York Town Square

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What is in a name? For achieving women from York County, Katharine and Elizabeth were tops

Katharine Shorey served as York, Pa.’s, Martin Library’s first library director, organizing and administrator the library for its 1935 opening. Her first name was among the most common for women profiled in the 1984 book “Legacies: Remembrances of York County Women.” Also of interest: About York, Pa. 100 years ago: ‘Isn’t that the city that doesn’t have a public library?’ and Delma Rivera, ‘Legacies.’

In prepping for speeches of women of accomplishment in York County’s history, I noticed that certain names kept appearing.
In a kind of a fun exercise, I assessed 50 women profiled in the American Association of University Women’s “Legacies” booklet.
The top names of these achieving women? …

Four variations of Katharine and an equal number of Elizabeths.
The Katharines: Katherine Beecher, Kathryn Fourhman, Katharine Haviland Taylor, and Katharine Shorey.
The Elizabeths: Elizabeth Gassert, Elizabeth Marshall, Elizabeth Sechrist, Elizabeth Smith.
Interestingly, moms in those days did not borrow from the most recent British queen, with the exception of Victoria (Lyles).
The list was full of names common for that day, defined mostly as the first three decades of the 20th century: Helen, Anna, Nellie and Martha.
Interestingly, some of these traditional names are making a comeback today: Emily (Kain), Christine (Dann) and Janette (Woolsey).
As I said, all of this is good fun. I find recent – and future – speeches on this topic an opportunity to tell about the often-overlooked accomplishments of women all the way back to the 1760s.
Here’s a full listing of the names of the 50 women profiled in “Legacies.”
Also of interest:

All yorktownsquare.com women’s history posts from the start.
– Circulation copies of “Legacies” are available via the York County Library System.
Additional “Legacies” posts:
Katharine Beecher.
Delma Rivera.
Eleanor Johnson.
Mattie Chapman.
All York Town Square posts from the start. Then use “find” function on browser to search for keywords.
– Of course, you can always search for York Town Square posts on Google. For example, when you search for yorktownsquare and Martin Library, you get this.