How popular is the baby name Andrew in the United States right now? How popular was it historically? Use the popularity graph and data table below to find out! Plus, see all the blog posts that mention the name Andrew.

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Popularity of the baby name Andrew

Posts that mention the name Andrew

Babies named for the concept of states’ rights

American general States Rights Gist (1831-1864)
States Rights Gist

In U.S. politics, the idea of states’ rights emerged soon after the creation of the federal government in the 1780s. The first two political parties, in fact, were the Federalists, who advocated for a strong central government, and the Anti-Federalists, who advocated for states’ rights.

The first person to be named after the concept was States Rights Gist, who was born in South Carolina in September of 1831.

His name was no doubt inspired by the Nullification Crisis (1832-33), which ensued “when South Carolina nullified a federal tariff that favored Northern manufacturing over Southern agriculture.” (Note that many babies born during this time period were not named immediately after birth.)

Map of the United States in 1861
The United States in 1861

Several dozen other babies have been named “States Rights” (or something very similar) since then. Most of these babies were born in the southern U.S. during the mid-to-late 19th century. Some examples…

The baptism of States Rights Gist Finley — whose grandfather’s brother was the original States Rights Gist, and whose father was South Carolina politician David E. Finley — was mentioned in a local newspaper:

States Rights Gist Finley (baptism)

So…what became of the original States Rights Gist?

He served as a brigadier general in the Confederate Army during the Civil War, and was killed at the Battle of Franklin in late 1864.

Intriguingly, one of his distant relatives (his father’s second cousin) happened to be named States Gist (b. 1787) — no middle name. Was he named for states’ rights? Was he named for the young United States? We’ll never know. But we do know that he had a half-brother named Independent (b. 1779) and a cousin named Federal Ann Bonaparte (b. 1797).


Images: Adapted from States Rights Gist; clipping from the Yorkville Enquirer (1 Apr. 1899)
Map: Adapted from The United States in 1861 (LOC)

Popular baby names on Nantucket, 2023

Flag of Massachusetts
Flag of Massachusetts

The Massachusetts island of Nantucket, which sits about 30 miles off the coast Cape Cod, is home to over 14,000 year-round residents (though the population “swells to around 80,000 or more” during July and August).

According to the Nantucket Town Clerk’s office, a total of 158 babies were born on the island in 2023. But we only have access to the names of 108 of these babies. Why?

[B]ecause of a Massachusetts law that separates birth certificates based on the parent’s marital status. If the parents were not married at the time of the birth or the father is not named on the record, the birth certificate is considered a restricted record and is not public.

So, out of the 108 known names, which were the most popular? For girls it was a tie between Leah and Sarah (given to two babies each), and for boys it was a tie between Grayson and Lucas (also given to two babies each).

The 100 other babies were given 100 single-use names:

Archibald, Abigail, Abraham, Alejandro, Alister, Alyssa, Alvaro, Amina, Andrew, Asher, Aurora, Bayard, Beckett, Benjaminas, Brenda, Callan, Carter, Catherine, Cameron, Charlotte, Christiaan, Colin, Cole, Cooper, Curren, Damien, Daniel, Debora, Eden, Edwin, Edward, Emilia, Emma, Enzo, Evelyn, Ezra, Fabian, Fae, Fiona, Gaby, Gabriella, Greydon, Griffyn, Harbor, Henry, Israel, Jacob, Jaden, James, Jantyah, Jefferson, Joshua, Julie, Justina, Kairi, Kiara, Lakelyn, La’Klia, Larkin, Latifa, Leon, Liv, Luna, Lydia, Mabel, Madison, Marianne, Marlow, Matheus, Maverick, Max, Mia, Mila, Milo, Miles, Mukhammadyusuf, Nia, Penelope, Quinn, River, Robin, Roman, Samir, Scarlett, Sergio, Shay, Shepard, Silverio, Skye, Stephanie, Sullivan, Theodore, Therdore, Tiller, Timothy, Wilder, William, Yasna, Yvonne, Zaniyah

Tiller caught my eye — it may have come from the English surname (which originally referred to someone who tilled the soil), but, given the location, I’m hoping it was inspired by the tiller of a boat. Maybe Tiller will become the boaters’ version of Taylor/Tyler? :)

Olivia and Liam — the top names in Boston last year — are nowhere to be found on Nantucket’s list, interestingly.


Image: Adapted from Flag of Massachusetts (public domain)

Babies named for Horatio Alger

American author Horatio Alger (1832-1899)
Horatio Alger

During the last three decades of the 19th century, American author Horatio Alger (1832-1899) wrote dozens of young adult novels. All of them were about boys who overcame poverty — through honesty, hard work, “cheerful perseverance,” and a bit of luck — to attain wealth and respectability.

Alger’s most successful rags-to-riches tale was Ragged Dick (1868), about a quick-witted bootblack named Dick (who began to go by “Richard” after his position in society had improved).

His subsequent novels featured similar plots and protagonists. They had titles like Mark, the Match Boy (1869); Ben, The Luggage Boy (1870); and Dan, the Newsboy (1893). These stories “influenced several generations of young readers, future achievers, and memoir-writers, from Andrew Carnegie to Malcolm X.”

No doubt many baby boys in the U.S. were named after Alger’s various main characters, but I’ve also found a handful named after Alger himself. Some examples…

Several others were born conspicuously early:

The first one — just seven years younger than Alger, and born in the same town — must have been named in honor the author’s father, Unitarian minister Horatio Alger, Sr.

The next three may not have been named until they were several years old (à la Emancipation Proclamation). Or perhaps they were named as babies, but their parents were inspired by Alger’s earlier work. His poem “Gone to the War” appeared on the front page of a Minnesota newspaper in 1861, for instance, and his short story “Edward’s Temptation” ran in its entirety on the front page of an Ohio paper in 1864.

Interestingly, Charles Alger Hiss, whose father was “a great admirer of Horatio Alger,” was, in turn, the father of Alger Hiss — the U.S. State Department official accused of being a Soviet spy in the late 1940s. The Hiss case helped advance the careers of noted anti-communists Richard Nixon and Joseph McCarthy.


Image: Horatio Alger Jr.

Boy names falling in the U.S. in 2022

fallen leaves

Which boy names decreased in usage the most from 2021 to 2022?

Here’s a table of the fastest-falling boy names of 2022. On the left are the top 25 decreases in terms of absolute change (numbers of babies). On the right are the top 25 decreases in terms of relative change (percentages of babies).

RankBoy nameAbsolute fallBoy nameRelative fall

*Also at -64% were Aceston, Akeel, Babyboy, Bran, Drey, Griff, Kysin, Naaman, and Nevaan.

And here are the boy names that saw the steepest dives out of the data (i.e., to below 5 instances of usage) in 2022:

  • Alvey was given to 23 babies in 2021
  • Gediz was given to 23 babies in 2021
  • Demetric was given to 20 babies in 2021
  • Hannibal was given to 18 babies in 2021
  • Soryn was given to 17 babies in 2021

Do you have thoughts/insights about any of the above names?

Source: SSA

Image: Adapted from Fall (6282684630) by Kenny Louie under CC BY 2.0.