The Children of Franz Xavier of Saxony

Franz Xavier of Saxony

Prince Franz Xavier of Saxony was born Franz Xavier Albert August Ludwig Benno to Augustus III of Poland and Maria Josepha of Austria. He married morganatically his sister-in-law's lady in waiting, Maria Chiara Spinucci.
Their children were:

Ludwig Ruprecht Joseph Xavier, "Ludwig, Graf von der Lausitz"

Clara Maria Augusta Beatrice, "Clara Maria, Gräfin von der Lausitz" - Ludwig's twin

Joseph Xavier Karl Raphael Philipp Benno, "Joseph Xavier, Graf von der Lausitz"

Elisabeth Ursula Anna Cordula Xaviera, "Elisabeth Ursula, Gräfin von der Lausitz", later "Duchesse d'Esclignac"

Maria Anna Violente Katharina Martha Xaviera, "Maria Anna, Gräfin von der Lausitz", later "Princess of Oriolo"

Beatrix Marie Françoise Brigitte, "Beatrix Marie, Gräfin von der Lausitz", later "Marchesa di Corleto"

Kunigunde Anna Helena Maria Josepha, "Kunigunde Anna, Gräfin von der Lausitz", later "Marchesa Naro Montoro"

Maria Christina Sabina, "Maria Christina Sabina, Gräfin von der Lausitz", later "Princess of Arsoli"

A stillborn son

Cecilie Marie Adelaide Augustine, "Cecilie Marie, Gräfin von der Lausitz"

Miss Universe Winners -- 1980-2005

Natalie Glebova - Canada - 2005

Part One Here

Shawn Weatherly - United States - 1980
Irene Sáez - Venezuela - 1981
Karen Dianne Baldwin - Canada - 1982
Lorraine Downes - New Zealand - 1983
Yvonne Ryding - Sweden - 1984
Deborah Cathy-Deu - Puerto Rico - 1985
Bárbara Palacios - Venezuela - 1986
Cecilia Bolocco - Chile - 1987
Porntip Nakhirunkanok - Thailand - 1988
Angela Visser - The Netherlands - 1989

Mona Grudt - Norway - 1990
Lupita Jones - Mexico - 1991
Michelle McLean - Namibia - 1992
Dayanara Torres - Puerto Rico - 1993
Sushmita Sen - India - 1994
Chelsi Smith - United States - 1995
Alicia Machado - Venezuela - 1996
Brook Lee - United States - 1997
Wendy Fitzwilliam - Trinidad and Tobago - 1998
Mpule Kwelagobe - Botswana - 1999

Lara Dutta - India - 2000
Denise Quiñones - Puerto Rico - 2001
Oxana Fedorova - Russia - 2002
Justine Pasek - Panama - 2002
Amelia Vega - Dominican Republic - 2003
Jennifer Hawkins - Australia - 2004
Natalie Glebova - Canada - 2005

On My Mind: 2-23-20

Azilde - I caught the 1946 adaption of Anya Seton's "Dragonwyck" on TV the other day, which starred Gene Tierney, Vincent Price, and Glenn Langan. A maid tells Miranda, the protagonist, that Nicholas' (one of the love interests / antagonist) great-grandmother, a beautiful woman from New Orleans named Azilde, was treated abominably by her husband and prayed all the time for something terrible to befall the family. The family is cursed to hear her sing and play her harpsichord in the infamous Red Room.
It's a wonderful Gothic classic which I really enjoyed!

As for the name, which is pronounced "eh-ZILD", it's a bit of a mystery. There is however a town in Ontario called Azilda which is named after Azilda Bélanger née Brisebois, who was one of the first female pioneers of the area and was known for her healing abilities.

Meraud, Tanis, and Loel - I came across an interesting group of siblings while researching royal and aristocratic names, that of the children of Benjamin Seymour Guinness and Bridget Henrietta Frances Williams-Bulkeley:

Meraud Michelle (sometimes Michael) Wemyss Guinness

Thomas Loel Evelyn Bulkeley Guinness - he went by Loel

Tanis Eva Bulkeley Guinness

Meraud is a charming Cornish name with a meaning possibly relating to the sea. Tanis is said to be the Greek form of Tanith, a name with Semitic roots that means "serpent lady". Tanith was a Phoenician Goddess of love, fertility, the moon and stars. It also brings to mind the fictional "tannis root" given to Rosemary by the coven of witches in "Rosemary's Baby". Loel, I believe, is a form of Lowell (my grandfather, father, and brother's name), which is a surname that is thought to be derived of a Norman French nickname meaning "young wolf" or "little wolf".

