How popular is the baby name Harold 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 Harold.

The graph will take a few moments to load. (Don't worry, it shouldn't take 9 months!) If it's taking too long, try reloading the page.

Popularity of the baby name Harold

Posts that mention the name Harold

What gave the baby name Winnie a boost (three times) in the 1930s?

Aviator Wiley Post standing in front of the airplane Winnie Mae (July, 1933)
Wiley Post in front of the Winnie Mae

Usage of the baby name Winnie was generally on the decline in the U.S. from the 1920s to the 1980s. But there were several upticks here and there, including a series of three in the early 1930s:

  • 1937: 254 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 406th]
  • 1936: 263 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 393rd]
  • 1935: 346 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 344th]
  • 1934: 306 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 362nd]
  • 1933: 354 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 333rd]
  • 1932: 328 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 350th]
  • 1931: 348 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 341st]
  • 1930: 297 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 393rd]
  • 1929: 320 baby girls named Winnie [rank: 376th]

You can see the three upticks — almost like three points of a little crown — on the popularity graph:

Graph of the usage of the baby name Winnie in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Winnie

What caused them?

I think the answer has to do with aviation. Specifically, with a record-breaking airplane called the Winnie Mae that became famous at the height of the Great Depression.

The Winnie Mae — in full, the Winnie Mae of Oklahoma — was a single-winged, seven-passenger Lockheed Vega. It was purchased in June of 1930 by Oklahoma oilman Florence Charles “F. C.” Hall, who named the plane after his adult daughter Winnie Mae.

Hall’s personal pilot was a one-eyed man named Wiley Post. (He’d lost his left eye in an oil-rig accident in the mid-1920s, but the injury payout allowed him to purchase an aircraft and learn how to fly.)


In 1931, Wiley Post attempted an around-the-world flight in the Winnie Mae. The trip was sponsored by Hall.

Accompanied by navigator Harold Gatty, Post set off from New York on June 23. The duo landed back in New York on July 1. They’d flown the Winnie Mae around the world in record time: eight days, fifteen hours, and fifty-one minutes. (The previous record of over twenty-one days had been set by a Graf Zeppelin in 1929.)

The two men were honored with a ticker-tape parade in New York City the following day.

Winnie Mae Fain (née Hall), Wiley Post, Harold Gatty, and F. C. Hall (July, 1931)
Winnie Mae christening the Winnie Mae


In 1933, after having purchased the Winnie Mae from Hall, Wiley Post decided to fly around the world again. This time, though, he would do it alone. In place of a human navigator, he installed an autopilot device (which he dubbed “Mechanical Mike“) and a radio compass.

Post set off from New York on July 15. He landed back in New York on July 22. Amazingly, he’d set another record: seven days, eighteen hours, and 49 minutes.

This flight made Post the first aviator to fly solo around the world, and also the first aviator to fly around the world twice.

Post was honored with a second ticker-tape parade in New York City several days later.


The Winnie Mae was in the news for various reasons during 1935.

From February to June, Wiley Post attempted to make a transcontinental flight through the lower stratosphere. (The plane’s cabin wasn’t pressurized, so Post developed the world’s first pressurized flight suit in order to fly at high altitude.) Unfortunately, all four of his attempts were cut short due to mechanical issues. He subsequently retired the Winnie Mae.

Then, on August 15, tragedy struck: Wiley Post and Will Rogers perished in a plane crash while traveling through Alaska together. The very next day, the federal government purchased the Winnie Mae from Post’s widow (whose first name happened to be Mae). In November, the Winnie Mae was dismantled and transported, via railway boxcar, from Oklahoma to Washington, D.C.

The compound name “Winnie Mae” has never appeared in the U.S. baby name data before, but records reveal that a sizeable number of the baby girls named Winnie during the 1930s also got the middle name Mae. Many of those Winnie Maes were likely named with the airplane in mind.

Winnie Mae Kuempel, for instance, was born in Austin, Texas, on August 5, 1931. Here’s how she told the story of her name (at the age of 84):

I was named after a famous plane, the Winnie Mae. The day before I was born Wiley Post had just flown it around the world. The next day headlines told about Wiley Post’s adventure, and my dad said, “Let’s name her Winnie Mae.”

What are your thoughts on the baby name Winnie? How about the combo Winnie Mae?



The Inskipp family of England

Trafalgar Square, London, 1839

In 1835, Charles Inskipp, a portrait painter who lived in southeast England, married Sarah Anne Baker. The couple went on to welcome at least six children:

  1. Emily, b. 1836
  2. Harold, b. 1837
  3. Napoleon Tristram Shandy, b. 1839
  4. Corregio [sic] Quinton, b. 1841
  5. Rembrandt Claude, b. 1844
  6. Boadicea Mary, b. 1848

Their last four children were evidently named after…

  • French emperor Napoléon Bonaparte & the English novel Tristram Shandy,
  • Italian painter Correggio (in full: Antonio Allegri da Correggio),
  • Dutch painter Rembrandt (in full: Rembrandt Harmenszoon van Rijn), and
  • British queen Boadicea (who led a rebellion against the Romans circa 60 A.D.).

