Monday, February 25, 2013

Trendy Names

Trendy names have been with us for a long time. In recent times we’ve had thousands of Jennifers, Jasons, and Jeremys, among other cool names.  It was once fashionable to name boys after illustrious US presidents. In my husband’s ancestry are several George Washingtons and Thomas Jeffersons.

As I look for ancestors in Polish church records from the mid 19th century, I wonder what was influencing the trends in names. Were the name fads local or were they inspired by people they read about?

Reading the LDS microfilms, I find a year when it seems that almost half of the girls born in one area are named Josepha and many of the boys are Joseph. The next year will be loaded with Catherine or boys named Martin.  Each year seems to produce a new favorite name for each gender

My Roman Catholic ancestors were all named after saints, so I don’t find the Polish equivalent of Dweezil or Moon Unit.  Too bad.  Might make them easier to find.

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