Name – Skill Correlation

I’ve often wondered; is there any relationship between people that have names easily identified with a certain skill and their propensity to take up that skill, or at least to have a greater than usual interest in that skill?

You see why I’ve wondered; my last name is Gibson, just like many a highly-regarded (albeit overpriced, some would say) guitar, mandolin and banjo. (By the way, I play a Stelling Red Fox, but wouldn’t mind switching to a Gibson Granada someday.) And no, I’m not related to anyone at Gibson; not to my knowledge, at least.

At least one well-known person, the pianist Alicia Keys, changed her last name just for this association.

What about some other name – skill associations? Some are pretty obvious, like last names Carpenter, Justice, Farmer, Mason, etc.

Here are some other interesting ones I can think of off the top of my head:

Fender – guitars
Ludwig – drums
Kennedy – politics
Rockefeller – finance
Carnegie – finance, philanthropy
Ford – automotive

I googled this Name-Skill Association topic, but didn’t find anything of relevance.

About Pgibson

I'm from Huntsville, Alabama where I work as a Software Engineer and part-time banjo instructor. My wife Miiko and I worship at Rivertree Downtown. I've been playing various instruments since my teen years. I started mandolin and dulcimer at about age 17 and banjo at 20. I love just about all kinds of music. In terms of banjo styles, I play and teach Scruggs, melodic, clawhammer, and 2-finger styles. I'm also very keen on theology, being a Trail Care Partner with the Land Trust of North Alabama, photography, urban planning, architecture, astronomy, ATM (amateur telescope making), birding, martial arts, and about 30 other distracting hobbies to a (mercifully) lesser extent.
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