Thursday, January 10, 2013

What's in a Name?

Public Service Announcement: If you want a good laugh, "like" the Twisted Twigs on Gnarled Branches Facebook page. Deidre Erin Denton sends out genealogy themed cartoons over Facebook and they are hysterical. I think Twisted's posts get more shares than any others I have seen. Deidre also writes a regular blog that showcases her actual genealogy research which you might also be interested in. You can read it HERE. Have fun!

I love names. The more unusual the better. Not only is is easier to search through records when you are dealing with an unusual name, it is just plain fun to see what names some parents come up with. Here are a few favorites from my file. If you have some really interesting names, post them in the comments.

Masterdon Alonzo Wood (1876-1941)
Thiot Morris (1921-1945)
Bazzle Emmanuel Fountain (1845-1924) Yathastha Zachary (abt.1740-aft.1790)
Marmaduke Jowers (1738-1790)
Senate Edwards (1823-aft.1857)
Lemuel Elexander Graham (1878-1901)
Azor Eluid Sally (1857-1921)
Bizar Filmore Lee (1885-aft.1900)
Zinnamon Frank Lee (1834-bet.1903-1929)
Anguish Bruce Perry (1860-1945)
Birmah Lee Reid (1883-1955)
Pinkney Theodocia Patton (1883-1966)
Kenion Eden Barefoot (1822-1881)
Zenobia Maddox (1873-1936)
Dolphin Fairchilds (abt.1789-aft.1810)
Toxie Graham (1912-2003, this is a male)
Plummer Ladner (1835-1864)
Rutilous Ladner (abt.1833-aft.1856)
Leonidas Ebenezer Martin (abt.1841-aft.1860)
Commodore Decater Blackston (1820-1844)
Wylanty Hudson (abt.1838-aft.1850)
Cephas Pleiades Knox (abt.1863-aft.1880)
Scot Dargan Entrekin (1910-1911)
Verbon Hyatt (1913-1992)
Gazaway Watkins Sims Lewis (1859-1929)
Littleberry Lewis (1831-1904)
Zadoe Patton (abt.1833-aft.1850)

I'm sorry but I just can't see myself calling to my 3 year old, "Marmaduke! Come here right this minute, Marmaduke!" What were they thinking? Let's hope that Marmaduke had a nickname. My favorite name of all is Smiley Haney Simmons (1900-2003). What a sweet name to give a child, Smiley. I spoke with Smiley several times before he died and he certainly lived up to his name.

Copyright © 2013 Michele Simmons Lewis


  1. Hi Michele,
    I have nominated your blog for the Blog of the Year 2012 blog award, for details and the rules of the award please see Thanks for all your interesting posts.

  2. Oh my goodness! That is very kind of you!

  3. I have lots of weird family names, but my all-time favorite is: Fannie Rash Kilby (1849-1941). She lived in Wilkes County, NC, and is on Find-A-Grave.

  4. I think Fannie Rash Kilby is the winner, hands down!!
    But I have four that I smile over whenever I work on them.
    Juke Alva Manuel Cox
    Magdalena Bezel
    Americus Volney Hurd
    Izella Lucretia Salisbury (The most unpretentious woman I have ever known, but at about 5 feet tall, she would stand very straight and *declaim* her name, and then grin....

  5. Fannie Rash? Really? That is just so wrong!

    When I see an odd name I always wonder WHERE it came from. I have a hard time believing that these parents just made these things up (though that is a common phenomenon these days!)

  6. Rutilous Ladner married an ancestor of mine, Victoria Taylor, so that name was Google bait for me.... He died at Vicksburg in 1863--I'm descended from her second husband Hezekiah Slade. Hezekiah, Zebulon, and Zechariah are very popular names in my family tree. "Hez" and "Zeb" are semi-cool nicknames, but what do you do with Zechariah? Zech? Yech!

    Lake Erie Sessums (1840-1883) has long been my favorite quirky ancestor name. As far as I know, her parents never traveled anywhere near Lake Erie.

    1. Kicking myself, because there's an ocean of sloppy genealogy information out there and I have become part of the problem. It was Elizabeth Slade who married Mr. Ladner and Mr. Rouse. Helena Victoria Taylor was her mother's name.

  7. Well it is nice to meet you, cousin! Rutilous' wife Elizabeth is my 1st cousin 4 times removed :) :) :)