I’m not sure why Charles and Sarah switched to conspicuously famous names after their second baby, but, given Charles’ occupation, I’m not surprised that two of those names refer to painters.

What are your thoughts on this sibset?

Sources: Eccentric Inskip Names – Inskip One-Name Study Blog, FamilySearch

What turned Valiant into a baby name in the 1940s?

The characters Prince Valiant and Aleta (in 1945) from the comic strip "Prince Valiant" (1937-)
Prince Valiant and Aleta (in 1945)

Names like Brave and Warrior have surfaced in the U.S. baby name data over the last couple of decades, but Valiant first appeared way back in the 1940s:

  • 1949: 7 baby boys named Valiant
  • 1948: 5 baby boys named Valiant
  • 1947: 6 baby boys named Valiant [debut]
  • 1946: unlisted
  • 1945: unlisted


My best guess is comic strip character Prince Valiant, who’d been familiar to newspaper readers for a decade by 1947.

Prince Valiant in the Days of King Arthur by Nova Scotian artist Harold “Hal” Foster is an action-adventure comic strip set in sixth-century England.

It is difficult to imagine the impact Foster’s “Prince Valiant” had on 1930s and 1940s popular culture. When “Prince Valiant” began, Superman’s debut in “Action Comics No. 1” was still over a year away. […] “Swipes” of Foster’s art can be found in the origin of Batman and in comics drawn by Jack Kirby, the co-creator of many of today’s movie heroes, including Captain America, the Avengers, the X-Men and Thor.

Other characters from the strip also influenced U.S. baby names.

The earliest example I’ve found is that of the maid Ilene, Prince Valiant’s first love. During 1938, Val fought rival suitor Prince Arn of Ord for her. The same year, the baby name Ilene saw a spike in usage:

  • 1940: 227 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 451st]
  • 1939: 283 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 397th]
  • 1938: 343 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 347th]
  • 1937: 248 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 412th]
  • 1936: 263 baby girls named Ilene [rank: 392nd]

Turns out neither suitor won — Ilene died in a shipwreck — but Arn and Val did end up becoming good friends.

Several years later, Valiant met Aleta, the grey-eyed queen of the Misty Isles. She became a central part of the storyline in the mid-1940s, and the characters finally got married in October of 1946.

As a result, the baby name Aleta saw a steep rise in usage from 1945 to 1947:

  • 1948: 227 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 551st]
  • 1947: 262 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 511th] – peak usage
  • 1946: 171 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 606th]
  • 1945: 102 baby girls named Aleta [rank: 737th]
  • 1944: 38 baby girls named Aleta
Graph of the usage of the baby name Aleta in the U.S. since 1880
Usage of the baby name Aleta

Val and Aleta went on to welcome five children, 3 boys and 2 girls:

  1. Arn (who was named after Prince Arn of Ord) in 1947
  2. Karen (twin) in 1951
  3. Valeta (twin) in 1951
  4. Galan in 1962
  5. Nathan in 1982

The name Arn debuted in the data in 1949, and the name Valeta saw peak usage in 1952.

Interestingly, the three middle children were all named via contest:

After Val and Aleta’s twin girls were born, King Features held a contest to name them, but Foster reserved the right to select the winning entry. A young girl, Cindy Lou Hermann, sent in the winning names “Karen” and “Valeta” and visited Hal in Connecticut. For Val and Aleta’s fourth child, a boy who would become the king of the Misty Isles, John Hall won the competition with “Galen” after the Greek physician, Claudius Galen.

What are your thoughts on the baby name Valiant? (Would you use it?)


Baby born in the Farallon Islands, named Farallon

Houses on Southeast Farallon Island

Located 28 miles off the coast of California, the Farallon Islands (or “Farallones”) are “211 acres of rocky islets that are home to 28% of California’s sea birds.” Their name — assigned by Spanish explorers during the early 1600s — comes from the Spanish word farallón, meaning “sea cliff” or “sea stack.”

They islands have always been sparsely populated, but a lighthouse was built on Southeast Farallon in 1855 and a series of lighthouse keepers (four at a time) lived on that particular island — often with their families — from the 1850s until the 1940s.

The first of several babies born on the island during that time period was the daughter of keeper Cyrus J. Cain and his wife Mary Ellen. The baby girl arrived in April 8, 1898, and was named Farallon Wilhelmina Cain, after her birthplace.

(She was the seventh of nine children. The sibling names I know of are Catherine, George, Cecil, Harold, Charley, and Loretta.)


Image: U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service

[Related posts: Ida Lewis, Avalon]