How popular is the baby name Eugenie 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 Eugenie.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Eugenie


Posts that Mention the Name Eugenie

Pop Culture Baby Name Game, 2021

Happy birthday, Elvis!

Tomorrow would have been Elvis Presley’s 86th birthday. (Happy birthday, Elvis!)

You guys know what that means…time for the annual Pop Culture Baby Name Game!

Think back to the pop culture of 2021 — movies, music, TV shows, online shows, social media, video games, sports, news, cultural events, politics, products, brands, etc.

Which of these things had an influence on U.S. baby names, do you think?

More specifically, which baby names will see higher usage (or appear for the very first time) in the 2021 U.S. baby name data thanks to 2021 pop culture?

Here are some initial ideas…

Plus…

  • Names from the movie Eternals (like Sersi, Ikaris, Makkari)
  • Names from the movie Dune (like Chani, Atreides, Leto)
  • Turkish names from any of the Turkish dramas being aired in Spanish on Univision/Telemundo
  • Names from any new sci-fi/fantasy series (like Shadow and Bone, The Nevers, The Wheel of Time)

Some of the names mentioned in the 2020 game might be see increases in 2021 as well.

What other names should we add to the list? Let me know by leaving a comment!

I’ll post the game results after the SSA releases the 2021 baby name data (in May of 2022).

What gave the baby name Ena a boost in 1906?

Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg; Princess Ena
Princess Ena
(Victoria Eugenie of Battenberg)

The baby name Ena saw its highest-ever usage in the U.S. in 1906. It was the fastest-rising baby name of the year that year, in fact.

  • 1908: 27 baby girls named Ena
  • 1907: 52 baby girls named Ena
  • 1906: 89 baby girls named Ena [peak usage]
  • 1905: 16 baby girls named Ena
  • 1904: 8 baby girls named Ena

What drew so much attention to the name Ena in 1906?

Princess Ena of England, who married King Alfonso of Spain on the last day of May, 1906.

The wedding got a lot more media attention than it otherwise would have because, after the wedding ceremony, a Spanish anarchist tried to assassinate the couple. (He threw a bomb concealed in a bouquet of flowers at the royal procession.) Ena and Alfonso were uninjured, but over a dozen were killed and many more were wounded.

Though she was called “Princess Ena” in the newspapers and simply “Ena” by family members, her name at birth was actually Victoria Eugenie Julia Ena. Not only that, but the name “Ena” itself may have been unintentional:

[T]here are differing accounts of that name’s origin, with some stating that it was chosen by her grandmother as ‘a Gaelic Highland name’ to mark the first royal birth in Scotland since the seventeenth century, and other accounts putting the name down to a misreading of her mother’s writing of the name ‘Eva’. Queen Victoria’s journal entry for the occasion of her christening lists the names as ‘Victora, Eugénie, Julia, Eva’.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Ena? Would you choose it over Eva?

Sources: Victoria Eugenie – Wikipedia, Christening of Princess Victoria Eugenie – Royal Collection Trust

The 24 Children of Isaac Singer

Businessman Isaac M. Singer (1811-1875).
Isaac Singer

A reader got in touch recently to ask about several unusual names. One of them was “Vouletti,” which belonged to a daughter of Isaac Merritt Singer (1811-1875).

Isaac Singer is best remembered for his successful sewing machine manufacturing company, founded in 1851 and still going strong today. Also notable, though, is the fact that he had a total of 24 children with five different wives and mistresses.

With Maria Haley, he had two children:

  • William Adam (b. 1834)
  • Lillian C. (b. 1837)

With Mary Ann Sponsler, he had ten children:

  • Isaac Augustus (b. 1837)
  • Vouletti Theresa (b. 1840)
  • Fanny Elizabeth (b. 1841)
  • John Albert (b. circa 1843)
  • Jasper Hamet (b. 1846)
  • Julia Ann (b. circa 1847)
  • Mary Olivia (b. 1848)
  • Charles Alexander (1850-1852)
  • Caroline Virginia (b. 1857)
  • …plus one more

With Mary McGonigal, he had five children:

  • Ruth
  • Clara
  • Florence
  • Margaret
  • Charles Alexander (b. 1859)

With Mary E. Walters, he had one child:

  • Alice Eastwood (b. 1852)

With Isabella Eugenie Boyer (of France), he had six children:

  • Adam Mortimer (b. 1863)
  • Winnaretta Eugenie (b. 1865)
  • Washington Merritt Grant (b. 1866)
  • Paris Eugene (b. 1867) – Palm Beach developer, namesake of Singer Island
  • Isabelle Blanche (b. 1869)
  • Franklin Morse (b. 1870)

These are traditional names for the most part, which makes “Vouletti” all the more intriguing.

