No Blarney: Murphy Most Popular Irish Surname in Boston & Chicago


Chicago, it’s your lucky day.

Chicago tops Boston, another stronghold of Irish ancestry, if you’re tallying Irish last names, according to our data.

Even with Mayor Walsh heading up Boston, the City of Big Shoulders has people with Irish surnames and that’s not even counting Mrs. O’Leary (whose name makes the Top 10 in both cities).

There are nearly six times as many Murphys in Chicago as Boston, but it’s the top name in both towns.

So if you plan to partake in the wearing of the green, enjoy corned beef and cabbage or pull a pint of Guinness on St. Patrick’s Day, pull up a three-legged stool and ponder the most popular Irish surnames in Boston and Chicago:

Most Popular Irish Names in Chicago:

Murphy – 3768
Kelly – 3326
Ryan – 1810
Walsh – 1592
O’Brien – 1428
O’Donnell – 694
O’Connell – 668
O’Malley – 639
Byrne – 492
O’Leary – 322

Most Popular Irish Names in Boston:

Murphy – 637
O’Brien – 473
Walsh – 453
Kelly – 425
Ryan – 381
O’Connell – 165
O’Neill – 154
O’Donnell – 136
Byrne – 123
O’Leary – 97

And a tip o’ the hat to my dear brother Jack on his St. Paddy’s Day birthday!

The Startup Office Space Has a New Meaning


We’ve all heard the story before, the tale of the now-powerful tech company’s humble origins. Perhaps the business began in the founder’s parent’s basement, or in the broom closet of a more established company. Maybe it was begun between roommates in a dorm room, or built from startup to viability from the warehouse that doubled as the family home’s garage. While the details change, the mythic story remains the same – persistence despite unpleasant work environments allowed the tiny startup to become a business goliath.

However alluring this tale may be, current realities in the tech industry have rendered it increasingly obsolete. In fact, it’s the growth of the industry itself that has most changed the game in today’s era. As being on the cutting edge is part and parcel in the business, tech companies have routinely led the way in innovative office spaces as well. Gone are the days of the windowless basement, as companies have used their successes to pioneer new concepts in office design and functionality.


Sitting area at WhitePages HQ

This innovative approach to office spaces has in many ways become the new standard for young companies to aspire to. These days, it’s not uncommon for new companies to invest in Class A buildings from the start. As competition for the best human resources is always fierce, operating in a convenient downtown location in a space with an open, high-tech, and modern feel can be an important instrument for convincing the best and brightest to get on board with a less established company. Susie Algard, the CEO and “re-founder” of, has seen first-hand how this trend is becoming the new norm. The Seattle-based company connects businesses with local office spaces in their area and has been in startup mode since Algard took over three years ago. According to her, “In a vibrant start up community like Seattle, where talented people are in high demand, they don’t want to make sacrifices when it comes to work space. Many entrepreneurs feel strongly that their work space is an important facet of their culture and want to set the right tone from the start.”

In some ways, this type of work environment has become not only desired, but also expected by new workers entering the tech industry. The significant press coverage of innovative offices such as those at Facebook and Google has created a new ideal in the minds of many young prospective employees. The desire to enter a field that is different from the traditional button-down business environment is often an important factor in young employees choosing the tech industry in the first place. For many young talents, working in the tech industry is seen as a way to remain hip and modern while attaining a high level of business success.


Open floor plan at WhitePages

In addition to these perceptive and competitive aspects there is also the fact that these new approaches to office space seem to provide tangible benefits as well. Sleek, modern office spaces with features such as open floor plans, natural lighting, sofas, and game rooms undoubtedly make going to the office a lot more comfortable for employees, and it’s no secret that relaxed, happy employees are much more likely to become motivated employees. Not only do unique office spaces attract potential employees, they also help to get the best from them.
Even we here at WhitePages have recently taken steps towards improving our offices, having completed a series of renovations aimed at improving both form and function of the space. Adopting a clean open floor plan and adding features such as a large communal kitchen area and staircase to join our two floors has no only improved aesthetics, but also the ease of communication and collaboration.

While these concepts were mostly pioneered by large, established companies, they have quickly become vital for new startups as well. The days where the number of any given city’s experts in the field could be counted on one hand have passed, and new graduates are entering the field at an ever-increasing rate. However, not everyone can immediately join an established company, and for many, new startups are seen as intriguing alternatives that hold the potential for rapid career advancement. As such, competition can be fierce for new talent at this level, and more and more startups are realizing the advantages of investing in dynamic office spaces from an early stage.

5 Names of Downton Abbey that deserve a comeback


Some names are timeless, ‘Mary’, for example, is one such name.  It’s withstood every new trend, and has remained one of the most popular girls names for as long as we’ve been tracking them. Other names are not so lucky.