"Meruad, Tanis & Loel Guinness"

The Children of Princess Mathilde of Bavaria

Princess Mathilde of Bavaria

Princess Mathilde of Bavaria was born Mathilde Marie Theresia Henriette Christine Luitpolda to Ludwig III of Bavaria and Maria-Theresa of Austria-Este. She married Prince Ludwig Gaston of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha.
Their children were:

Antonius Maria Ludwig Klemens Eugen Karl Heinrich August Luitpold Leopold Franz Wolfgang Peter Gaston Alexander Alfons Ignatius Aloysius Stanislaus, "Prince Antonius Maria Ludwig"

Maria Immaculata Leopoldine Franziska Theresia Ildefonsa Adelgunde Klementine Hildegard Anna Josepha Elisabeth Sancta-Angelica Nicoletta, "Princess Maria Immaculata"

Princess Mathilde and Prince Ludwig Gaston with Antonius

Frankie Ballard Welcomes Daughter

Christina and Frankie

Country music artist Frankie Ballard and wife Christina have welcomed their first child together, a girl they named Pepper Lynn.

Chris Noth Welcomes Second Child

Chris and Tara

Actor Chris Noth and his wife, actress Tara Wilson, have had their second child, another boy. They named him Keats. His older brother is named Orion Christopher Noth. He posted a quote from poet John Keats on a photo he shared: "A thing of beauty is a joy forever".


Booker T. Washington

Origin: English
Gender: Male
Meaning: "Book Maker"
Pronunciation: BUWK-er
Other Forms: N/A

A surname-name with a plethora of namesakes and a rich history, Booker always shocks me with how unusual it is. Growing up, I knew a Booker who was shy, studious, and polite, and he's always cast the name in a (even more) favorable light for me.

The origin of Booker is quite simple - it was an occupational surname for someone who did something with books, usually a scribe or a binder, and comes from the Middle English "Boker". It hasn't graced the US charts since 1966, in which it ranked #998, making it a rare little gem indeed. Besides Booker T. Washington there are a few other interesting namesakes - Actress Thandie Newton and her husband have a Booker, George Clooney played Booker Brooks on "Roseanne", and most recently Booker Dewitt was the name of the main character in the video game "BioShock Infinite".

Booker T. Washington was born to Jane, an enslaved African-American, and never knew the month, date or year of his birth. He also never knew his father, who was said to have been a white man from a neighboring plantation. He was called just Booker, with no middle name or surname as was common. Under the Emancipation Proclamation his family was freed and joined his mother's husband, Washington Ferguson, who had escaped from slavery during the Civil War. He eventually took the surname Washington in honor of his stepfather, and later learned his mother had given him the middle name Taliaferro at birth, which was not used by their master.

Washington began to teach himself to read and even attended school. As he grew older he worked tirelessly in salt furnaces and coal mines all over West Virginia just to make ends meet. Eventually, he made his way to the Hampton Institute, a school made specifically to educate freedmen.
At 25 he became the first leader of the Tuskegee Normal and Industrial Institute. He bought a former plantation which would become the site of the campus, and taught the students everything from making bricks to growing crops and raising livestock.

He was the leader of the Institute for more than 30 years, and in his career he was an adviser to multiple presidents and reached national fame for his speech "The Atlanta Compromise". His autobiography, "Up From Slavery", published in 1901, became a bestseller. Afterwards, he was invited by President Theodore Roosevelt to dine at the White House.

He sadly died at 59 due to congestive heart failure aggravated by overwork, leaving behind an enduring legacy.

The Children of Duchess Maria Antonia of Bavaria

Maria Antonia Walpurgis of Bavaria

Duchess Maria Antonia, Princess of Bavaria, Electress of Saxony was born Maria Antonia Walpurgis Symphorosa to Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Amalia of Austria. She married Frederick Christian, Elector of Saxony. She was a composer, a singer, and harpsichordist known for her operas, which are still performed to this day.
Their children were:

A stillborn son

Friedrich August Joseph Maria Anton Johann Nepomuk Aloys Xaver, "Frederick Augustus I of Saxony"

Karl Maximilian Maria Anton Johann Nepomuk Aloys Franz Xavier Januar, "Karl of Saxony"

Joseph Maria Ludwig Johann Nepomuk Aloys Gonzaga Franz Xavier Januar Anton de Padua Polycarp, "Joseph of Saxony"

