Would you have qualms about naming your child if the name was well known when combined with your surname.
As far as I'm concerned, there were plenty of anonymous "William Clinton"'s before the president and it shouldn't matter that there'll be others after him.
What about people that were popular in their day, but are now largely forgotten by the offline world (*finding an old figure with that name through a google search is not a reliable indicator of how famous they still are offline*) (forex Vaughn De Leath and Peggy-Jean Montgomery who are largely remembered only by 1920s/silent era buffs)
It would depend on how common the name is in general usage and who the 'famous' person is.
I would probably avoid it if the person was still alive. Or if they were dead, but there were negative connotations to the name.
James is a very common name, but I wouldn't use it if my surname was Saville.
There is plenty of time for secrets to be revealed about Bill Clinton/scandals to arise. I think right now William Clinton would be fine, but who knows....10 years down the line Bill Clinton could be up on rape charges, name in the papers all the time with such negative connotations. I wouldn't want my 10 year old son to share a name with him.
If at all possible I would avoid naming my child after someone very famous. If it's someone long dead and mostly forgotten/who didn't do anything terrible, then probably fine.
Depends on how famous the person is that they'd share the name with I think. As a nurse I shout out names in a waiting room, and people called things like 'Michael Jackson' or 'Victoria Beckham' always have to endure slight giggles and looks when their name is called out. That kind of thing would really put me off picking a name that another well known person has.
I have a famous name, and my famous namesake is a man, with a girl's name as his stage name. It raises a few and I have a cupboard full of cds I'd never normally buy. It's fine. Makes me very difficult to Google too.
But as i said there are plenty of people who were famous in their time and largely forgotten now. Google is not reliable as an indication of whether most people in the offline world remember these people so checking Google can give a false impression.
Depends HOW famous. If most people know the famous name, then no. (If it would score over 60/70 on Pointless for example!) We had a similar dilemma and discounted our favourite name for that reason sadly, it just wouldn't have been fair because everyone would have laughed every time the name was read out in school / at the doctors etc. Maybe ok if the name has a different nickname. Harry Potter you can't do as someone said, but I would actually consider William Clinton because everyone knows him as Bill and yours would more likely be a Will. Probably still wouldn't though.
And met someone who was one letter away from having the same name as a female singer
I agree that if both names are very common it's not as bad but that caution should still be used, as you never know when something will come out that taints the bane forever, like jimmy Saville, Rolf Harris,