Saint name for baby girl -Gemma is quickly rising up the charts!

How the name "Gemma" as a baby girl name is growing in popularity by leaps and bounds here in the USA

The Social Security Administration has published a yearly record of the top 1000 baby names for each year dating all the way back to the year 1880 (136 years!).  It's really a fascinating and fun database to play around with searching different names of interest. 

When viewing the baby names over the different decades, it becomes quite obvious how such a database readily reflects the "spirit" and the trends of each generation and time period. And so it is that I personally found the information on the baby name "Gemma" to be very interesting, since it reveals how significantly Saint Gemma is inspiring and influencing moms and dads of today!

Going all the way back to Gemma's lifetime in the late 1800's-early 1900's, we find that the name "Gemma" here in the USA never makes it to the top 1000 chart for any year until very recently. In fact, when we do a search of the name Gemma, we find that it never entered the top 1000 name charts even once until the year 2008, when it broke into the charts at number 886!

And so, here is the popularity baby name chart for the name Gemma:

YEAR---Number rank
2008---886 (out of the 1000 most popular names)
2009---564
2010---450
2011---354
2012---318
2013---316
2014---272
2015---269

So, what we see by the rankings is that since 2008 the popularity of the baby name "Gemma" is steadily growing every year, and incidentally 2008 is also the year when this website began. An interesting coincidence!

According to Nameberry.com, "...the name Gemma is a jewel of a name, an Italian classic that was very popular in 1980's in England, but has only recently been started to be used here; it entered the list in 2008, and is already at 269.

Coming from a medieval Italian nickname for a precious gem, Gemma was the name of Dante's wife and was borne by a nineteenth century saint. Coming from a medieval Italian nickname for a precious gem, Gemma was the name of Dante's wife and was also borne by a nineteenth century saint." 

And so the good news is that in the past 8 years, we here in the USA have lots of little Gemma's frolicking about, and we who venerate St Gemma know that these little ones have a very powerful patron Saint and intercessor in heaven to watch over and guide them. So let us hope that the baby name Gemma continues to rise up the popularity charts, so that more and more people may come to know the incredible things that God wrought through His servant, St Gemma!
Go Gemma!

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"It is an easy love, oh Jesus, to love someone that never gets angry with those who offend Him. Many times I have seen, oh Jesus, that while justice demands that I be punished, You take steps to prevent this punishment, even to have it withdrawn. I have found a Jesus so infatuated with my heart that he knows not how to embitter it.....He wants everything for Himself in reparation for my sins. It is almost a lucky break for me to have been born a sinner, because the veins of my Lord are always open, full of that Sacramental Blood!"  -Words of St Gemma Galgani

6 comments:

Gemma said...

My name is Gemma and every American I've met has pronounced it wrong so hopefully with the increase of popularity you will be all able to say it correctly.
(JEH-MAH) :)

genevil said...

I would love to believe the popularity of the name is because of the Saint, but I'm sure it's actually because of the character on the TV show, Sons of Anarchy. A character who has few, if any, admirable traits, but it was an incredibly popular TV show during its run, a run that coincides with the name data.

Jamie said...

I just named my baby Gemma for love of the saint, but I always get "Oh, Sons of Anarchy!" Grrr. AND I get "Jenna?" or G pronounced hard as in goat. Double Grrr. But gives me an opportunity to introduce someone to our heavenly friend.

Glenn Dallaire said...


" But gives me an opportunity to introduce someone to our heavenly friend."
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I love it Jamie! My wife and I have a Gemma also (named after our heavenly friend, of course!) and she is 14 years old now. It has always been such a consolation for us to know that our little Gemma has such a wonderful patron Saint watching over her. St Gemma, pray for us!

May God bless you and your loved ones,
Glenn Dallaire

Gemma said...

The TV character association will die out. I've never had anyone mention that regarding my name but I live in Australia where it was a common name for girls who were born in the late 80's/early 90's.
My biggest problem was people spelling it with a J or occasionally a few foreigners prounoncing with the hard G.
I was in the UK recently where it's a very common name and I was so happy going to a coffee shop where the guy asked my name and perfectly wrote "Gemma" on my cup!
I've had a couple of Catholics say "oh Saint Gemma! She's a great Saint" when learning of my name and one nun once, said she wasn't allowed to hear about Saint Gemma as a child because it was a 'scary story' apparently. Won't forget that comment.
Also I'll add that I was named this name purely from my mum reading it in a baby book, I come from a non-Christian family so nothing to do with the Saint. I became a Christian in my late teens and learnt of St Gemma, and started reading more about her when I became Catholic in 2013 - and had the perfect confirmation name!

This site helped me learn more about her so thanks!
- Gemma, 25 years old from Australia.

Glenn Dallaire said...


Thanks for your comments Gemma from Australia! May St Gemma always be very close to you and may she continue to lead you ever closer to Jesus and Mary.

May God bless you and your loved ones,
-Glenn Dallaire

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