7 Overlooked Presidential Surnames

Hello all and happy president's day! (Is that a thing people say?)  Presidents' names are a hot topic in recent years. If you add up all the spellings, Jackson is arguably the most popular boys' name in the country. Lincoln has been on trend lately. Both Reagan and Kennedy have made it to the top 100 for girls. Taylor (for girls) and Tyler (for boys) have both retained their spots in the top 100 as well. But are there some that we're overlooking? Today I'd like to highlight seven amazing presidential surnames that would make amazing, distinctive choices today.

I'd like to say at the outset that this is not about politics. I'm not going to talk about the president's politics, policy or character in this article, just names.

#611 in 2016
Origin: English
Meaning: "son of the resolute protector"
28th President Woodrow Wilson

Wilson is such an amazing name! It has so much going for it! It's similar to the perennial William, has the -son ending that so many like, and yet it is not even in the top 500! Wilson has been in the top 1000 for many years, and it was most popular at #122 in 1918,  at the beginning of President Woodrow Wilson's second term. I've featured this name before in my authors' names article because it is the first name of Wilson Rawls, who wrote the childhood classic Where the Red Fern Grows. I would love to meet a baby Wilson!

#433 in 2016
Origin: English
Meaning: "hedged area"
19th President Rutherford B. Hayes

Hayes is the most charming name! It would be handsome name for a boy, or a lovely name for a girl as well. Hayes would be a great choice for either a first or middle name. Hayes was in the top 1000 for boys for several years in the first part of the 20th century but dropped off the list from 1932 until 2008, and it has been rising ever since. I really don't think you could go wrong with Hayes! 

#475 in 2016
Origin: English from Greek
Meaning: "rock, stone, pebble"
14th President Franklin Pierce

Pierce is a name that could almost be considered a classic. It was the surname of President Franklin Pierce but it was routinely used as a boys first name before that, as a form of Peter. Pierce enjoyed some usage in the first half of the twentieth century but dropped off the top 1000 list in 1940, not returning until 1984. It was most popular in 2013 at #462, but still far from being over-used. Though historically a male's name, Pierce's crisp yet soft sound could potentially lean itself towards the girls' side.

not ranked in 2016
Origin: Dutch
Meaning: "rose field"
26th President Theodore "Teddy" Roosevelt
32nd President Franklin D. Roosevelt

Roosevelt is such a spunky name! There is so much to love about it! I think it would be so distinguished on a boy, yet the rose sound at the beginning makes it easy to picture on a girl. I was shocked to find out that Roosevelt has enjoyed some popularity as a first name, though it is not currently in the top 1000. It was most popular in 1905 (#91), when it was most likely used to honor President Theodore Roosevelt, since Franklin Roosevelt had not taken office yet. I would love to see this name on either a boy or a girl. Both Teddy and Franklin Roosevelt were iconic in their own ways, but so was Eleanor Roosevelt, wife of Franklin and niece to Teddy. (The family tree is kind of complicated so I won't explain it here). A little girl named Roosevelt and nicknamed Rosie would be so precious! A more recent namesake for Roosevelt might be Roosevelt Nix, who plays football for the Pittsburgh Steelers.  

#692 for girls in 2016, not ranked for boys
Origin: Scottish
Meaning: "mouth of the roe river"
5th President James Monroe

Monroe is a name that really sounds cool! I love the "oe" ending! Though I certainly think it has the right kind of style to come back as a boys name, it has been getting most of its recent usage for girls, and it is rising fast! It entered the top 1000 for girls in 2012 and has already risen to #692! So why would this name make a comeback for girls? It probably has nothing to do with President James Monroe. It has likely been used by parents seeking to honor Marilyn Monroe, which gives it a totally different vibe. Celebrity baby names tend to affect naming trends and Mariah Carey and Nick Cannon named their daughter Monroe (twin sister of Moroccan) in 2011. It has also been used as a middle name for several celebrity baby girls. Though he doesn't have the same star power as Mariah Carey, actor Jackson Rathbone named his son Monroe in 2012. In fact, the actor we know as Jackson Rathbone is actually Monroe Jackson Rathbone the fifth, and his son is the sixth. I definently think that there is potential for Monroe to make a comeback as a boys name, though it has its appeal for girls as well.

not ranked in 2016
Origin: German
Meaning: "iron hewer"
34th President Dwight David "Ike" Eisenhower

Is Eisenhower really usable? I think so for a namer who is brave enough! Eisenhower feels like a big, weighty name, and a bit of a mouthful, but the charming nickname "Ike" (more traditionally a nickname for Isaac) makes it feel a little more accessible. If you're a history buff, you might recall the campaign slogan "I like Ike".  It probably won't fit the taste of very many people, but I think Eisenhower is bold and so spunky! It would make me so happy to meet a baby Eisenhower!

not ranked in 2016
Origin: English
Meaning: "true man" or "loyal man"
33rd President Harry Truman

Several of these names are big, somewhat bulky names that have fallen out of favor over time. Truman, however, fits in with so many current trends that I can't fathom why it isn't on the top 1000 list still or again! It was used more consistently more towards the beginning of the twentieth century and fell completely off the list in 1972, only to pop back on and the off again beginning in 2004. It just seems like Truman hasn't gained a lot of traction in recent years and I really don't understand why. It's a very handsome name with the adorable nickname True built right in! The fact that it is not currently in the top 1000 and hasn't made it to the top 900 since 1954, will appeal to some parents, though. Truman is a great name that is certainly underused, but at the same time very easy to say and spell!

So which of these names is your favorite? Would you use any of them for a girl? What cool combos can you make with these names?

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