March 25th, 2012

Atlantic Weather 1943

I am writing a fanfic set in WW2 America and Europe. As part of the story a smallish convoy of personnel and equipment from a para-military organisation are crossing the Atlantic (New York to Liverpool) in mid-May 1943.

I know that this month was a turning point in the Battle of the Atlantic and that a number of U-boats and ships in convoy sank. However, what I can't find is what the weather for the month was like. If any one could recommend somewhere to find this information, or even tell me straight out, that would be great. I am specifically looking for information from the 16th-20th, but an average for the month would also be acceptable.

Earliest use of a name or nickname

Does anybody know of a good online database that shows the earliest usage of a particular given name or nickname?

I know the Social Security Administration maintains info on the popularity of names (all the way back to 1880, apparently!), but that doesn't tell me if the nickname I have in mind -- "Manda" for Amanda -- is a twentieth-century invention or not.

(Ultimately it isn't a big deal; this is a secondary-world fantasy, so I can technically do whatever I want, and the name is going into the story one way or another, due to outside factors. But the OCD part of my brain wants to know whether it suits a nineteenth-century-ish setting or not.)

As a side note, I looked through the archives for this tag, and was interested to see which cultures come up again and again in naming questions. Japanese is easy to explain -- o hai thar anime -- but what are community members doing that makes Russian such a frequent topic of inquiry? :-)

Update: Many thanks to everybody who responded. I appear to be safe with this particular name, but I'd love additional links to resources that track this kind of thing more generally.