Category: lincoln

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:


ABIGAIL (nn Nabby) Adams (John)

ALICE (nn Princess) Roosevelt (Theodore)

AMY Carter

ANNA  Harrison, Roosevelt (Franklin)



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)


HARRIET Buchanan


IDA McKinley

JANE  Jefferson

JENNA Bush (George W.)

JESSIE  Wilson


KATHERINE (nn Katie) McKinley

LETITIA (nn Letty) Tyler

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Presidential Baby Names

It’s fitting that on the day of this historic election, we turn our attention to Presidential baby names.

The Presidential Names are fashionable partly by accident, and partly by design.  Many of the parents naming their babies Madison and Taylor, Tyler and Reagan are choosing those names not because they love the Presidents associated with them but because they’re attracted to the surname feel, or the unisex quality, or the stylishness of the names.

But some parents are also choosing names associated with presidents because we’re all hungry for heroes these days.  How can a child fail to be inspired by a name like Lincoln or Kennedy?

The most fashionable Presidential names are those a little off the beaten track: McKinley is an excellent choice, as are Pierce, Truman, Jefferson, Ford, Hayes.

Some Presidential names may still not be quite ready for prime time: Dwight or Eisenhower, for example, Ulysses or Washington.  And it seems unlikely that anyone is ever going to name her baby Coolidge or Nixon.

We might look to Presidential first names, middle names and First Lady names for fresh inspiration.  Quincy is a good choice, as is MamieFranklin, Theodore, Calvin, and Woodrow may all be ready for a revival.  Even outgoing President Bush‘s middle name Walker may prove baby-worthy, but Bush itself?  Doubtful.

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