Vouletti Singer was born in 1840, married William Proctor in 1862, had three children, and died in 1913. Though her name was definitely spelled Vouletti — that’s the spelling passed down to various descendants, and the one used by her friend Mercedes de Acosta in the poem “To Vouletti” — I found it misspelled a lot: “Voulitti” on the 1855 New York State Census, “Voulettie” on the 1900 U.S. Census, “Voulettie” again in a Saturday Evening Post article from 1951.

So…where does it come from?

I have no clue. I can’t find a single person with the given name Vouletti who predates Vouletti Singer. I also can’t find anyone with the surname Vouletti. (There was a vaudevillian with the stage name “Eva Vouletti,” but she doesn’t pop up until the early 1900s.)

Theater could be a possibility, as Isaac Singer was an actor in his younger days. Perhaps Vouletti was a character name he was familiar with?

My only other idea is the Italian word violetti, which means “violet.” Her parents might have coined the name with this word in mind.

Do you have any thoughts/theories about the unusual name Vouletti?

Baby name story: Eugenette

Eugenette Bolce in 1913
Eugenette Bolce, 1913

In late 1913, while the eugenics movement was picking up steam, various newspapers ran the story of England’s “first eugenic baby.”

The baby’s name? Eugenette Bolce.

Eugenette’s parents, both American, hadn’t been specially selected for one another (as you might expect, given the term “eugenic”).

Instead, while pregnant, Mrs. Bolce had made it a point to attend concerts and plays, and to have conversations with famous authors. She hoped this would positively influence the baby. (One modern writer called Mrs. Bolce “enterprisingly Lamarckian.”)

Born in March, 6-month-old Eugenette already had a sense of humor and was “absolutely fearless,” according to her parents. They claimed these favorable attributes were “due to their deliberate plan of eugenic training.”

Writers of the day mocked the idea of a eugenic baby. LIFE published a parody piece featuring a smug “first eugenic baby” who ended up getting punched in the jaw by a decidedly non-eugenic baby. One writer even mocked Eugenette’s name: “Eugenette Bolce — that is the name, and it is the name of a baby and not a skin-ointment.”

If you can divorce the idea of eugenics from the name for a second…what do you think of “Eugenette”? Do you like it more or less than Eugenie and Eugenia?

Sources:

  • “Armchair Reflections.” Flight: First Aero Weekly in the World 11 Oct. 1913: 1123.
  • “Eugenette: First Eugenic Baby Brought Up on Humor.” Feilding Star 14 Oct. 1913: 4.
  • Kevles, Daniel J. In the Name of Eugenics: Genetics and the Uses of Human Heredity. Berkeley: University of California Press, 1985.
  • “On Top.” Life 26 Feb. 1914: 344.
  • Why Scientists Are Eager to Breed a Eugenic Baby.” El Paso Herald 22 Nov. 1913: 6-D.

Popular Baby Names in Providence, RI, 1866

19th-century Providence, Rhode Island
19th-century Providence

Last month we looked at the top Providence names of 1867, so today let’s check out the rankings from the year before — 1866.

First, some stats:

  • 1,633 babies were babies were born in Providence in 1866, by my count. (The number given by the author of the document is 1,632.)
  • 1,457 of these babies (707 girls and 750 boys) had names that were registered with the government at the time of publication. The other 176 babies got blank spaces.
  • 234 unique names (123 girl names and 108 boy names) were shared among these 1,457 babies.

And here’s some extra information I forgot to mention in the last post: In 1860, the city of Providence was home to 29.0% of Rhode Island’s population. In 1870, it was home to 31.7% of the population. So each of these 3 sets of rankings (1866, 1867, 1868) ought to account for roughly 30% of the residents of the state.

Now, on to the names…

Top 5

The top 5 girl names and boy names of 1866 were, unsurprisingly, very similar to the top names of 1867.

Top baby girl namesTop baby boy names
1. Mary
2. Catherine
3. Ellen
4. Margaret
5. Sarah
1. John
2. William
3. James
4. George
5. Thomas

The girls’ top 5 is identical, while the boys’ top 5 includes Thomas instead of George.

All Girl Names

As expected, Mary was the front-runner by a huge margin. And, while there were dozens of Catherines, and a single Catharine, there weren’t any Katherines.