Downton Abbey brings to light a bygone era of gramophones, butlers and corsets, as well as ‘Beryl’s, ‘Ethel’s and ‘Elsie’s.  We’ll never be able to re-live that time, but these 5 names of Downton are definitely deserving of a comeback.


5.  Violet


According to WhitePages Names, ‘Violet’ hit a its peak in 1919, then almost completely fell out of favor about 30 years ago.  As one of the first flower names to become popular, ‘Violet’ definitely deserves a comeback, and is doing its best.  Today, 33% of people with the name are under the age of 12.


4.  Gwen


This name hit its stride in the middle of the century, and has since taken a turn for the worse. ‘Gwen’ is the short version of ‘Gwendolen’, which conjures up images of an era long before Downton Abbey.  Though not as popular as ‘Mary’, ‘Gwen’ is a timeless name that we’re sure to see again.


3.  Evelyn


While no longer a boy’s name, ‘Evelyn’ is starting to make a comeback as a girl’s name.  Like the name ‘Violet’, ‘Evelyn’ fell out of popularity about 30 years ago, but is coming back strong.  As of 2013, 23% of people with the name ‘Evelyn’ were under the age of 12.  Unfortunately, only .06% are male.


2.  Vera


If you’re an avid viewer of Downton Abbey you’re probably wondering why this name made our list. Putting prejudices aside, ‘Vera’ is a beautiful name that has fallen into obscurity since its height of popularity in 1911.  Vera Bates didn’t help the cause much, but we’re still hopeful.


1.  Sybil


Perhaps we’re a little biased, but never-the-less, ‘Sybil’ deserves a comeback.  Only 18,143 Americans have this name, and of those people only .06% are under the age of 12.  ‘Sybil’ hit its peak in 1919, and has been trending down ever since.  We’re hopeful Sybil Branson helped turn the tide on this name.

From Best Buy to Booze, WhitePages’ Top Holiday Searches Revealed


As yet another holiday season rolls around the corner, WhitePages peered into the holiday habits of Americans by analyzing the billions of WhitePages searches that happen over the holidays.

Findings show that the need for companionship may weigh heavy on the hearts of many Americans during the holiday season, with searches for both dating services and pets showing dramatic spikes that rival the surge in address searches for the sending of cards and packages each holiday season.

All I Want for Christmas is a Companion


With no one to kiss under the mistletoe or when the clock strikes midnight, the holidays can make single guys and gals everywhere long for companionship. Searches for dating services see an increase of 256% leading up to the holidays. In addition, many people look to friends of the furry variety during the holidays with searches for pet stores more than doubling in the weeks between Thanksgiving and December 31st.

Wild Turkey


While New Year’s Eve is thought of as the most raucous of the holidays, people may be just as inclined to stock up on beer, wine and spirits in preparation for the big family Thanksgiving meal. Searches for liquor stores spike more than 614% in the days before Thanksgiving, compared with 303% at Christmas and 398% on New Year’s Eve.

Order Up


Despite the myth that Chinese restaurants see heavy traffic over Christmas, searches for Chinese food are actually the highest between Christmas and New Year’s, when people are tired of cooking and can’t stomach another cheese plate. Searches for Chinese restaurants are highest on December 28th, at over 225% more than the week before Christmas.

The Last Minute Rush


People wait a lot later than you’d think to get to the Post Office. While searches for local post offices increase steadily in the weeks leading up to Christmas, they spike, by more than 210%, in the three days immediately before the holiday.

WhitePages’ Website and mobile apps also see an increase in consumers looking up addresses for friends and family during the final weeks of December, peaking with a 217% increase on Dec. 18th. The WhitePages directory is the definitive resource for consumers to confirm mailing addresses on the Web and on the go.

Those looking to avoid a stampede should steer clear of the mall as well. Queries for Nordstrom, Macy’s, Best Buy and Target all more than doubled two days before Christmas.

Drama with your Mama


Every family has their own drama, which tends to amplify during the togetherness of the holidays, and it may be enough to make some people sue-happy. Whether it’s contesting the family will, suing a relative or filing for divorce, searches for attorneys spike at the end of year, perhaps in an effort to finalize legal actions before the New Year.

Battling the Holiday Bulge


It’s no surprise that searches for gyms go up around the New Year but it appears people stretch their gluttony past the first day on the new calendar. Searches for gym memberships actually peak on January 10th, when they’re more than three times as high as they were two weeks prior. By the end of January, gym searches normalize, hinting that Americans moved on from their resolutions.

We’re open!

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For the past 5 months our Seattle office has been undergoing an extreme makeover. What was once an uninspired labyrinth of cubicles is now a swanky & vibrant space designed to draw out creativity and innovation from the people who inhabit it.

Yesterday, shortly after the final nail was hammered in, the office officially opened with a fantastic celebration of the team who pulled it all together. Joel, Rose, Alex & Patrick – Thank you. Your hard work has resulted in one heck of a transformation.

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Some photos from our christening celebration:
photo office

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