Category: Presidents’ names
Like millions of Americans, I was riveted by the Ken Burns documentary on the Roosevelts that aired this month on PBS. (I didn’t manage to watch all of 14 hours, but I hope to catch up eventually.)
I adore the first names in the Roosevelt family tree (Alice, Anna, Edith, Eleanor, Elliot, Ethel and Theodore are probably my favorites). But the documentary also got me thinking about Roosevelt itself, which the family’s charisma helped turn into a surprisingly common baby name.
In 1905, when Teddy Roosevelt was beginning his second term as president, his surname became the 91st most popular baby name in America. At the time, Roosevelt ranked higher than Stephen, Jacob, Alexander, Patrick or Philip.
In honor of President’s Day, I did some research on the popularity of U.S. Presidents’ names. Not their first names (sorry… no Chester, Grover or Barack in this article), but their last names. Here is a list of the ones currently ranked, whether or not the name is up or down from 2011, when it peaked, and information to show the possible correlation between peak of name and presidential term. Ranks are listed for boys unless otherwise stated. Keep in mind that SSA rankings began in 1880.