Memorial Day Namesakes: Alburtus to Loyola

Memorial Day Namesakes: Alburtus to Loyola

by Linda Rosenkrantz

The first Memorial Day—then called Decoration Day— was observed on May 30, 1868, when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery.  It was a date chosen because it was a time when flowers would blooming all across the country.

In the past we have looked at some of the more interesting names of Civil War leaders, but this year we thought it could be more enlightening to look instead at well-known, well-named people who were born in that year of 1868—giving us a bird’s-eye view of post-Civil War period baby naming, both in America and elsewhere.


ALEEN Cust, the first female veterinary surgeon to be recognized by the British Royal College of Veterinary Surgeons

ALIDA B. Jones, an early American movie actress

ALMA Kruger, a Shakespearean actress who was later featured in Dr. Kildare movies

DIXIE Selden, an American Impressionist painter

EDITH Holloway, a British chess champion, winner of the first post-World War 1 British Women’s Championship

ELEANOR Porter, the author of the children’s classic Pollyanna

ELLA Gaunt Smith, an innovative doll maker, the first to market black dolls in the South

EUGENIE Besserer, a silent screen actress who played the mother in The Jazz Singer

EVANGELINE Smith, the best known astrologer of her day

FLORA Call Disney, the mother of Walt

GERTRUDE Bell, a well-known British writer, traveler and archaeologist

HENRIETTA Swan Leavitt, an American astronomer who made dramatic contributions to the knowledge of the known universe

HOPE Goddard Iselin, the first woman to crew in the America’s Cup yacht race

JANE Avril, the French can-can dancer made famous by ToulouseLautrec through his paintings and posters

JENNINGS Carmichael, (born Grace Elizabeth Jennings Carmicharl), a well-known Australian poet

KATTI (born Catherine) Møller, a Norwegian feminist, children’s right advocate and pioneer of reproductive rights

LOYOLA O’Connor, an actress of the silent film era, appearing in 48 films

MARTHA Woolstein, the first woman member of the American Pediatric Association

MAUD Humphrey, a popular American commercial artist and mother of Bogey

MAUDE Turner Gordon, an American stage and screen actress

PHILIPPA Fawcett, an English mathematician whose high exam scores gathered worldwide media coverage

RHETA Childe Dorr, An American journalist and political activist, the first editor of the influential newspaper The Suffragist.


ALBERTUS Catlin, a Marine Corps general who received the Medal of Honor

ALONZO Clark, an American politician who was the 16th Governor of Wyoming

AUGUST Horch, a German engineer and automobile pioneer, founder of the company that would eventually be Audi

AXEL Hägerström, a Swedish philosopher who authored books on law and morals, philosophy and religion

BAJO Topulli, an important Albanian freedom fighter

BERNARR Macfadden, a magazine publisher who was an early proponent of physical culture and bodybuilding

BORIS Thomashefsky, one of the greatest stars of the Yiddish theater

CAI Yuanpei, an influential Chinese educator

CAMILLO Olivetti, the Italian engineer who was the founder of Olivetti & Co.

COMFORT Avery Adams, an important American experimental electrical engineer who designed the first alternating-current transformer

CONSTANTINE I, King of Greece, who led the Greek forces during the Balkan Wars

CUNO Amiet, a Swiss artist who was a pioneer of modern art in Switzerland

EDGAR Lee Masters, a major American poet, the author most famously of Spoon River Anthology

EDMOND Rostand, the author of Cyrano de Bergerac

ÉDOUARD Vuillard, major French painter, decorative artist and printmaker

EMANUEL Lasker, the world chess champion for 27 years

ÉMILE Bernard, a noted French Post-Impressionist painter

FELIX Hoffman, the German chemist who invented aspirin—and heroin

GASTON Leroux, author of The Phantom of the Opera

HAMISH MacCunn, a Scottish romantic composer

HARDEE Kirkland, a silent screen actor and director

HARLEY Payne, a pro baseball player who pitched for the Brooklyn Bridegrooms

HARRY Alonzo Longabaugh, the original Sundance Kid

HARVEY Firestone, the rubber tire baron who founded one of the first global makers of automobile tires

MAGNUS Hirschfeld, a German physician and sex researcher and early gay rights activist

MAXIM (born AlekseiGorky, a major Russian author, political activist and a founder of socialist realism

MILES Poindexter, a US Senator from Washington

REN Shields, The American musician who co-wrote “In the Good Old Summertime”

RHODY Hathaway, a silent film actor and father of director Henry Hathaway

ROMAINE Fielding, early film actor, screenwriter and director known for his dramatic westerns

ROYAL S. Copeland, a US Senator from New York

SCOTT Joplin, the American composer and pianist known as the  “King of Ragtime”

SEWELL Ford, American novelist, humorist and short story writer

SKYROCKET (born SamuelSmith, a Major League first baseman

SOLON Borglum, an American sculptor who worked on Mount Rushmore


About the Author

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz

Linda Rosenkrantz is the co-founder of Nameberry, and co-author with Pamela Redmond of the ten baby naming books acknowledged to have revolutionized American baby naming. You can follow her personally at InstagramTwitter and Facebook. She is also the author of the highly acclaimed New York Review Books Classics novel Talk and a number of other books.