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Gwyneth

Kodak Theatre 

I must admit, Gwyneth Paltrow makes this name seem very usable (although her daughter Apple's name is a different story) and accessible to parents with no Welsh background. Since she's been an A-list celebrity for so long, it's surprising to see that Gwyneth was only given to 259 girls in 2011, ranking low at #978 for the first time back on the charts since the first time it ranked in 2004, when it was also low ranking  - not popular, yet a very familiar rare name. A happy medium. The spelling Gweneth was given to 41 girls in 2011, Gwynneth 10 times, and Gwenneth 9 times.

Gwyneth means "white, fair, happy" in Welsh. A namesake of the 19th century, author Annie Harriet Hughes, who went by the pen name Gwyneth Vaughan, contributed to parents choosing this name. Gwyneth is strongly connected to the Kingdom of Gwynedd, not to be confused with modern Gwynedd in Wales. In the 5th century, early Middle Ages, the Kingdom of Gwynedd formed and the seat of power was in Deganwy Castle. At this time Gwynedd was a surname, and that of one of the kingdom's rulers. The modern city was named after the old kingdom, and this is where you can find Snowdonia National Park, and Snowdon, the highest mountain in Wales.

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Allifair

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The baby name Allifair, alternatively spelled Alifair, Alafair, or Alafare, has a very interesting history. This girl's name suddenly popped into existence in the U.S. around the mid 1800's, with no mention why or how.

Some history buffs may be familiar with the Hatfield-McCoy "New Year's Day" Massacre, in which a long-time hatred between families (including Union vs Confederacy differences) finally escalated into an all-out violent battle. Alifair was the name of Randolph McCoy's daughter, born in 1858, who suffered from Polio as a child but remained productive. During an attack on the McCoy home, Alifair was shot and killed. There was later a legal trial for her murder. Ironically, there was an Alifair Hatfield born in 1873 in Kentucky.

So how did she get her name? There are records of others in 1809, 1815, 1819, 1831, 1870, 1883, 1920 and 1923. 1767 or 1787 seems to be the earliest it was recorded. It could come from Alfher/Alvar/Aelfhere…