Roll call is tricky for a Francis Douglas Memorial College teacher who has seven Jacobs on his list.
The school's year 7 class boasts seven Jacobs out of its 29 students. An eighth Jacob was initially set to join them but had since enrolled with another school.
The 11 and 12-year-old Jacobs destined to spend this year together are Jakob Erb, Jacob Donlon, Jacob Hooker, Jacob Judd, Jacob Marshall, Jacob Bamber and Jacob Morton.
Fortunately for form teacher, Marc Gallagher, six of his Jacobs are spelt the usual way, the other having a "k" in his name.
Mr Gallagher said it was an unusual situation. "Usually you have the one or two with the same names."
He initially thought of calling each boy by their initials but became unstuck when it came to Judd, whose initials of JJ, was another student's name.
So it was decided the Jacobs would have to use their last names as their first names.
Donlon, Hooker and Morton would be Donnie, Hooksey, and Mort respectively.
Department of Internal Affairs records showed Jacob was the ninth most popular name in New Zealand for 2002, with 308 babies, and the name moved up to sixth place in 2003, with 334 babies.
But Jacob is not the only popular name on the college's roll of 770 students.
Right across the school, there were 19 Joshuas and 19 Benjamins, 17 Samuels or Sams, 15 Jacobs (including the year 7 boys), 12 Matthews, 12 Liams, 10 James and 6 Michaels.
Alex and Daniel recorded seven each, while Cameron, Joseph and Andrew tied at nine.
- Taranaki Daily News
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