Popular Presidents' Names for Babies

 A slew of films about presidents over the past few years has likely contributed to the popularity of using presidents' names as baby names.

From the Academy Award-winning Lincoln starring Daniel Day-Lewis to the dissection Nixon's post-presidency in Frost/Nixon. And if anything has held true about baby naming trends over the past several decades, Hollywood's movies and actors often have a big influence. Consider the rise in popularity of names like Madison, Ethan, Noah, Olivia, or any of the Old Hollywood Names that have enjoyed a resurgence.

And if nothing else, some parents might like the idea of giving their child a name with a "presidential" feel. 


Using American Presidents' Names for Baby Naming Inspiration

The White House
The Colombian Way Ltda/Moment/Getty Images

James, William, and John, which were the first names of many presidents, have been staples on the list of most popular baby names over the past hundred years. Here's how the list breaks down so far: 

  • 6 presidents named James: Buchanan, Carter, Garfield, Madison, Monroe, Polk
  • 4 presidents named John: Adams, Quincy Adams, Kennedy, Tyler
  • 4 presidents named William: Clinton, Harrison, McKinley, Taft
  • 3 presidents names George:  Washington, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush
  • 2 presidents named Andrew: Jackson and Johnson
  • 2 presidents named Franklin: Pierce and Roosevelt

But now presidents' last names repurposed as first names have become popular among Millennial parents as well. Here are the most popular first names on the most recent baby names list that are also presidents' last names.


This last name of our fourth president, James Madison has been a top ten name on the girls' list for more than 20 years. Made popular by the 1984 movie Splash, this name has been far and away the most popular president's name to hit the charts for girls. 


This name of the ninth president, Andrew Jackson, who may or may not lose his spot on the $20 bill, has become a popular name for boys, breaking into the top 20 just in the past two years. 


He's slipped a bit in recent years, but at the turn of the millennium, Tyler was one of the top names for boys. John Tyler was the tenth president, who ascended to the office upon the death of President William Henry Harrison.


Also likely buoyed by the 1990s television series ER, which had a central character named Carter, the name of the 39th president Jimmy Carter has broken into the top 50 on the boys' chart over the past decade. 


This name of the 35th president, John F. Kennedy, has seen modest popularity on the list of girls' names, busting into the top 100 in 2011. Kennedy is another odd last-name-as-first-name occurrence.


Recent Popular President Names

 Here are some other presidents' names that have registered on the top 1000 baby name charts recently. 

  • Grant 
  • Lincoln 
  • Harrison 
  • Arthur 
  • Taylor for both boys and girls, but much more popular for girls. 
  • McKinley 
  • Pierce 
  • Wilson 
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