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Popularity of the Baby Name Obadiah

Number of Babies Named Obadiah

Born in the U.S. Since 1880

Posts that Mention the Name Obadiah

Names from Boston Burials – Huamy, Waitstill, Mehitable

Husband and I got back from Boston nearly a week ago, but I wanted to mention one more thing about the trip…

A few days after riding in a duck boat, a group of us walked Boston’s Freedom Trail, which includes two historical cemeteries.

I could have spent the entire day in either one, but only got about 10 minutes in each. (My 5-year-old nieces didn’t have much interest in a field full of dead people. Go figure.)

The only bizarre name I managed to spot was Huamy in King’s Chapel Burying Ground (est. 1630).

Huamy headstone at Kings Chapel Burying Ground

Half of her stone is underground, but a mid-19th century book called Memorials of the Dead in Boston offers the full inscription:

Huamy Edridge Martin, died 1721 at 32 years old

Curiously, there was something between the “hu” and the “amy” on the stone — it could have been damage/wear, but it did look a lot like a hyphen. (Could “Hu-Amy” have been short for something? Huldah-Amy?)

The book also included all of the other King’s Chapel inscriptions, which was great, as I got to see so few of them while there.

According to the Memorials of the Dead in Boston, most of the people buried in King’s Chapel had names you’d expect: John, Elizabeth, Thomas, Mary, Nathaniel, Hannah, Samuel, Martha, etc.

But a handful others were named Eliather, Elishua, Freelove, Gilam, Grizzelle, Hopestill, Obadiah, Relief and Waitstill. (There’s also a Goderee that wasn’t listed in the book.)

I counted 6 women named Mehetabel, though the biblical spelling wasn’t used on any of the inscriptions. Instead, their names were written “Mehetable,” “Mehitable” or “Mehitabel.”

Speaking of variant spellings, I also spotted a Millesent, a Bartholomey, a Ledia, a Returne, and an Urssileur (Ursula).

…And that’s all I’ve got for King’s Chapel. At some point I’ll also post about the names at the Old Granary Burial Ground (the Freedom Trail’s other graveyard) but for now I’ll leave you with this gratuitous shot of one of my impish nieces:

niece scraping mud off headstone
My niece scraping mud off a headstone.

Source: Bridgman, Thomas. Memorials of the Dead in Boston. Boston: Benjamin B. Mussey & Co., 1853.

Baby Boy Almost Given 26 Alphabetical Names

In late 1886, a farmer from Buckingham named Jenkins tried to have his newborn son christened with 26 alphabetical given names:

Abel Benjamin Caleb Daniel Ezra Felix Gabriel Haggai Isaac Jacob Kish Levi Manoah Nehemiah Obadiah Peter Quartus Rechab Samuel Tobiah Uzziel Variah Word Xystus Yariah Zechariah

“[O]nly with the greatest difficulty could the clergyman dissuade the farmer from laying such an incubus upon it, and get him to content himself with the first and last of the names proposed.”

(The clergyman who baptized Ann Bertha Cecelia Diana Emily Fanny Gertrude Hypatia Inez Jane Kate Louise Maud Nora Ophelia Quince Rebecca Starkey Tereza Ulysis Venus Winifred Xenophon Yetty Zeus Pepper must not have minded as much.)

Of the 26 boy names proposed by farmer Jenkins, which do you like best?

Source: “River Reports.” The Anglers’ Journal 13 Nov. 1886.