Girls named Madison – since when and why?

I have two nieces. One named Madison who was born in '94 and one named Carson who was born in '93. When my sister-in-law named her daughter Madison, there just weren’t many around at the time. It was different, and set her apart. That was then.

In fact, it was so rare at the time, that several people thought they had actually named their daughter Medicine when they heard it the first time. Well, several stupid people.

My sister named her daughter Carson because it was unusual. It was even an unusual name for a boy back then. In fact, I suppose it could have just as easily become a popular girls name instead of a boys name.

In the birth announcements a couple of years ago, I saw one for a boy named Madison! Generally, when I hear the name Madison these days, it’s a girl’s name. (never mind the variant spellings such as Maddison, Madisyn, etc.)

I don’t have any, like, you know, evidence, for this, but I’ve always assumd that Madison was part of the larger Southern trend of naming girls (and sometimes boys) after their mother or grandmother’s maiden name, if it isn’t too ugly: that’s where you get southern girls named Shelby and Montgomery and Kelly. Of course, once the name is out there it is picked up by others, and snowballs. If there are any pre-Splash Madisons out there, I’d guess this was the origin.

(As a side note, I’ve always liked this tradtion because it keeps the maiden name in the family. Unfortunantly, my mother was born a Slaughter.)

Oh, darn, I thought this was going to be a thread about how popular it has become to name girls names that were previously boy’s names, or names that were generally surnames.
leaves thread to once again apologize to son for naming him “Taylor”

The question has come up a couple times before:

Where did these names come from?
Madison before Daryl Hannah

I was about to debunk this by saying that I’ve met a few women in the past who were named Madison, but then realized that since their coworkers were named Summer, Diamond, Sweetness, and Vixen, that they probably just made it up.