How popular is the baby name Franklin 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 Franklin.
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In the mid-1830s, the state of Ohio and the territory of Michigan fought over a 468-square-mile strip of land containing Toledo. Their border dispute became known as the Toledo War.
During that period, tensions between the two regions ran high. At one point, for instance, the sheriff of Michigan’s Monroe County took to arresting “anyone in the Ohio strip who was promoting Toledo going to Ohio.”
His arrests included “one of Toledo’s founding fathers,” Benjamin Franklin Stickney. Originally from New England — and named after his mother’s uncle, the actual Benjamin Franklin — Stickney had moved his family westward in 1812 after being appointed as an Indian Agent at Fort Wayne.
By the time he arrived in Fort Wayne, Mr. Stickney already had fostered a reputation as an odd personality and independent thinker. The eccentric rap came largely from Mr. Stickney’s decision to name his sons One and Two.
His apparent reasoning, according to legend, was that the boys could name themselves when they grew older, but they never did. Mr. Stickney had wanted to name his three daughters after states, but his wife forbid it for the first two. He won out after the birth of his last child, born at Fort Wayne in 1817. He called her Indiana.
(One Stickney was born in 1803. Two Stickney was born in 1810. Between them were two daughters named Louisa and Mary. The fifth baby was indeed named after the state of Indiana, but her name was spelled “Indianna.”)
Stickney’s arrest angered his son Two, who ended up stabbing the Monroe County sheriff in the side with a pen knife in July of 1835. This non-fatal injury was the only casualty in the nearly-bloodless Toledo War.
The conflict finally ended in mid-1836, when the U.S. Congress proposed a compromise. Ohio would be given the disputed strip of land (and the city of Toledo), while Michigan would be given statehood and the remainder of the Upper Peninsula.
Years ago, I discovered three documents with relatively complete lists of births for the city of Providence, Rhode Island, for the years 1866, 1867, and 1868. I’ve already created Providence’s baby name rankings for 1866 and 1867 using the first two documents, and today (finally!) I’ve got the third set of rankings for you.
Let’s start with some stats:
1,762 babies were born in Providence in 1868, by my count. According to the introduction of the document I’m using a source, however, the total number is 1,866. I don’t know how to account for this discrepancy.
1,617 of these babies (791 girls and 826 boys) had names that were known at the time of publication. The other 145 babies got blank spaces. Either their names hadn’t been registered yet, or they hadn’t been named yet, or perhaps these babies died young and never received a name.
284 unique names (143 girl names and 141 boy names) were shared among these 1,617 babies.
And now, on to the names!
A quick look at the top 5 girl names and boy names in Providence in 1868:
Top baby girl names
Top baby boy names
1. Mary 2. Catherine 3. Sarah 4. Ellen 5. Margaret
1. John 2. William 3. James 4. Charles 5. George
All Girl Names
Mary, 149 baby girls
Clara & Martha, 11 each (tie)
Hannah & Lucy, 10 each (tie)
Bridget, Grace, Jennie, Julia & Maria, 9 each (5-way tie)
Annie, Florence, Jane, Minnie & Susan, 8 each (5-way tie)
Agnes, Caroline, Cora, Ella & Harriet, 7 each (5-way tie)
The boy name Marquavious adds up to 157, which reduces to four (1+5+7=13; 1+3=4).
4 via 166
The boy name Muhammadyusuf adds up to 166, which reduces to four (1+6+6=13; 1+3=4).
4 via 175
The unisex names Kosisochukwu adds up to 175, which reduces to four (1+7+5=13; 1+3=4).
What Does “4” Mean?
First, we’ll look at the significance assigned to “4” by two different numerological sources. Second, and more importantly, ask yourself if “4” or any of the intermediate numbers above have any special significance to you.
“4” (the tetrad) according to the Pythagoreans:
“Anatolius reports that it is called ‘justice,’ since the square (i.e., the area) […] is equal to the perimeter”
“It is the prerequisite of the general orderliness of the universe, so they everywhere called it a ‘custodian of Nature.'”
“Everything in the universe turns out to be completed in the natural progression up to the tetrad”
“The tetrad is the first to display the nature of solidity: the sequence is point, line, plane, solid (i.e. body).”
Examples of things that are divided into four parts:
“four traditional seasons of the year — spring, summer, autumn and winter.”
“four elements (fire, air, water and earth)”
“four cardinal points”
“four distinguishing points – ascendant, descendant, mid-heaven and nadir”
“Some say that all things are organized by four aspects – substance, shape, form and principle.”
“4” according to Edgar Cayce:
“In four, it makes for the greater weaknesses in the divisions…four being more of a division and weakness” (reading 261-15).
“In four, we find that of a division – and while a beauty in strength, in the divisions also makes for the greater weakness” (reading 5751-1).
Does “4” — or do any of the other numbers above (e.g., 22, 49, 76, 103) — have any special significance to you?
Think about your own preferences and personal experiences: lucky numbers, birth dates, music, sports, and so on. Maybe your favorite football team is the San Francisco 49ers, for example.
Also think about associations you may have picked up from your culture, your religion, or society in general.
If you have any interesting insights about the number 4, or any of the other numbers above, please leave a comment!
Source: Theologumena Arithmeticae, attributed to Iamblichus (c.250-c.330).
Just remember that the SSA data doesn’t become very accurate until the mid-to-late 20th century, so many of the numbers below don’t reflect reality all that well.
Same format as usual: Girl names on the left, boy names on the right. Numbers represent single-year decreases in usage. From 1880 to 1881, for instance, usage of the girl name Mary dropped by 146 babies and usage of the boy name William dropped by 1,008 babies.
I’ve already written about some of the names above (click the links to see the posts) and will write about others in the future. In the meanwhile, feel free to beat me to it! Comment below with the backstory on the fall of Shirley in the late ’30s, Linda in the early ’50s, etc.