Anton Clemens Theodor Maria Joseph Johann Evangelista Nepomuk Franz Xaver Aloys Januar, "Anthony of Saxony"

Maria Amalia Anna Josepha Antonia Justina Augustina Xaviera Aloysia Johanna Nepomucena Magdalena Walburga Katharina, "Maria Amalia of Saxony"

Maximilian Maria Joseph Anton Johann Baptist Johann Evangelista Ignaz Augustin Xavier Aloys Johann Nepomuk Januar Hermenegild Agnellis Paschalis, "Maximilian of Saxony"

Theresia Maria Josepha Magdalena Anna Antonia Walburga Ignatia Xaviera Augustina Aloysia Fortunata, "Maria Anna of Saxony"

A stillborn son

The Children of Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark

Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark

Princess Theodora of Greece and Denmark was born Theodora to Prince Andrew of Greece and Denmark and Princess Alice of Battenberg. She married Berthold, Margrave of Baden.
Their children were:

Margarita Alice Thyra Viktoria Scholastica, "Princess Margarita of Baden"

Maximilian Andreas Friedrich Gustav Ernst August Bernhard, "Prince Maximilian of Baden"

Ludwig Wilhelm Georg Ernst Christoph "Prince Ludwig of Baden"

On My Mind: 2-9-20

The Thornton-Gosper Family

Smokey - Did you see the story about the Australian family that welcomed a new baby while their home was being destroyed by the bush-fires? They named him Smokey Thomas Gosper. They had originally wanted to name him Smokey after an ancestor of the father, Danny Gosper's, who name was Thomas Roker Gosper (and in honor of their deceased dog). Roker means "smoker" in Dutch, and the mother, Rachael Thornton, felt like it was providence. They have an older daughter as well named Mima.

Blu - I'm really excited for "The New Mutants" to come out, it seems like such a fresh take on the superhero genre. One of the main characters, Dani Moonstar, is being played by actress Blu Hunt. She's only 24, and has had roles in "The Originals" and "Another Life", and is of Lakota ancestry. I've always had a soft spot for Blu/e, especially for a girl.

From Lowell to Chris - I've been reading Duana Taha's book "The Name Therapist" and one of the stories in it really resonated with me, and made me chuckle. As a little girl she started going by the name Megan for a while, and coming from a family of semi-unusual names, it reminded me a lot of older brother, who has the most unusual one of all. He's Lowell, a Third of his name, and growing up he started going by "Chris" at school. It seems like a rite of passage almost all kids growing up with unusual names go by.

In other news The Beauty of Names now has a Facebook page! I'm just getting started on it, but would love to hear from y'all!

The Children of Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia

Grand Duchess Maria Kirillovna of Russia was born Maria Kirillovna to Grand Duke Kirill Vladimirovich of Russia and Grand Duchess Victoria Feodorovna. She was called "Marie" or "Masha". She married Karl, 6th Prince of Leiningen.
Their children were:

Emich Kirill Ferdinand Hermann, "Prince Emich Kyrill of Leiningen"

Karl Vladimir Ernst Heinrich, "Prince Karl of Leiningen"

Kira Melita Feodora Marie Victoria Alexandra, "Princess Kira of Leiningen"

Margarita Ileana Victoria, "Princess Margarita of Leiningen"

Mechtilde Alexandra, "Princess Mechtilde of Leiningen"

Friedrich Wilhelm Berthold, "Prince Friedrich Wilhelm of Leiningen"

Peter Victor, "Prince Peter Victor of Leiningen"


Dorothy Dandridge

Origin: Greek
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Gift of God"
Pronunciation: DOR-eh-thee, DOR-thee
Other Forms: Dorothea, Dorthe, Dorete, Dora

One of my favorite vintage names, Dorothy has a sweet simplicity that can't be beat. The English form of Dorothea, which is in itself a feminine form of the Greek Dorotheos. It means "Gift of God". Dorothy has been on and off the US charts since it first came about in 1880, and in 2018 ranked #586, making it another one of those delicious sweet spot names.

Everyone's first thought when they hear Dorothy is of Dorothy Gale, the heroine of L. Frank Baum's "The Wizard of Oz", played by Judy Garland in the 1939 film. But there are many other namesakes, from Nobel Prize Winner Dorothy Hodgkin, who developed protein crystallography, also known as X-ray crystallography, or XRC, to a plethora of Olympic medalists. A more recent bearer is actress Bel Powley, although it's only a middle - Isobel Dorothy Powley.

