Curious Names

Curious Names.


And article in a recent number of Hearth and Home quoted a number of the queer names found in the official registry of births in England and Wales. Perhaps it is not generally known that our own census returns furnish appellations quite as extraordinary.

Bildad Bishop 1870 Census CT

Witness such remarkable compounds as Nancy Yancey, Phoebe Beebe, Bildad Bishop, and others, which occur more frequently than might at first be supposed.

Phoebe Beebe 1870 Census NJ

The exploits of the valiant Preserved Fish, whose standard was a cod fish rampant, are chronicled in the Knickerbocker’s “History of New York.”

Preserved Fish 1870 Census NY

NOTE: Preserved’s father’s name is Served Fish!

Preserved Green 1880 Census RI

Less known to fame is Mr. Preserved Green, at the present time a resident of Rhode Island, whose development, to judge at least from his name, must have been checked at an early stage of his career.

NOTE: Preserved Green was a clergyman, according to the census record. His neighbor was German Potter, who also had a son named German. Living with Preserved Green was a Freeborn Potter (and wife and children,) who must have been a son-in-law or possibly just boarding with the Green family.

Waitstill Hastings 1880 Census NY

Some instances are found in which the first name and the last name are of contradictory meaning, as in the case of a New York gentleman whose parents christened him Waitstill Hastings, and that of the learned member of the Texas judiciary, Judge Pleasant Yell.

Pleasant Yell 1870 Census TX

In other cases there is a sort of humorous coincidence between the person’s name and his occupation — notably in that of a Connecticut butcher, whose sign displays the fierce inscription, I.B. Savage.

NOTE: I couldn’t find Mr. Savage on census records, although there was an Isaac Savage.

Consider Tinkler 1860 Census IN

The daily papers tell us that one Consider Tinkler, a Communist, has just been pardoned by President Thiers. It is hardly necessary to add that he was an American.

NOTE: I am not sure what is meant by “hardly necessary to add” and who it refers to, but Tinkler, “the communist” was born in Canada, according to census records.

Federal C. Adams 1880 Census OH

Nowhere else than in New England would parents be likely to bestow upon their children such Christian, or rather unchristian, names as Federal Constitution and Fourth of July.

Notice: Federal’s father was  a John Q. Adams! They must have been quite the patriotic family.

July 4th Woods 1880 Census PA

The recipient of the latter was a girl who, on growing up to years of discretion, wisely preferred to sign her name “Julie F.” We have heard too, of an unnatural parent who called his son Almighty Dollar, but this case is not so well authenticated.

Lots of males named Dollar, but I couldn’t find the Almighty Dollar. This one though, is pretty good:

Dollar Cash 1880 Census PA

NOTE: Mr. Cash lived in Standing Stone, PA, and he was a stone-cutter.

Dollar Quarter 1880 Census MA

NOTE: And Mr Peter Quarter has three sons,  oldest one is George (how boring) but then he got creative  with the younger ones:  Dollar and  Prosper.

The author of that interesting book, “Old Landmarks of Boston,” speaks of the singular juxtaposition of names in the ancient burying-ground at Copp’s Hill, and informs us that Mr. John Milk and Mr. William Beer repose there side by side, as also Samuel Mower and Theodocia Hay, Timothy Gay, and Daniel Graves, Elizabeth Toot and Thomas Scoot, Charity Brown, Elizabeth Scarlet and Margaret White, Ann Ruby and Emily Hone.

Google Books has it online: LINK (the above section is on pg 206)

Title  Old landmarks and historic personages of Boston
Author    Samuel Adams Drake
Edition    5
Publisher Roberts brothers, 1876

Our Puritan ancestors had an affection for Scriptural names, and allowed few to remain unused; and it might be inferred from such examples as Mahershalalhashbaz Dyer and Ananias Concklin that the stock was sometimes almost exhausted.

Usual Peach 1850 Census OH

Note: Usual didn’t seem to be all that “usual” of a name. I only found a few of them.

Exercise Still 1850 Census IL

This guy, evidently, can sit still and exercise.

Next to Scripture appellations, the names of virtues, abstract qualities, and the like, were most in use among the early inhabitants of New England; and boys, when baptised, were called by such names as Comfort, Consider, Difficulty, Exercise, Fathergone Joy, Justice Pardon, Praise God, Seaborn Wait, or Usual;

Mindwell Voter 1870 Census ME

This next one is too funny:

Pity Date 1870 Census LA

while upon the girls were bestowed such as Content, Deliverance, Desire, Experience, Mindwell, Makepeace, Pity, Peaceable, Rejoice, Relief, Remarkable, Submit, Silence, Thankful, Wealthy — most of them manifestly inappropriate to the young ladies of the present day. — Hearth and Home.

Submit Paine 1860 Census ME

Poor girl, I wonder how her husband treated her?

Silence Horn 1870 Census PA

An example of an oxymoron name.

Wealthy Savage 1870 Census CT

The wealthy Savage above, and below,  the love Savage:

Love Savage 1860 Census NY

Edwardsville Intelligencer (Edwardsville, Illinois) May 29,  1873

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One Response to “Curious Names”

  1. Taking the Census: “Answer a Fool According to His Folly” « YesterYear Once More Says:

    […] Curious Names […]

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