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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
americangirlfelicity

by  Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

My seven-year-old daughter didn’t inspire my interest in American Girl dolls, one of their names did.

My daughter hasn’t expressed any interest in American Girl dolls and doesn’t own any.

But an American Girl doll has one of my favorite names. A retired doll from the historical line has an emerging name that has been slowly climbing the Social Security list. More about that later.

For the benefit of those who aren’t familiar with American Girl dolls, here’s the rundown:

They’re American.

They’re high-end.

They’re somewhat controversial.

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presidentialblocks1

By Linda Rosenkrantz

On previous Presidents’ Days, we’ve looked at the first and last names of the Chief Executives, their wives and their children’s appellations.  So what’s left?

Their middle names! And in this era of middle-name mania, we think they merit our attention.

Many of the early people in this position did not have middle names, having come to the office before the practice became so prevalent. A significant number bore their mothers’ maiden names; a few others switched the first and middle and so became know by the name listed below.  One—Gerald Ford—changed his name completely.

So, if you don’t like any of the Presidents’ first or second name, here’s an alternative option.

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posted by: upswingbabynames View all posts by this author
lost1938

by Angela Mastrodonato of Upswing Baby Names

Ever since I was a kid I’ve been fascinated by lost civilizations, towns that have been wiped off the planet for one reason or another. And I happen to live near lost towns–with the added allure of being submerged under water.

The sacrifice of the town residents, most who are long gone, cannot be overlooked. They left their beloved small towns so that people living 65 miles away in Boston could have drinking water.

These towns’ disappearance was a part of recent history. In 1938 four central Massachusetts towns in the Swift River Valley were disincorporated to create the state’s largest inland body of water, the Quabbin Reservoir. The towns were: Dana, Enfield, Greenwich, and Prescott.

Anything left from these towns, the artifacts, the relocated buildings, the old photos, the names of these towns’ last residents are all forever stuck in the 1900’s – 1930’s.

As a fan of old-fashioned names, I couldn’t help but notice some of the names as I read about the people who left these early 20th century small towns.

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thanksthursday

The story of Thanksgiving spans nearly four centuries and features a large cast of characters, from the very well known, like Miles Standish and George Washington, to those sometimes neglected, including such Native American participants as Massasoit and Squanto. Here, the Thanksgiving names that might be perfect for a late November baby.

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namesakeadlai

By Linda Rosenkrantz

Last week we looked at some neglected girls’ namesake names, now it’s the boys’ turn as we seek some equally distinctive names from American history and culture, names that could provide unique-ish options with interesting back-stories.  What’s especially evident here is how many of the unusual boys’ names are mothers’ maiden names that started out in the middle but were switched by their sons into first place.

Adlai Stevenson—There were three noted generational bearers of this name– their combined accomplishments: one vice president, two senators, one governor, a two-time presidential nominee, and an ambassador to the UN.

Alpheus Hyatt was the founder of the Marine Biological Lab at Woods Hole; his namesake Alpheus Hyatt Verrill invented the autochrome natural color photography process, and there have been two Alpheuses in the U.S. Senate.

Atlee Burpee (full name Washington Atlee but always called by his middle) was creator the world’s largest mail-order seed house.

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