Baby Born on Ship, But Not Named for It

Back when ocean liners were the main mode of long distance travel, it was common for babies born at sea to be named after the ship they were born on (e.g., Cleveland, Martello, Numidian).

So it was notable when a baby was born on a ship and not named for that ship.

Case in point, the first baby born aboard the RMS Carmania:

The first baby to be born on board the new Cunard turbine liner Carmania came into the world in midocean last Wednesday. The baby is a boy, the son of Russian parents, who were among the 1,001 steerage passengers arriving here on the Carmania yesterday. The saloon passengers made up a purse of $60 and presented it to the parents. Strange to say, the boy was not christened Carmania. His parents decided that when he grew up he might object.

According to the manifest for that trip, the baby was named Gerschon. (His father’s first and middle names were Abram Gerschon.)

The Biblical name Gerschon/Gershon is a variant of another Biblical name, Gershom, which is thought to mean “[a person in] exile” in Hebrew.

Sources:

  • First Carmania Baby.” New York Times 5 Mar. 1906.
  • Hanks, Patrick, Kate Hardcastle and Flavia Hodges. A Dictionary of First Names. New York: Oxford University Press, 2006.

2 thoughts on “Baby Born on Ship, But Not Named for It

  1. Based on the father’s name it seems likely that not only “the boy was not christened Carmania” but he probably wasn’t christened at all.

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