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Names Searched Right Now:

Category: political names

polit3

Canadian guest blogger Abby Simpson, of  The Name Station, takes us today into the realm of political names--past and present.

People say that few subjects are more controversial than politics, but sometimes politics has nothing on the often polarizing world of baby names! While some parents seek to avoid politically-inspired baby names at any cost, there are others whose passions drive them to use politically-inspired monikers from Thatcher to Reagan to Hillary, and even Chad.

So whether you need a list of names worth avoiding as we get closer to the U.S. election in November, or a list of names to inspire, this entry is as inclusive as politicians aim to be.

Reagan – the quintessential Republican hero has a surname that’s found relatively common use as a name through the years, though more for girls than boys. But if you’re looking for a more current GOP name, then why not Romney? Similar to hot Rom- names like Romy, Roman, and Romilly, the likely Republican presidential candidate has a gender-neutral name that could be shortened to Romy or Rome. Other notable past Republicans with names to inspire? Abraham Lincoln, Ulysses Simpson Grant, TheodoreTeddyRoosevelt, and even Sarah Palin.

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4ofjuly2

With apologies to our dear Britberries, today we honor some of the heroes in the struggle of the US to gain its independence from the mother country, along with some of the more interestingly named Signers of the Declaration of Independence.

REVOLUTIONARY PERIOD HEROES

AARON Burr—fought in the War for Independence before he served as Vice President and fought his famous duel

ALEXANDER Hamilton—served as aide-de-camp to General George Washington during the Revolutionary War, before his later accomplishments

ANTHONY Wayne – won major recognition for bravery as a general in the American Revolution, also known as (oops!) “Mad” Anthony Wayne

ARTEMAS Ward –  an important general in the war and a Congressman from Massachusetts

AUSTIN Dabney – a slave who became a private in the Georgia militia and fought the British

BETSY (Elizabeth) Ross—even though she well might not have made the first American flag

CASIMIR Pulaski – Polish-born “Father of the American Cavalry” under Washington

CRISPUS Attucks – a fugitive slave who became the first casualty of the Revolution when he was shot and killed in the Boston Massacre

DEBORAH Sampson — first known woman to impersonate a man in order to join the army and take part in combat

EBENEZER Learned – a brigadier general in the Continental Army

ENOCH Poor –another brigadier general, called by Washington “an officer of distinguished merit”

ESEK Hopkins – a Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Navy during the war

ETHAN Allen – war hero who formed the Green Mountain Boys and was responsible for the capture of Fort Ticonderoga

EVAN Shelby, Jr – a Revolutionary War militia leader

HAYM Salomon – Polish-born Jewish immigrant who played a key role in financing the Revolution

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cornelia-street-cafe

In the course of leading a basically bicoastal life, I’ve had the opportunity to spend a lot of time walking and driving the streets of both New York and L.A.  And I have to say, as rhythmic and melodious as so many of the California names are– e.g. Alameda, Amanita, Mariposa, Morella– for native New Yorker me there’s nothing like the solid, straight-forward, usable street names of downtown Manhattan, from Greenwich Village to the Wall Street area, names resonant with references to early American history.

The names of these meandering streets, lanes and alleys were subject to shifting trends.  Many British names were changed after the Revolutionary War, for example, and for a time fashion dictated that streets named for local property owners would carry the first names only.  Leaders in the War of 1812 provided a goodly share of names, as did figures connected to Trinity Church.

Here are Lower Manhattan street names with their historical roots–any of which would make a possible namesake.

