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January 28, 2014


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Doris Eraldi

I was glad to see Clara on there ...

CK Wallis

Fun blog, Ann. My great-grandmother, ANNA Wilhelmenia, was born in 1880; she had an older sister, Laura Matilda, and two older brothers, WILLIAM Edgar (or was it Edwin?), and Herman Benjamin. She married JOHN Anthony, and they named their children Letitia Katherine (my grandmother), Richard (William, I think), Edna Elizabeth, Margaret Coral, and Marvin (don't remember his middle name). Other interesting (I think) family names from around 1880-1910ish: Nellie Blanche, Hiram James, Otis, and Leeland, and they all lived in Colorado or Wyoming. If you're looking for a name, feel free!

Right now, I find names fascinating, no doubt in part because I'm in the process of changing mine, but also because of all the writing I've been doing. Using NaNoWrMo this past November to start my first 'real' story, has involved a head-banging battle with the name dilemma--I've changed the names of some secondary characters so many times, I've lost track of them. After about 20,000 words, the physical challenge of going back to change a name is daunting, but it seems that if they're going to have a name it must be the right name or the character doesn't work--at least in my head. Somehow, they don't seem 'real' until they have the right name. Once I've got the perfect name I seem to 'know' that person, and the writing gets much easier. Which, I must get back to if I'm going to meet today's quota (it keeps me going), but this has been a fun break. Thanks!

All the best,
Carol (Hill) Stuckey


I love the variation in spelling that parents sometimes adopt, like Chyrel or, ahem, Mysti :)

Michael A. Black

Minnie, Betha, and Clara seem to have fallen out of favor, but I'd still choose them over some of the strange names people are coming up with today. Well, maybe it's best Minnie isn't popular anymore. After all, what girl would want to be named after a mouse?


Hi Doris!
Clara's a mighty nice name. :-)


Hi Carol!
Oooooo you have some good ones on the family tree! Help myself? Don't mind if I do. :-) Congrats on the NaNoWriMo progress! Gogogo!! :-D And yes, changing names on a character "mid-stream" is difficult and dangerous. Be very very careful of "replace all" ...


Oh yes, Mysti! Today's variations on names keeps us all on our toes. (Devon, Devin, Devyn, Devan...)


Hi Michael! What goes around comes around... no doubt Bertha and Clara will have their day again. And Minnie as well. (After all, Mickey still lives on, right? ;-) )

Margaret Lucke

I love the SSA names website! One of my favorite ways to procrastinate, er, do research. It gives more than popular names by decades. You can get a list of the top 1,000 male and female names given to babies born in any year since 1880, and you can also track the popularity of any name over that same span (or shorter spans if you prefer).

By the way, the old names are coming back. Emma was number 2 on the SSA list for 2012 (the most recent year available), and both Alice and Clara have been steadily rising in popularity over the past 20 years.

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