Saturday, November 24, 2012

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun - The Name Game

Saturday Night Genealogy Fun from Randy Seaver!  Randy says:  Your mission, should you decide to accept it (where's my Mission Impossible music...drat, lost it), is:

This SNGF is based on the Baby Name Wizard at  

1)  Go to the Baby Name Wizard site and see how popular your name was over the 20th century, and how popular a baby name it is today.  Check out your spouse, your children and your grandchildren (if you have some!) also.  

2)  What does your name mean (find out on

3)  Tell us about it, and show us your graphs, in your own blog post, in a comment to this post, in a Facbook status or a Google+ Stream post.  

I was given the name Donna by my parents in 1942 at that time Donna ranked number 17 and peaked at number 10 in the 1950s.  In the 1970s it ranked number 64 and 208 in the 1980s.  In 2010 it was 984.

My husband was named David in 1939.  Then the name David ranked 11 and reached its peak in the 1970s at 2.  In the 1960s when we named our son David the name was ranked 5.  Our daughter Laura was named in the 1960s and her name ranked 16 and is currently at number 275.  Interestingly Laura was ranked at 21 in the 1880s before it dropped to 87 in the 1940's.  Wonder if the movie "Laura" played any part in that.

Our grandchildren are Aidan named in 1996 when it ranked 311 and currently at 94 after peaking at 40 in 2004.  Granddaughter Mackenzie was named in 1999 when her name was number 96 and it is currently 68.  Brigid was never in the top 1000 in any time period from the 1880s until 2011.  All of my grandchildren's names are spelling dependant.  There are other variants of each of their names which would change the ranking.

The most interesting part of this exercise is how popular Donna was a name.  Growing up I hated my name.  I always wanted to be Cathy, Judy, Patty, or one of those other "y" names.
The meaning of Donna that I was always aware of was Latin/Italian for lady, however in modern terminology it appers that Donna is also the feminine form of Donald (world ruler).  This makes sense as I am a first born and my father's name was Donald.

Thanks Randy this was fun and I learned a lot!  Sorry about the graphs or lack of but I couldn't figure out how to copy and paste them.

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