How popular is the baby name Kenneth 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 Kenneth.

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Popularity of the Baby Name Kenneth


Posts that Mention the Name Kenneth

Iowa septuplets: Kenneth, Alexis, Natalie, Kelsey…

children

I’ve posted about sextuplets and octuplets before, but never septuplets!

A set of seven — four boys and three girls — was born in Des Moines, Iowa, to Kenny and Bobbi McCaughey on November 19, 1997. The McCaughey septuplets are the world’s first surviving set of septuplets.

What are the names of all seven? Here are their firsts and middles:

  1. Kenneth Robert
  2. Alexis May
  3. Natalie Sue
  4. Kelsey Ann
  5. Nathan Roy
  6. Brandon James
  7. Joel Steven

The McCaugheys also have an older daughter named Mikayla Marie (b. 1996).

What are your thoughts on the names? If you were having a set of seven (same mix of genders), which names would you choose?

Sources: McCaughey septuplets – Wikipedia, Happy birthday x 7! McCaughey septuplets turn 23

Where did the baby name Nyree come from?

actress Nyree Dawn Porter as character Irene Heron in the TV miniseries "The Forsyte Saga" (1967).
Nyree Dawn Porter in “The Forsyte Saga

The baby names Jolyon and Nyree both debuted in the U.S. baby name data 1970:

Usage of JolyonUsage of Nyree
19735 baby boys157 baby girls
19725 baby boys26 baby girls
1971.7 baby girls
19709 baby boys [debut]10 baby girls [debut]
1969..
1968..

They both came from the same source: The Forsyte Saga, a 26-part, Emmy-nominated BBC miniseries that followed several generations of the nouveau riche Forsyte family of London from the 1870s to the 1930s.

It first aired on U.S. public television from October of 1969 to March of 1970. (It originally aired in UK during first half of 1967.)

The Forsyte Saga was based on a book series of the same name written during the early 1900s by Nobel Prize-winning English author John Galsworthy.


At the start of the TV miniseries, the Forsyte family was nominally headed by Jolyon Forsyte (played by Joseph O’Conor), who had a son also named Jolyon (played by Kenneth More). The father was called “Old Jolyon” and the son was called “Young Jolyon.” Their shared first name was pronounced joe-leon.

Later on in the series, Young Jolyon had a son named Jolyon, nicknamed “Jolly.” Later still, with a different woman, he had another son named Jolyon, this one nicknamed “Jon.”

The name Jolyon is usually said to be a medieval form of Julian, but it could also come from a byname that meant “jolly Jan.”


Another character in the series was Irene Heron (played by Nyree Dawn Porter). She was introduced in the second episode, and she married into the Forsyte family during the time that elapsed between the third and fourth episodes.

That initial marriage didn’t last, though, and Irene ultimately ended up with Young Jolyon, becoming the mother of Jon.

New Zealand-born British actress Nyree Dawn Porter was named Ngaire at birth. For her stage name, she used the Anglicized spelling of her Maori first name.

The name Ngaire (pronounced NY-ree) is based on the Maori word ngaere, which may refer to a swamp or wetland.

(The usage of Nyree swelled in the mid-1970s. This could be due to the British show The Protectors (1972-1974), which co-starred Porter and also aired on U.S. television. The name of Nyree’s character, Contessa, more than doubled in usage from 1972 to 1973.)

Sources: The Forsyte Saga – IMDb, Nyree Dawn Porter – Wikipedia, Namehunt: Jolyon | Dictionary of Medieval Names from European Sources, ngaere – Maori Dictionary

Baby name story: Dania

In the fall of 1976, Los Angeles couple Kenneth and Kathryn Champlin visited south Florida.

The following spring, they welcomed a baby girl.

“Remember that little city we drove through?” Champlin asked his wife. She did. And they are now parents of Dania Ann Champlin.

The director of Dania’s Chamber of Commerce responded: “This is an honor…I know they wouldn’t have named her Fort Lauderdale.”

So how did the city of Dania (pronounced DAYN-yah) get its name?

