The other day I noticed an interesting trend in my family tree: ancestors named after U.S. presidents. For example, there is my third great uncle George Washington Crum (1853-1942). Today, however, I want to focus on my fourth great uncle Andrew Jackson Allred.
Andrew Jackson Allred (1831-1899)
Andrew Jackson Allred was born on February 12, 1831 in Monroe County, Missouri. At that time, Andrew Jackson was the president of the U.S. Known as “Jack” all his life, he was the twelfth (and last) child born to James Allred and Elizabeth Warren. Jack’s family joined the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints one year before his birth.
As an early pioneer in the church, Jack experienced intense persecution at a young age. Eventually, Jack and his family arrived in Salt Lake City in October 1851. They settled in Manti, Sanpete County, Utah. It was here that Jack became interested in Native American culture and language and eventually became an interpreter.
On November 3, 1855, Jack married Chloe Stevens. Five months after their seventh child was born, Chloe died at the age of 34.
In July of 1873, Jack married his second wife, Elizabeth Ivy. They had two children together. In the spring of 1876, Jack was called by Brigham Young to settle in Rabbit Valley and establish a trading post. Jack did so and initially built his home east of the Fremont River. However, the winter was so harsh that year that the river froze over and flooded most of the valley. So Jack moved west to the top of the hill, which is now known as Allred Point.
In 1888, Jack’s second wife, Elizabeth, died. He later married his third wife, Martina Nielson Anderson, and had two more children.
Jack died on October 10, 1899 at the age of 68. He is buried with his second wife Elizabeth in the Fremont Cemetery (Wayne County, Utah).
Named After A President: A U.S. Tradition
It turns out that parents often named their children after U.S. presidents. Here are some fun facts from the Social Security Administration:
- In 1933, the name “Franklin” jumped to No. 33, up from No. 147 in 1931.
- The name “Dwight” climbed in the 1950’s; similarly, “Lyndon” surged in the 1960’s (going from No. 635 in 1962 to No. 348 in 1964).
- “Theodore” peaked in the first decade of the 20th century.
- “Lincoln” (for boys) and “Reagan” (for girls) became very popular in the 1990’s.
- In 1928, the name “Hoover” came in at No. 367 for boys’ names. However, in 1931 (in the midst of the Great Depression), the name dropped to No. 945.
- “Clinton” was a fairly popular name in the 1970’s and 1980’s and ranked No. 211 in 1992. Following the Monica Lewinsky scandal, however, the name plummeted to No. 664.
Naming your child after a U.S. president was a way to honor the prestigious office while expressing a form of American pride. Following the Watergate scandal in the 1970’s, however, the tradition started to fade as people began to view the office with a cynical eye. Despite this, it seems the tradition is gaining in popularity, especially in the African American community following the election of Barack Obama. Hopefully this is an American tradition that will live on through the ages.