Baby Named Ironsides After Navy Ship

William Henry Ironsides Reaney (1863-1915) was a Catholic priest who served aboard the USS Olympia starting just after the Battle of Manila Bay.

Where did the name “Ironsides” come from?

His father, Commander Henry Aubrey Vailey Reaney, had been serving aboard the USS New Ironsides when he was born.

Some accounts even claim William was born aboard the Ironsides while his mother was visiting the ship.


  • McClarey, Donald R. “The Fighting Chaplain.” American Catholic 4 Jan. 2010.
  • “‘Fighting Chaplain,’ Father Reaney, Dies.” New York Times 19 Nov. 1915.
  • Register of the Commissioned, Warrant and Volunteer Officers of the Navy of the United States. Washington: Government Printing Office, 1863.

2 thoughts on “Baby Named Ironsides After Navy Ship

  1. I find Henry Aubrey Vailey Reaney to be the more interesting name. All those 2-syllable -ey names!

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