The other day there was a Daily Post Writing Challenge about names, mainly thinking about your name and the meaning behind it – why did your parents give you the name they did?
I don’t really understand exactly why my parents chose Alexandra, initially my mother was planning to call me Ross if I was a boy and Rosalind if I was a girl, but when I came along my Mum decided on something totally different. My Dad’s boss at the time was called Alex, so no idea if that played a part! My siblings and I do not have middle names, something which I used to dislike when I was a child, most of my friends had them and I felt a bit left out. Initially I made up the middle name Mary when I was about 5 but then discarded it when I discovered that it was also my Mum’s middle name so I went with Amy for a while but soon stopped bothering. In some ways it was good not to have one when actually most of my friends with middle names were so embarrassed by the ones they had been lumbered with.
While I was thinking about that I thought about the people who over recent years have been given some pretty odd names to go along with particular trends, like calling their child Gandalf or Harry Potter. It often amazes me how many parents don’t seem to have a concept of how difficult it might be for a child to grow up with an odd name like that. Kids can be cruel, no matter how much we try to bring them up to be nice to others, it’s hard sometimes to not laugh at a weird name. But naming children after trending things is nothing new, as are weird sounding names.
In the course of my time as a genealogist I have come across some great names and I do often note down odd ones that make me laugh or just sound pretty fanciful or unique.
My ex had a Lettice Bowle in his tree which always amused me. And my husband has a Prizany Millington and some Bransome Bangle’s in his tree.
Usually when I am looking in parish records I come across some gems like these:
Also on one page of a burial register from Chatham, Kent I found a couple of interesting entries:
A rather normal sounding John Bacon along with a Margaret Chicken and Christopher Crocodile!
What interesting names do you have in your tree or have come across while researching? I’d love to hear about them!