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This week in the news is some name information from family history website Genes Reunited. By examing their database, they found there were only 1000 unique names in the public records (meaning first name and surname combinations).

It also looked at a few celebrity baby names to see how common they were.

The name Apple (as in Martin) has appeared on censuses in 1861, 1871 and 1911. The name Sunday (as in Kidman Urban) has been used 305 times between 1837 and 2005. Suri (as in Cruise) has been found 67 times between 1891 and 2005.

I found the story rather frustrating, as it didn’t say what records Genes Reunited had access to, or how far they went back, or even which countries they were in. Is this just Australian records? If so, why are they using the names of American and British celebrities to test their “uniqueness”? If there were 1000 unique names, why couldn’t they have listed at least a few of the more interesting ones for us?

It got even more frustrating when it told us that Bob Geldof’s daughter Fifi Trixiebelle was the only “unique” celebrity baby name. Obviously Fifi is not unique at all, and if they were counting first name-middle name combinations, why didn’t they do that with Apple Martin, Sunday Kidman Urban and Suri Cruise?

Even more silly was when it implied Fifi Trixiebelle’s sisters, Peaches and Pixie, also had “unique” names. For a start, Pixie is Little Pixie’s middle name, and Pixie is so far from being unique that I know three people with that name.

They also listed the “top 10 names of all time”, without telling us how far back they were counting from (surely not literally from the beginning of time), or from which countries they were getting data from (I can tell it’s not worldwide). However, this is the list:

Male: John, William, Thomas, James, George, Robert, Charles, Joseph, Henry, David

Female: Mary, Elizabeth, Sarah, Ann, Margaret, Jane, Alice, Hannah, Emma, Ellen

I couldn’t help feeling there were an awful lot of information missing and a heap of “apples to oranges” comparisons being made. We so rarely get news relating to baby name data, and when we do get some, it’s so garbled as to be almost useless. Grrr.

Apparently feeling the story was lacking some local colour, the article mentioned two sibsets from the Sunshine Coast area.

The first one is a family from Maleny, who this year decided to change their surname from Crossman to the more positive Love. They then gave themselves groovy extra middle names to suit their new surname. Dad Ben and mum Shumbi became Benjamin Funky Love and Shumbi Arka Real Love. Their 13-year-old daughter Sabiah is now Sabiah O’Hara Faery Love, and 5-year old Lola-Jae has become Lola-Jae Lucy Juicy Love. The exuberantly-named Love family are currently on a two-year trip around the world.

They were contrasted with a more sedate Twin Waters couple, Darren and Yokoh Geitz, who chose Asher and Austin for their sons, aged 4 and 2 months respectively.

(Story from The Sunshine Coast Daily, July 10 2011; picture of Shumbi Love and children from The Sunshine Coast Daily, January 25 2011)

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