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Unusual Given Names

Started by genealogynut, January 27, 2007, 08:36:45 AM

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I think it would be rather interesting for all of us to list the unusual given names that are known to us.

1. Prettyman  (Now....what kind of a name is that?  I think his mama must have really hated him, to stick him with that for all of his life)

2.  Platt (he's in my family history database)

3.  Playford  (one of my grandfather's)

4.  Columbus   (I ran across this name as I was doing a biography, and had never heard of anyone having that as a given name)

5.  Ignatz  (one of Don's great-grandfathers)

6.  Zadock   (another name that is my database)

7. Middleton

8. Secret

9. Surprise

10.  Achsah

11.  Memory

12. Christabella

13.  Avalon

14. Walsh

15. Treyton

16. Paulus

17.  Eder

18. Malfus/Marfus

19.  Fountain

20. Tuesday

C'mon, folks!   Help me out, by listing any unusual names you've heard of.


I could search my records and probably come up with some, but there is one that to me has always been unusual for a given name.

My father's given name was Pinckney.  He had an Uncle Pinckney and a great uncle Pinckney.  It used to be common to use the mother's surname as a given name for one of the children, preferably sons.  So I wonder if there is a connection to the Pinckneys of colonial times.  My 1965 World Book encyclopedia lists 4 Pinckneys, one of them, Elizabeth Lucas Pinckney, managed her father's plantations and after her husband's death, her own plantations.  She grew indigo.  Her 2 sons were too busy being politicians to become involved in farming.  Besides with a mother like her, they weren't needed.  Charles Cotesworthy Pinckney ran for president against Thomas Jefferson and again against James Madison.  Thomas Pinckney ran for vice-president against, but lost to Thomas Jefferson.

I haven't found any connection, but still wonder.

We also have a:
Zelphia Silivia

and for middle names:
Valentine ( born on Feb. 14)
Sumner (definitely a surname of a bride)
Perrin (also a bride's surname
Harvey (a known surname
and my own father's middle names
Ulysses Marquis--I have wondered why my father had 2 middle names and have concluded that Grandmother had 2 names that she still wanted to use and my father was the last of the babies.

Does this help, Lois.  At least it shows that you aren't the only one with odd given names.



Thanks, Wilma, for adding to the list. I'd never heard of them, either.   Anyone else know of unusual given names?


My dad's first name was Elmore and his middle name was Burgess. Until he died, he stood by the story that his middle name was from Burgess batteries. Now I know he was named after his Uncle Abraham Burgess Reynolds. I have only seen Elmore as a name of a town near my wife's hometown in IL. We also have Justeen (for a guy), Valentine (not born on Valentine's, just loved the name I guess. HA!). It seems that a family name is Theophilus. One branch had one in every family.

Closer to today, my wife and I thought we were be original with our first son's name. His name is Johanan Miguel (the first is pronounced Yo ha nan) It is German for Johannan and of course Miguel is Spanish for Michael. I was studying German and Spanish in college and thought it would be neat. He has been mortified by a principle calling him Hannah and has had it mispronounced more than having right. He usually goes by Joe. With our next child we tried to be more traditional going with Timothy Reid. Reid was a family name from my wife's side and was her Grandpa's middle name. The girl's name we were considering was Tabitha Renee. When we told Ruth's mom, she said, "Tabitha that is a witch's name." We told her that it was from the Bible and that it was sometimes translated Dorcas. Mom Wagoner thought that would be a great name as she had a cousin by that name. I could only imagine the nickname that would be given to a child with that name.  Funny how times change.

I also have thought that we should have three names in our lives. There are certain names that are just appropriate for kids, then ones for adults and some beautiful names that you only think of older people using.



Our names do change.  As a child I was Babe;  as a wife, I was Honey; as a parent I am Mother, Mom, sometimes Mommie; as a grandmother, I am Grandma.  My sister calls me Wilma Jane, my brothers call me Sis.  And that is only the names that can be put on a family oriented forum.

Ms Bear

Three unusual names I have found are Aquilla, Bushrod and Simion.  The unusual names are a lot easier to find when searching if they were transcribed right from the original document.

Ms Bear


Yes, yes, Yes!  Looking for an unusual name is a whole lot easier if its transcribed correctly.  It's all these John's, William's, George's, Samuel's, Jacob's, and James' that can drive a person nuts, especially if they are repeated in every generation of the same family!!!

Here's more unusual names:  Bazil, Kinnon and Othneil.

Janet Harrington

Well, now I will quit wondering why people name their children such odd names.  West Elk has had many students that have come through with names like Lightening, Stormy, Windy...Elk Valley has had Sunshine, Country, Stormy, Kansas, just to name a few.

Oh names.  Such strange things.  Names that parents give a child that is stuck for life unless the grown child goes to court and changes it.

I have my given name and names given to me by many people, Mama Sheriff is one of my best remembered.  I got that from an EMT who worked for me and he was young enough to be my son.  I have been called names that I make for myself such as Ta Ta.  If I ever see you in person I'll tell you why I have that name.  The most important thing to remember about names is that whatever you are called, Honey, Mother, Grandma, MeMaw, Mama, Daddy, Son, Sis, Brother, Daughter, whatever...just don't forget to answer to the supper call. 


All of these are first names listed at the cemetery in Moline and some ppl that are around here.
Mitzuke, Capsa, ,Burnel, Delavan, Metta, Arvilla, Texana, Paschal
Statera, Hugenda, Electa, Tenna, Densla, Ravilla, Loviett, Permelia,
Eleazor, Ova, Octa, Jno, Glemie, Orpha, Bestimonia, Oelphinia, Padney,
Rhodna, Olia, Dalia, Dacia, Ozella, Vida, Aurelio, Monnia, Huldah, Kerlantha,
Lavaughn, Marthella, Petra, Lavoria, Elfreda, Vollie, Solon,
If anyone knows how to say Jno or how it pronounced I'd like to know. There are 2 listed with the names and I haven't a clue how to pronounce it.

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