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.
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.
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?
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.”