Baby Named for Midwife & Ship

In September of 1960, the American hospital ship SS Hope traveled to Jakarta, Indonesia, on its maiden voyage.

In mid-December, the first baby was born aboard the ship. The baby girl was named Mada Jordan Hope — “Hope” for the ship, and “Jordan” for the midwife who delivered her.

Source: “Hope Baby.” Nashua Telegraph 21 Dec. 1960: 3.

Cuban Baby Named Barbara Benita

Andres holding Barbara Benita
(Bettmann / Getty Images)

A few days ago we talked about Cuban refugee babies whose names were associated with the Mariel boatlift, but here’s an even earlier Cuban refugee baby name I haven’t written about yet: Barbara Benita.

She was born in a small open boat fleeing from Cuba in late April, 1964. Her father, a farmer named Andres Mejias, was quoted as saying: “I never dreamed of delivering a baby, especially at sea running from my country.”

The family was picked up by H.M.S Tartar about 13 miles south of Marathon, Florida.

The baby was named Barbara for the Cuban saint of thunder because it was rainy during the night, and Benita for the British naval officer on the Tartar who first spotted the refugee group. Mr. Mejias said he knew only that the officer’s first name was Ben.

In the Afro-Cuban religion of Santería, Saint Barbara was syncretized with Shango, the Yoruban god of thunder and lightning, fire, and war.

Source: “Cuban Refugee Gives Birth in Small Boat at Sea.” Toledo Blade 30 Apr. 1964: 1.

Baby Named for Chicago Skyscraper

An item that ran in the Chicago Tribune in 1969:

The newest infant resident of the Hancock building won’t have any trouble remembering where he lives when he gets older. He is Mark Hancock Thorne who was named yesterday by his parents Mark and Cindy Thorne, who moved into the building two months ago. Young Mr. Thorne was born Wednesday in Wesley Memorial Hospital.

The Thornes would have been among the very first residents of the super-tall skyscraper, which had been completed earlier the same year.

Source: “Baby Named for Building.” Chicago Tribune 21 Jun. 1969: N3.

P.S. The name of the building was changed to 875 North Michigan Avenue in 2018.

Baby Named “Lloyd” for Steamship Company

In late 1964, a baby boy was born to Maria and Gottfried Spizenberger while they were aboard the ocean liner Berlin en route from Bremerhaven and New York.

The Berlin was owned by the North German shipping company Norddeutscher Lloyd, so the Spizenbergers named their new baby Lloyd, after the shipping company.

In fact, the surname Lloyd is used frequently in the names of shipping companies. Examples include Balkan Lloyd, Österreichischer Lloyd, Hapag-Lloyd (a descendant of Norddeutscher Lloyd), Lloyd Sabaudo, Asiatic Lloyd, and Atlantic Lloyd.

Why? It all goes back to coffee…kinda.

A man named Edward Lloyd founded a coffee house in London in the 1680s. Lloyd’s Coffee House was a meeting spot for London merchants and ship-owners, and soon became known as a place where ship-owners could obtain marine insurance. Many years later, this evolved into the famous insurance market Lloyd’s of London.

But going back to the marine insurance thing: “[F]or the past century or more, the name [Lloyd]…has been freely borrowed by maritime companies around the world in the belief that it added cachet.” And this is why the surname Lloyd — which is based on the Welsh word for “gray” — pops up so often in the names of shipping companies worldwide.

What are your thoughts on name Lloyd? Do you prefer it as a name for a baby, a coffee house, or a shipping company?

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Yet Another Baby Named for a Soccer Team

soccer-ball

In 1965, Peter and Pat O’Sullivan of Staffordshire, England, welcomed a baby girl.

Peter, who called himself a “fanatical Liverpool fan,” took it upon himself to give her the following name: Paula St. John Lawrence Lawler Byrne Strong Yeats Stevenson Callaghan Hunt Milne Smith Thompson Shankley Bennett Paisley O’Sullivan. Those 15 middle names honored 15 members of the Liverpool Football Club: 12 players, 1 team manager, 1 coach, and 1 trainer.

Pat said this: “The first I knew about it was when I saw the birth certificate, and I don’t mind saying I was furious. It’s a real shock to learn your baby’s been named after a whole football team.”

Finally, here are two earlier posts about English babies named after soccer teams: the Leeds United team in 1992 and the Burnley team in 2011. And I bet there are others out there…

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