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Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

A Woman Named Myrtle Beach

Posted February 26, 2008 8:29 a.m. EST

What a pleasant surprise to see so many unusual family names posted on this blog! Thanks for shaking your family tree. Since this has become such a popular topic I thought we would extend the contest one more day. The person who contributes the most unusual family name will win a signed copy of my "Peaceful Journey" DVD.

I loved the name of my high school librarian. Myrtle Beach was a kind, helpful and gentle woman who was proud of her unusual name. Our high school principal in Morganton was Ferdinand Cushman Scheibout. We called him "Cush." He was a stern disciplinarian. I was sent to his office once for "acting up" in Spanish class. I was a good boy after that.

I checked in with the NC State Center for Health Statistics to see if Ferdinand or Myrtle made the latest list of the most popular baby names. They didn't make it. Not even close.

Here are the most popular baby names in North Carolina: William (good choice), Joshua, Jacob, Christopher and Michael for boys and Madison, Emily, Emma, Abigail and Hannah for girls.

If you were having a child what name would you use? How important is it to pick a family name? Or would you simply choose a name that sounds good?