Initially, the settlement was known as Modello, because it was platted in the late 1800s by a civil engineer working for the Model Land Company (of which “Modello” is a contraction). But early settlers — primarily Danish immigrants recruited from northern states (Illinois and Wisconsin) — chose to change the name to Dania when the town was incorporated in November of 1904.

The city has since lengthened its name to Dania Beach, but many still refer to it simply as “Dania.”

Sources:

Where did the baby name Landis come from?

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

Yesterday’s post told the story behind Kenesaw Mountain Landis‘ unique name. But there’s even more to the story…

In 1895, Kenesaw Landis returned to Chicago and founded a law firm with two other lawyers

A decade later, President Theodore Roosevelt appointed him a U.S. District Judge for Northern Illinois.

His “involvement in [various] high profile cases, combined with his flair for theatrics, brought his decisions and behavior to national attention. After Standard Oil [in 1907], Landis was dubbed the “most talked of persona in America.”

So he was already a well-known public figure by the time he became the first commissioner of professional baseball in late 1920 (which was not long after news of the Black Sox scandal broke).

Why am I getting into all this detail about Kenesaw Landis?

Because, once he became relatively famous, he began acquiring namesakes of his own!

The name Landis, for instance, debuted in the baby data in 1907 and nearly doubled in usage in 1920:

  • 1922: 17 baby boys named Landis
  • 1921: 18 baby boys named Landis
  • 1920: 23 baby boys named Landis
  • 1919: 12 baby boys named Landis
  • 1918: 13 baby boys named Landis
  • 1917: 14 baby boys named Landis
  • 1916: 17 baby boys named Landis
  • 1915: 13 baby boys named Landis
  • 1914: 7 baby boys named Landis
  • 1913: 7 baby boys named Landis
  • 1912: 6 baby boys named Landis
  • 1911: unlisted
  • 1910: 5 baby boys named Landis
  • 1909: unlisted
  • 1908: unlisted
  • 1907: 6 baby boys named Landis [debut]
  • 1906: unlisted
  • 1905: unlisted

The German surname Landis was derived from the Middle High German word landoese, “landless,” which was originally a “nickname for a highwayman or for someone who lays waste to the land.”

Even more interesting, though, are the dozens of boys who got other permutations of his name, such as…

Plus there’s Kenesaw Mountain Landis II — Ken’s own nephew, born in 1910 in Indiana to his younger brother Frederick.

Sources:

What gave the baby name Krystal a boost in 1951?

The Rosebush quads: Kenneth, Krystal, Keith, and Kristine.
Kenneth, Krystal, Keith, and Kristine in late 1956.

The baby name Krystal saw a steep rise in usage in 1951. In fact, it was one of the fastest-rising baby names that year:

  • 1953: 40 baby girls named Krystal
    • 11 (27.5%) in MI
  • 1952: 59 baby girls named Krystal
    • 15 (25.4%) in MI
  • 1951: 55 baby girls named Krystal
    • 18 (32.7%) in MI
  • 1950: 8 baby girls named Krystal
  • 1949: 9 baby girls named Krystal

As you can see, much of the usage was in the state of Michigan specifically.

What was the influence?

A set of quadruplets — Krystal, Kristine, Keith, and Kenneth — born to Kenneth and Ann Rosebush of Oakwood, Michigan, on January 10, 1951. They lived in hospital incubators for several weeks before being allowed to go home.

Photos of the K-named quads regularly appeared in the papers during the early 1950s.

It’s hard to tell whether they had any influence on the names Keith and Kenneth, which were already on the rise in the early 1950s, but it does look like the name Kristine (which was sometimes misspelled Kristene in the papers) was affected:

  • 1953: 1247 baby girls named Kristine
    • 113 (9.0%) in MI
  • 1952: 1885 baby girls named Kristine
    • 206 (10.9%) in MI
  • 1951: 1755 baby girls named Kristine
    • 186 (10.6%) in MI
  • 1950: 1247 baby girls named Kristine
    • 110 (8.8%) in MI
  • 1949: 1174 baby girls named Kristine
    • 94 (8.0%) in MI

The Rosebush family also included four older children, all girls, named Dorothy (Dottie), Jacquelyn, Barbara, and Joann.

Sources: