Sir Walter Raleigh, the English gentleman and New World explorer, didn’t have a whole bunch of kids — just three sons. But two of those three sons had rather unusual names:
- Damerei, born in 1592
- Walter, born in 1593
- Carew, baptized in 1605
Walter’s name is easy enough to figure out…but where do “Carew” and “Damerei” come from?
Carew was a surname that could be found on both sides of the family tree, coincidentally — both in Walter Raleigh’s family and in the family of his wife, Elizabeth.
Damerei was based on the surname D’amerie, which was supposedly a surname in Walter Raleigh’s tree that connected him to Henry I. (This was according to a historian Raleigh had hired, probably for the very purpose of cooking up some noble/royal ancestry.)
Which of these three names do you like most?
- Nicholls, Mark and Penry Williams. Sir Walter Raleigh: In Life and Legend. London: Continuum, 2011.
- Raleigh, Sir Walter (ca. 1552 – 1618) – Encyclopedia Virginia