July 10, 2008


Ella ~ Completely, German ~ Young Girl, Spanish*

John Everett Millais
A few months ago, I started the project of tracing my genealogical roots. I was eager to discover the missing branches of my family tree and to learn the places and stories behind my ancestors. I was also deeply curious about the names I would find (of course!).

One name that delighted and surprised me was that of my great-grandma, or Granny as we called her. My middle name, Amy, was chosen in honor of her, and I've always loved it. But what I didn't know is that her middle name was Ella.

By today's standards, Ella is on fire. And by "on fire" I mean that It went from nowhere-to-be-seen to number 21 in just sixteen years! It's clear that the lilting, feminine sound is quickly capturing the hearts of American parents.

To set the record straight, Ella was even more popular in the 1880s than it is today. It's just one of several girls' names from the pioneer era that is enjoying a revival. Aside from the favorable old-fashioned feel, other factors that have helped this name along include the popularity of names like Bella and Stella, and the use of Ella by celebrities. Jeff Gordon, Ben Stiller, John Travolta, Annette Bening, and Alex Rodriguez all have daughters named Ella.

Ella is ranked at 17 for 2014. It seems to have found a home in the top 20, where it's been for the past seven years.

Smitten Level: High
I have always liked the sound of this baby name, but used to feel a little turned off by what I thought was a trend. It just seemed a little too popular for my taste. Now that I know I have a personal connection to it, my attitude could better be described as "smitten". Having the perfect excuse to love this name has allowed me to freely gush. Ella's going on my list of favorites for sure.

*Ella also came into use as a derivative of names like Eleanor and Ellen.

Vintage Baby Names ~ Pioneer Baby Names ~ Fashion Designer Baby Names

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