  1. Mary, 149 baby girls
  2. Catherine, 43
  3. Ellen, 40
  4. Margaret, 37
  5. Sarah, 36
  6. Elizabeth, 32
  7. Alice, 18
  8. Annie, 15
  9. Anna & Eliza, 14 each (2-way tie)
  10. Clara, 13
  11. Ann, 11
  12. Carrie, Emma, Jane & Susan, 10 each (4-way tie)
  13. Grace & Ida, 9 each (2-way tie)
  14. Esther, Martha & Minnie, 7 each (3-way tie)
  15. Anne & Julia, 6 each (2-way tie)
  16. Agnes, Charlotte, Cora, Harriet, Jennie, Joanna, Maria & Rosanna, 5 each (8-way tie)
  17. Amelia, Bridget, Ella, Frances, Hattie, Lydia, Nellie & Theresa, 4 each (8-way tie)
  18. Abby, Emily, Florence, Josephine, Laura, Lillian, Lizzie, Louise & Marion, 3 each (9-way tie)
  19. Ada, Amy, Augusta, Deborah, Edith, Etta, Eva, Fannie, Georgianna, Hannah, Henrietta, Honora, Isabel, Isabella, Lottie, Lucy, Mabel, Marietta, Maud & Teresa, 2 each (20-way tie)
  20. Almira, Annette, Bertha, Catharine, Cedelia, Celia, Christina, Delia, Diana, Dora, Dorcas, Eldora, Eleanor, Elsie, Emeline, Etherine, Eugenie, Evangeline, Fanny, Flora, Geneva, Georgia, Gracie, Helen, Helena, Imogene, Janette, Jessie, Kate, Lena, Louisa, Lucia, Lucinda, Madelina, Marian, Marsalin, May, Millie, Mina, Mini, Minna, Neatah, Nettie, Phebe, Rebecca, Rosa, Roselia, Rosetta, Ruth, Sophia, Stella, Susanna, Susannah, Tillie & Winnifred, 1 each (55-way tie)

All Boy Names

John had an even more commanding lead in 1866 than in 1867.

  1. John, 109 baby boys
  2. William, 78
  3. James, 62
  4. George, 44
  5. Thomas, 41
  6. Charles, 36
  7. Edward, 28
  8. Joseph, 27
  9. Frederick, 20
  10. Henry, 18
  11. Frank, 17
  12. Michael, 15
  13. Francis, 14
  14. Daniel, 13
  15. Albert, Patrick & Robert, 12 each (3-way tie)
  16. Walter, 11
  17. Arthur, Peter & Samuel, 8 each (3-way tie)
  18. Alfred, Harry, Louis & Stephen, 7 each (4-way tie)
  19. Martin, 6
  20. Matthew, 5
  21. Christopher, Clarence, Herbert, Howard & Hugh, 4 each (5-way tie)
  22. Benjamin, Eugene, Ira & Jeremiah, 3 each (4-way tie)
  23. Aaron, Alvin, Arnold, Earl, Edgar, Elisha, Freddie, Harrison, Lewis, Marcus, Nicholas, Philip, Richard & Timothy, 2 each (14-way tie)
  24. Abner, Adam, Adolph, Alanson, Alden, Ambrose, Antonio, August, Augustavus*, Augustus, Bartholomew, Bernard, Bradford, Byron, Chauncey, Clinton, David, Duncan, Eben, Ebenezer, Edwin, Elias, Elliott, Ethan, Everett, Ezra, Ferdinand, Frederic, Fullerton, Gilbert, Gwynn, Harold, Herman, Isaac, Jesse, Josiah, Lauriston, Luther, Manuel, Marks, Maurice, Miles, Mortimer, Oliver, Olney, Oscar, Otto, Rana, Rectol, Salisbury, Shamball, Simon, Terence, Theodore, Victor, Willard, Willie & Wilton, 1 each (58-way tie)

(I didn’t combine any variant spellings, but I did lump the abbreviated names Chas., Benj., and Fred’k in with Charles, Benjamin and Frederick.)

*Does Augustavus = Augustus + Gustav?

Twins

I counted 19 pairs of twins born in Providence in 1866. I didn’t notice any triplets this year. (All of these names have already been accounted for above.)

Girl-girl twinsGirl-boy twinsBoy-boy twins
Agnes & Anna
Eldora & Ellen
Eliza & Mary
Elizabeth & Julia
Frances & Mary
Josephine & Mary
Mary & Sarah
Theresa & (blank)
Alice & Frederick
Alice & John
Annie & Stephen
Catherine & (blank)
Sarah & Samuel
Edgar & Oscar
Edward & James
Francis & James
James & John
John & Thomas
(blank) & (blank)

I’ll try to finish/post the final set of rankings before the end of the year.

Source: Snow, Edwin M. Alphabetical Lists of Persons Deceased, Born and Married in the City of Providence During the Year 1866. Providence: Hammond, Angell & Co., 1867.