Turns out naming a child (or a book character!) after a place is nothing new.
Check out this list of STATE NAMES given to children.
Here's a little from that post, above. Doesn't it make you want to click over and read it all?
And because fiction can be more satisfying than real life, here are some fictional characters with US State names:
Alaska Young in John Green's Looking for Alaska
Nevada Smith in Harold Robbins' The Carpetbaggers
Montana Wildhack in Kurt Vonnegut's Slaughterhouse-Five
Wyoming Knott in Robert Heinlein's The Moon is a Harsh Mistress
Arizona Ames in Zane Grey's Arizona Ames.
The daughter named KIM in Edna Ferber's Showboat:
And as Kim Ravenal you doubtless are familiar with her. It is no secret that the absurd monosyllable which comprises her given name is made up of the first letters of three states - Kentucky, Illinois, and Missouri - in all of which she was, incredibly enough, born - if she can be said to have been born in any state at all (Ferber 1).
And yes, I do obsess over names.
Can't seem to flesh out a character without the name fitting perfectly.
So I rejected Virginia, a state name?--not entirely, as a big sister.
She just wasn't a Virginia. Turns out, she was a Jesslyn.
Blogged about, here: http://ascattergood.blogspot.com/2011/08/name-game.html
And for my current, in revision, manuscript, I blogged about my Main Character's elusive name, here:
But I'm liking those state names. Great post. Thank you, Mississippi Library Commission!