Georgia family with 16 children

You guys seemed to like last week’s big family post, so I’ll try to write more posts like that one in the coming weeks.

Let’s start with the Ginn family of Georgia, circa 1931.

Bowman, Ga., July 14 (AP) – For family nomenclature Mr. and Mrs. John R. Ginn, who live near here, recommend the alphabetical system, especially for a family with 16 children.

Relative ages, they find, are easily called to mind and all element of error is practically eliminated in giving a complete enumeration.

Their children are named as follows: Brodie, Corbin, Dorcas, Elmira, Fezzan, Gregor, Hassie, Ithmar, Jessie, Kester, Lisbon, Manson, Nelson, Ornice, Pascal and Quaver.

In 1900, according to the Census, the Ginns had just one child. By 1910, they had 8. And in 1920, 14.

Which of the 16 names do you like best?

And, if you could complete the set — add 10 names, one that starts with A, the rest starting with R through Z — which names would you choose?

Source: “Alphabetical System Used to Name Children.” Reading Eagle 14 Jul. 1931: 7.

12 thoughts on “Georgia family with 16 children

  1. Love that they’re also all 6 letters long, and except for Elmira, 2 syllables. I wonder why they didn’t start at A (although we would have missed the unique Quaver). My favorite is Pascal.

    I can’t even begin to think about completing the sib set!

  2. Here’s my alphabetical list: Ainslie, Briony, Cashel, Declan, Ellis, Felicity, Grafton, Honora, Imogen, Jasper, Kerensa, Larita, Malachy, Nora, Otillie, Pippa, Quinlan, Romilly, Sorrel, Torin, Una, Vale, Warrick, Xenia, Yannis, Zara. So fun!

  3. As C in DC observed, the names are all 6 letters long and mostly 2-syllables. Given the mix of common & uncommon names they seem to favor, here’s my stab at filling out their family’s alphabetical tree:


  4. I like Pascal and Gregor.
    A- Acacia, R- Reuben, S- Sylvie, T- Tamsin, U- Undine, V- Vincent, W- Walter, X- Xerxes, Y- Yorick, Z- Zhanna.

  5. It just occurred to me that there may have been a baby A, lost to miscarriage or early childhood disease.

  6. Names I think they’d choose [not necessarily my picks]:
    Ardyce – Arland
    Ruthie – Rupert
    Sondra – Sydney
    Tillie – Taylor
    Ursula – Urbain
    Vernie – Verlin
    Winnie – Watson
    Xanthe – Xander
    Yvette – Yancy
    Zillah – Zalmon

  7. Interesting! Thanks for commenting, Kim.

    Is there any sort of story behind Fezzan changing her name to Francis, or was it just a personal preference?

    Do you know if there were any other kids after Quaver?

  8. This was my family, as well. Lisbon was my Grandfather. The name of the child starting with the letter “E” is incorrect here. It was not Ermine, it was Ehrmie. There was a child whose name began with the letter “A” & his name was Albert. His name was never included because he was an illegitimate child, born to my Great Grandfather, before he met & married my Great Grandmother. In those days such issues were very quickly & quietly swept under the proverbial rug. John’s wife, my Great Grandmother, was Sarah Dudley Ginn. When she & my Great Grandfather married, she was 17 yrs. old & he was 40 yrs. & she was pregnant with their first child.

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