ALLENafter War of 1812 hero Captain William Henry Allen

ANNnamed for either a member of the Beekman clan or the wife of Captain William Henry Allen

ASTOR –named for John Jacob Astor, “the richest man in America

BARCLAYReverend Henry Barclay was the second rector of Trinity Church

BARROW–  artist Thomas Barrow was known for his portraits of Trinity Church

BAXTERoriginally called Orange Street, renamed for Mexican War hero Colonel Charles Baxter

BAYARDNicholas Bayard was mayor of NY in 1686

BENSONEgbert Benson was New York’s first Attorney General

BETHUNE—named for philanthropist Johanna Graham Bethune

BLEECKER—the street ran through the farm of Anthony L. Bleecker

CARMINEfor  Trinity Church vestryman Nicolas Carman (sic)

CATHERINE the wife of land owner Henry Rutgers

CHARLES ––named for landowner Charles Christopher Amos

CHARLTONDr. John Charlton, an English-born surgeon, became president of the N.Y. Medical Society

CHRISTOPHERalso named for Charles Christopher Amos, a local landowner

CHRYSTIE – named for Lt.-Col. John Christie (sic), killed in the War of 1812

CLARKSON – Revolutionary War hero Matthew Clarkson

CLINTONGeorge Clinton, was a Revolutionary War hero and the first governor of New York State

CORNELIA a beloved granddaughter of landowner Robert Herring

CROSBYnamed for William Bedlow Crosby, who inherited much of the Lower East Side

DELANCEYnamed after James De Lancey, Sr, whose farm was located in what is now the LES

DUANEJames Duane was an early mayor of the city

ELDRIDGEnamed for a Lieutenant killed in the War of 1812

ELIZABETHunknown

ESSEXnamed for the English county (as were nearby Norfolk and Suffolk Streets)

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tr and son

We’re all pretty familiar with the names of  the presidents whose surnames have beeen commonly used for children–Jackson, Jefferson, Taylor, Tyler, Lincoln, Truman, Madison, Wilson, Kennedy et al– and we’re equally  familiar with the names of most of their wives as well.

But less well known are the ones they chose for their children, so I thought this was an appropriate occasion to take a look at them. Putting aside the common Johns and Marys, James and Elizabeths (except if they had a noteworthy nickname), and the number of sons who were named Junior for their famous fathers, here are some of the more interesting choices:

GIRLS

ABIGAIL (nn Nabby) Adams (John)

ALICE (nn Princess) Roosevelt (Theodore)

AMY Carter

ANNA  Harrison, Roosevelt (Franklin)

CAROLINE Kennedy

CHELSEA Clinton

DOROTHY (nn Doro) Bush (George H. W.)

ELEANOR (nn Nelly)  Wilson

ELIZA (nn Trot) Garfield, Monroe

ELLEN (nn Nellie) Grant

ESTHER Cleveland

ETHEL Roosevelt (Theodore)

FANNY Hayes

HARRIET Buchanan

HELEN Taft

IDA McKinley

JANE  Jefferson

JENNA Bush (George W.)

JESSIE  Wilson

JULIA Tyler

KATHERINE (nn Katie) McKinley

LETITIA (nn Letty) Tyler

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Martin Luther King Day Names

CIVIL RIGHTS2

To commemorate Martin Luther King Day, we honor some of his fellow heroes and heroines of the civil rights movement.  It would be impossible to list all of them, so here are some of the most worthy namesakes.

AMELIA Boynton Robinson – brought Dr. King to Selma in 1953

ANGELA Davis  –radical Black activist, advocate of racial justice

CARLOTTA Walls – youngest member of the Little Rock Nine students who desegregated Central High School in 1957

CHARLAYNE Hunter-Gault –one of the first two African-American students to enter the University of Georgia in 1961

CLARA Luper – activist known as the ‘Mother of the Civil Rights Movement’

CLAUDETTE Colvin – refused to give up her seat on a Montgomery, Alabama bus nine months before Rosa Parks did

CORETTA Scott King – Dr. King’s full partner in the civil rights movement

DAISY Bates –  a key figure in the integration of Central High School in Little Rock

DOROTHY Cotton – the highest ranking female in Dr King’s Southern Christian Leadership Conference

ELEANOR ROOSEVELT –   a civil rights activist during her husband’s tenure as President.

ELLA  Baker – influential activist, key figure in the NAACP, SCLC and in the creation of the Student Noviolent Coordinating Committee

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