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Duchnowski: Naming popular baby names in DeKalb County

My favorite opening I’ve written for a newspaper article is: Anna Trunek loves three Georges and a Georgene.

It appeared in the June 17, 2007, issue of Northwest Herald, a fellow Shaw Media publication, in an article about children named after a parent. Anna Trunek married George Trunek on Valentine’s Day 59 years earlier and gave his son his name and his daughter a female variation of it. Then, George Trunek Jr. overruled his wife’s suggestion of Kyle and passed the name onto his son, although he claimed family members called the youngest George “Bud” to avoid confusion at family functions.

I suppose some parents want their children’s names to be a bit more unique, though.

That was part of the reason DeKalb County Clerk John Acardo started compiling lists of the most popular baby names in DeKalb County: Shortly after he was elected in November 2010, several friends who were expecting and didn’t want to use popular names asked him about it.

Now, he releases the list of the most popular local baby names every six months. From January through June, 477 babies were born in DeKalb County, 243 boys and 234 girls.

The most popular names for girls were: Olivia, Alexa, Emma, Grace and Abigail, in that order. For boys, they were: Isaac, Andrew, Jaxon, Matthew and Michael.

Olivia also made the national top five list for baby girl names in 2012, as compiled by the Social Security Administration. Nationally, Isabella, Olivia, Ava, and Emma have been quite popular in recent years, while Jacob has topped the boys list since 1999.

You can check out the national lists for the past 100 years here:

You can check out past lists for DeKalb County here:

Thanks to Acardo’s lists, Jaxon and Chace have been added to my list of potential baby names. I’m not opposed to a Jillian Jr., either. It’ll be awhile before I have to worry about such things, but it doesn’t hurt to be prepared.

Google fail: A more immediate need, though, is suggestions for good places to walk dogs. Ideal would be a park or forest preserve with bathrooms, garbage cans, trails in which we could comfortably walk 3 to 5 miles and running water to hydrate BlackJack. (As his name might lead you to believe, he’s black and fluffy, so he needs plenty of water in this heat.)

BlackJack and I have walked the length of the Nature Trail a few times and around our DeKalb neighborhood a few hundred times, but I could use some suggestions from you, dear readers. When I used Google to search for dog friendly places in DeKalb, all I got was apartment listings.

BlackJack (and I) would sincerely appreciate any recommendations you can make.

• Jillian Duchnowski is the Daily Chronicle’s news editor. Reach her at 815-756-4841, ext. 2221, or email

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