1. John, 3,826 individuals
  2. Thomas, 2,777
  3. William, 2,546
  4. Richard, 1,691
  5. Robert, 1,222
  6. Edward, 957
  7. Henry, 908
  8. George, 647
  9. Francis, 447
  10. James, 424
  11. Nicholas, 326
  12. Edmund, 298
  13. Anthony, 262
  14. Hugh, 257
  15. Christopher, 243
  16. Samuel, 227
  17. Walter, 207
  18. Roger, 195
  19. Ralph, 182
  20. Peter, 175
  21. Humphrey, 168
  22. Charles, 139
  23. Philip, 137
  24. David, 129
  25. Matthew, 116
  26. Nathaniel, 112
  27. Michael, 103
  28. Alexander, 98 (tie)
  29. Arthur, 98 (tie)
  30. Laurence, 90
  31. Giles, 88
  32. Stephen, 86
  33. Simon, 83
  34. Daniel, 79
  35. Joseph, 78 (tie)
  36. Lewis, 78 (tie)
  37. Andrew, 69
  38. Roland, 65
  39. Griffith (and Griffin), 60
  40. Evan, 55
  41. Abraham, 54 (tie)
  42. Leonard, 54 (tie)
  43. Owen, 53
  44. Gilbert, 52
  45. Morris (and Maurice), 51
  46. Bartholomew, 46 (3-way tie)
  47. Oliver, 46 (3-way tie)
  48. Timothy, 46 (3-way tie)
  49. Morgan, 45
  50. Martin, 44 (tie)
  51. Rice, 44 (tie)
  52. Gabriel, 41
  53. Benjamin, 40
  54. Jeffrey/Geoffrey, 38
  55. Ambrose, 36
  56. Adam, 35
  57. Toby (and Tobias), 34
  58. Jerome, 33
  59. Ellis, 30
  60. Paul, 29
  61. Bernard, 28 (3-way tie)
  62. Gregory, 28 (3-way tie)
  63. Isaac, 28 (3-way tie)
  64. Jasper (and Gaspar), 26 (3-way tie)
  65. Josiah (and Josias), 26 (3-way tie)
  66. Randall (and Randolph), 26 (3-way tie)
  67. Miles, 24
  68. Lancelot, 23
  69. Austin (and Augustine), 22 (tie)
  70. Jarvis (and Gervase), 22 (tie)
  71. Brian, 21
  72. Matthias, 20 (tie)
  73. Reginald (and Reynold), 20 (tie)
  74. Jeremy, 19
  75. Theophilus, 19
  76. Joshua 18 (3-way tie)
  77. Marmaduke, 18 (3-way tie)
  78. Valentine, 18 (3-way tie)
  79. Fulke, 17 (tie)
  80. Sampson (and Samson), 17 (tie)
  81. Clement, 16 (4-way tie)
  82. Ferdinando, 16 (4-way tie)
  83. Herbert, 16 (4-way tie)
  84. Zachary, 16 (4-way tie)
  85. Cuthbert, 15 (3-way tie)
  86. Emanuel, 15 (3-way tie)
  87. Vincent, 15 (3-way tie)
  88. Adrian, 14 (3-way tie)
  89. Elias, 14 (3-way tie)
  90. Jonah (and Jonas), 14 (3-way tie)
  91. Tristram, 13
  92. Allan, 12 (6-way tie)
  93. Ames, 12 (6-way tie)
  94. Barnaby (and Barnabas), 12 (6-way tie)
  95. Gerard (and Garret), 12 (6-way tie)
  96. Lionel, 12 (6-way tie)
  97. Mark, 12 (6-way tie)
  98. Abel, 11 (3-way tie)
  99. Erasmus, 11 (3-way tie)
  100. Roderic, 11 (3-way tie)
  101. Cadwalader, 10 (3-way tie)
  102. Israel, 10 (3-way tie)
  103. Luke, 10 (3-way tie)
  104. Jenkin, 9 (tie)
  105. Percival, 9 (tie)
  106. Bennet (and Benedict), 8 (6-way tie)
  107. Godfrey, 8 (6-way tie)
  108. Howell, 8 (6-way tie)
  109. Jonathan, 8 (6-way tie)
  110. Raphael, 8 (6-way tie)
  111. Theodore, 8 (6-way tie)
  112. Baldwin, 7 (9-way tie)
  113. Gawen (and Gavin), 7 (9-way tie)
  114. Hercules, 7 (9-way tie)
  115. Job, 7 (9-way tie)
  116. Kenelm, 7 (9-way tie)
  117. Meredith, 7 (9-way tie)
  118. Silvester, 7 (9-way tie)
  119. Solomon, 7 (9-way tie)
  120. Watkin, 7 (9-way tie)
  121. Alban, 6 (8-way tie)
  122. Basil, 6 (8-way tie)
  123. Caleb, 6 (8-way tie)
  124. Cornelius, 6 (8-way tie)
  125. Dennis, 6 (8-way tie)
  126. Guy, 6 (8-way tie)
  127. Jacob, 6 (8-way tie)
  128. Patrick, 6 (8-way tie)
  129. Dudley, 5 (12-way tie)
  130. Edwin, 5 (12-way tie)
  131. Eustace, 5 (12-way tie)
  132. Ezechias (and Hezekiah), 5 (12-way tie)
  133. Ezekiel, 5 (12-way tie)
  134. Hannibal, 5 (12-way tie)
  135. Joel, 5 (12-way tie)
  136. Moses, 5 (12-way tie)
  137. Peregrine, 5 (12-way tie)
  138. Simeon, 5 (12-way tie)
  139. Thurstan, 5 (12-way tie)
  140. Zacchaeus, 5 (12-way tie)

Did the relative popularity of any of these names surprise you?

The author also included every other Oxford-associated name from that general time period, so here’s a sampling of the rare names that popped up in the register just once:

  • Aegeon, Arundel, Aunstey, Aymondesham
  • Bamfield, Beauforus, Bezaliel, Bulstrod
  • Cadoc, Cannanuel, Chiddiock, Cosowarth
  • Dabridgcourt, Delvus, Deodatus, Donwald
  • Erisy, Esdras
  • Fettiplace, Florice, Fogge
  • Glidd, Gourneus, Granado
  • Hattil, Hercius
  • Jarniot, Jerameel, Jeremoth, Jolliffe
  • Kelamus, Killingworth, Kingsmell
  • Leoline, Levinus, Livewell
  • Maior, Maniewe, Marchadine, Moyle
  • Nargia, Nizael, Noye
  • Ogier, Olliph
  • Peleger, Periam, Pexall, Phatnell
  • Rimprum, Rollesley, Rotheram, Rumbold
  • Scipio, Snappe
  • Thekeston, Thrasibulus, Timoleon, Tournie
  • Ulpian, Umpton, Utred
  • Wallop, Walsingham, Warian, Willgent
  • Yeldard
  • Zorobabel

Source: Register of the University of Oxford, vol. 2, part 4, edited by Andrew Clark, Oxford: Clarendon Press, 1889.