Is there a genealogist in the house?

According to Internet phone directories, the first names Flay, Flake, and Zeb are more numerous in North Carolina than in any other state. More than one quarter of all Zebs in the United States live in North Carolina.

Surely many of those Zebs can be traced to Gov. Vance, but what about our disproportionate abundance of Flays and Flakes?

7 thoughts on “Is there a genealogist in the house?”

  1. The Flakes I have known . . . eerrrrrrr . . . I should say, the individuals that I have known who have been named “Flake” were carrying a family name as their first name. I believe there was/is a large group of people with the last name “Flake” in Anson and Davidson Counties.

  2. From perusing the 1880 census, it appears the Flake family was notable in Anson and Union Counties at that time and also down east in Pitt County. I would guess that is all the same family, but one branch moved out to the far western frontier around 1750.

  3. Incidentally, in the 1880 Census nationally, the first name Flay shows up with the following frequency (by state):
    Georgia 7
    Missouri 3
    Texas 2
    Alabama 1
    Illinois 1
    Indiana 1
    Iowa 1
    Kansas 1
    Michigan 1
    North Carolina 1
    Pennsylvania 1
    South Carolina 1
    Tennessee 1
    Wisconsin 1

    So NC was not a big Flay state 130 years ago.

  4. The North Carolina People, Places, and Thingssearch allows you to search by first name. There are a handful of Flakes and Flays, though none notable enough to have inspired a wave of imitators, at least that I could see.

    But Zebulon is a different story. There are a few dozen Zebulons and over 20 people in the directory who have the first and middle names “Zebulon Vance.”

  5. I’ve heard that Democratic Party officials in the mountains gave a dollar to parents who named their sons for Zeb — apocryphal?

  6. I should be ashamed of myself. When mentioning this post to a friend, he said that he thought that there was a “Flay, NC.” I checked Google Maps. There is a “Flay, NC.” It is in my home county of Lincoln, just west of Lincolnton, and I have never heard of it! Yikes.

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