"The Wizard of Oz" by W.W. Denslow
The beautiful Dorothy Dandridge was not only an actress but a singer and dancer, and eventually the first Black actress to be nominated for an Academy Award. Born in 1922 to actress Ruby Dandridge and Cyril Dandridge, a cabinetmaker and Baptist minister, she soon got the taste for entertainment. Her mother created "The Wonder Children", the title Dorothy and her sister Vivian went under for their dance routines. Eventually they became so popular that they were constantly touring and rarely going to school. They re-branded as "The Dandridge Sisters" as they got older, and performed at nightclubs like The Cotton Club and the Apollo Theatre.

She snagged a few small roles in movies, but her first substantial role didn't come until 1951 when she played Queen Melmendi in "Tarzan's Peril". Dorothy received a lot of attention for her "provocative clothing", and the film was criticized for its "blunt sexuality". Her big break came when 20th Century Fox started a nationwide search for talent for their adaption of the all-Black musical "Carmen Jones".
Writer and Director Otto Preminger had seen Dorothy in "Bright Road", where she played a plain and demure schoolteacher, and didn't feel she was the right choice for the role. Dorothy, determined to get the role, created a look with the help of Max Factor make-up artists that she hoped would help her win him over. She burst into Preminger's office, and he gave her the role. They would soon become lovers.

She became one of the first Black actresses to become successful in Hollywood, plus one of the first Black sex symbols. Sadly, Dandridge would only live to 42. Her cause of death was debated - one coroner declaring it an accidental overdose of the anti-depressant imipramine, and another a fat embolism from a fracture in her right foot.

The Children of Prince Adalbert of Prussia

Prince Adalbert of Prussia

Prince Adalbert of Prussia was born Adalbert Ferdinand Berengar Viktor to Wilhelm II, German Emperor and Princess Augusta Victoria of Schleswig-Holstein. He married Princess Adelheid of Saxe-Meiningin, who was called "Adi".
Their children were:

Viktoria Marina - stillborn

Viktoria Marina, "Princess Viktoria Marina of Prussia"

Wilhelm Viktor Ernst Freund Friedrich Georg Adalbert, "Prince Wilhelm Victor of Prussia"

From L-R: Princess Viktoria Marina, Prince Adalbert, Prince Wilhelm Victor, and Princess Adelheid


Chloe x Halle

Origin: Germanic and Norse
Gender: Unisex
Meaning: "Hall" or "Rock"
Pronunciation: HAL-ee
Other Forms: Halley, Halli

Soft but strong, Halle is hovering just on the inside of the top 1000, making it the perfect choice for those who wasn't something unusual, yet recognizable.

The first person who comes to mind when we hear Halle is actress Halle Berry, but she is certainly not the first bearer of this name. For women, and as a first name, that honor belongs to Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson, the first woman to become a licensed physician in Alabama.

Born Halle Tanner in 1864 Pittsburgh, she was the eldest daughter of Benjamin Tucker Tanner, a minister, and Sarah Elizabeth Tanner, prominent members of the local African-American community. She married Charles Dillon, but he sadly died after the birth of the child only two years later. She then returned home, and ended up graduating from Women's Medical College of Pennsylvania with honors.
As providence would have it, right around the time of her graduation Booker T. Washington, founder of the Tuskegee Institute in Alabama, was looking for an African-American physician. She readily accepted the offer. Because not only of her gender but her race, she was heavily scrutinized while undergoing the ten-day oral examination held by the leading physicians of the state, but she passed with flying colors. During her time at Tuskegee she taught classes, founded a nursing school, and even founded the Lafayette Dispensary for Locals.
Later on she married the Rev. John Quincy Johnson, which of course, ended her career. They had three children before she would tragically die in childbirth at age 36.

Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson
Halle Berry was named after the department in which she was born in. It was owned by the Jewish-American Halle brothers, and at the time was the most prominent department store in Cleveland. As a surname Halle is Germanic in origin, and means "hall". It makes me wonder where Halle Tanner Dillon Johnson's parents came by her name.

In Norwegian Halle is a boy's name, derived from the Old Norse Halli, which means "rock". In "Morkinskinna", written around 1220, there is a story called "The Tale of Sarcastic Halli", in which the eponymous Halli is challenged to a battle of wits against the master-poet Thjodolg, with both trying to impress King Harald.

Other namesakes include Halle Bailey of musical sister duo Chloe X Halle - see her soon as Ariel in Disney's live-action "The Little Mermaid", tennis player Halle Cioffi, and Halle Suggs from Toni Morrison's "Beloved".

