A baby named “Encyclopedia Britannica”?

Encyclopedia Britannica

Yup. A baby girl born in New York in 1814 was named Encyclopedia Britannica Dewey.

Her father was a minister named Timothy Dewey. With his first wife, Anne, he had a baby boy who got a traditional name (George Robert Dewey). But with his second wife, Beulah, he had at least 10 kids, all of whom got more distinctive names:

  1. Anna Diadama Dewey, b. 1802
  2. Philander Seabury Dewey, b. 1803
  3. Franklin Jefferson Dewey, b. 1804
  4. Armenius Philadelphus Dewey, b. 1805
  5. Almira Melphomenia Dewey, b. 1807
  6. Marcus Bonaparte Dewey, b. 1808
  7. Pleiades Arastarcus Dewey, b. 1810
  8. Victor Millenius Dewey, b. 1811
  9. Octavia Ammonia Dewey, b. 1812
  10. Encyclopedia Britannica Dewey, b. 1814

The most notable name of the bunch is certainly Encyclopedia Britannica. Like Prockie, she didn’t use her full name in everyday life but went by a modified form of her middle name: Britannia.

Would you consider giving any of these names to a child nowadays? If so, which one(s)?

Source: Rev Timothy Dewey (1771-1850) – Find A Grave Memorial
Image: Adapted from Old school knowledge by Joi Ito under CC BY 2.0.

5 thoughts on “A baby named “Encyclopedia Britannica”?

  1. Ummm…I don’t know if I should laugh or do something else. I guess I will just be happy I wasn’t born into that family.
    Very informative post.

  2. Crazy! I guess if you want to be original this is the way to do it. My question is what kind of nickname can you extract from Encyclopedia.

  3. what a cute post Nancy!! I came across this for the Saturday sharefest on sits bloggers and your post caught my eye because I’m a bibliphile and have more than once tried to read the entire encyclopedia. I failed, but I picked up a lot of other great books in the process. one day I may be able to read it all. one day….we shall see. okay, ttyl =)

  4. I agree with Anna. Those are some of the best names ever (except for Ammonia–can’t get into that one!)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.