Milla Jovovich and Paul W.S. Anderson Welcome Third Child

Milla with Dashiel and Ever

Actress and model Milla Jovovich of "Resident Evil" fame and husband, director Paul W.S. Anderson, have had their third child, another girl. They've named her Osian Lark Elliot Jovovich-Anderson. Their two elder girls are named Ever Gabo and Dashiel "Dash" Edan.

Miss Universe Winners -- 1952-1979

Akiko Kojima - Japan - 1959

I had so much fun researching and writing the Miss World posts that I decided to do another - this time the winners of Miss Universe. Starting with the very first pageant in 1952, here are the winners all the way up to 1979.

Armi Kuusela - Finland - 1952
Christiane Martel - France - 1953
Miriam Stevenson - America - 1954
Hillevi Rombin - Swedish - 1955
Carol Morris - America - 1956
Gladys Zender - Peru - 1957
Luz Marina Zuluaga - Colombia - 1958
Akiko Kojima - Japan - 1959

Linda Bement - America - 1960
Marlene Schmidt - Germany - 1961 (The only German woman to win)
Norma Beatriz Nolan - Argentina - 1962
Iêda Maria Vargas - Brazil - 1963
Corinna Tsopei - Greece - 1964 (Kyriaki Tsopei)
Apasra Hongsakula - Thailand - 1965
Margareta Arvidsson - Sweden - 1966
Sylvia Hitchcock - America - 1967
Martha Vasconcellos - Brazil - 1968
Gloria Diaz - The Philippines - 1969

Marisol Malaret - Puerto Rico - 1970
Georgina Rizk - Lebanon - 1971
Kerry Anne Wells - Australia - 1972
Margarita Moran - The Philippines - 1973
Amparo Muñoz - Spain - 1974
Anne Marie Pohtamo - Finland - 1975
Rina Messinger - Israel - 1976

Janelle Commissiong - Trinidad and Tobago - 1977
Margaret Gardiner - South Africa - 1978
Maritza Sayalero - Venezuela - 1979

On My Mind: 2-2-20

Beanie Feldstein

Beanie - I'm in love with actress Beanie Feldstein's name. You may have seen her in "Lady Bird" and "Booksmart", and to my shock, she is Jonah Hill's sister! She was born Elizabeth Greer Feldstein, and her brother's nicknamed her Beanie when she was two. I love seeing creative nicknames, especially for more classic names - it gives them a touch of brightness, and a lot more leeway.

Names from Ragnarok - I'm a sucker for teen drama shows and Netflix's new Norwegian show, "Ragnarok", which brings Norse Mythology to the modern age, is right up my alley. It also has some great names. For boys there's Magne, Laurits, Fjor, and Vidar; for girls Isolde, Ran, Gry, Saxa, and Turid. And to my delight, a dog named Trym.

Lison - This gorgeous French name has been on my radar for a while. I came across it in the top 1000 names for France - in 2018 it ranked #115 - and ever since then it's been in the back of my mind. It first popped up in 1991 which makes me wonder if there was a character that sprung it into popularity (if anyone knows, let me know!). I believe it's a nickname for Elizabeth, and it's also a place in the Normandy Region of France.


Saoirse Ronan

Origin: Irish
Gender: Female
Meaning: "Freedom"
Pronunciation: SIR-sha, SAIR-sha, SEER-sha
Other Forms: N/A

I have been a fan of Saoirse Ronan's since I very first saw her in "Atonement" as Briony Tallis, where I was blown away by her talent. Now she's definitely having her moment, and I couldn't be happier but I'm honestly a little surprised her name hasn't gotten the same reaction.

She pronounces it "SIR-sha" like "inertia", her words, but the other two pronunciations seem to be as legitimate as the first, all being used and accepted in Ireland. I think that's the only thing holding this name back - pronunciation. However in 2018 it actually made the top 1000 for the US, ranking in at just #829. Not surprisingly in England and Wales it ranked #370, and ranks the same in both Ireland and Northern Ireland - #20. Saoirse has the wonderful meaning of "freedom", and it became popular in Ireland in the 1920's, and I don't think it takes a huge leap of logic to assume it had something to with the Irish Revolution. There is even an Irish Republican newspaper called "Saoirse Irish Freedom".

Besides Ronan there are a few other namesakes - Saoirse-Monica Scott, who plays Erin on the popular "Derry Girls" show, and Saoirse Kennedy Hill, Granddaughter of Robert F. who tragically took her own life in 2019.