Embroidered by Rooksby Creese, 1700s
Yesterday we looked at
popular baby names in early Boston, so today let’s check out some rare names.
Those two books I discovered with the early Boston birth records also included lists of Boston baptisms, marriages and deaths. I scanned all of these lists to come up with the names below:
A: Admonition, Aftar, America, Amiable, Amorel/Amorill, Androse, Aniball, Angola, Annice, Anstis, Apfier, Archdale, Arimnel, Atterlanta, Avery, Avise, Azor
America, full name America House, was born in 1660. Could she have been the very first New World baby named America? I can’t find anything earlier… Avery was a baby girl born in 1645. This could be the earliest girl-Avery I know of.
B: Bagwell, Bagworth, Bant, Barbary, Belcher, Benaniwell, Betteris, Bezaliell, Bickford, Blish, Bossenger, Boylston, Bozoun/Bozoon/Bozoune/Bozon/Boozone, Brattle, Broughton, Budd, Bulkely, Buny, Buttalph/Buttolph, Byfield
Bagworth‘s full name was the Hobbit-like Bagworth Endicutt. One of the Belchers had the unfortunate full name Belcher Noyes. The Bozoun-group refers mainly to one person: Capt. Bozoun Allen (d. 1652), an immigrant from England who was active in early Boston politics.
C: Caylance, Cazneau, Cerston, Chanterlin, Chuzziah, Civil, Cletord, Clorinda, Coneniah, Consider, Constancy, Cord, Crumil, Cumbey/Cumby, Custin/Custine, Cutting
Could Chuzziah be a version of Josiah? Cord‘s full name was Cord Cordis. Cutting‘s full name was Cutting Bean.
D: Decline, Delicia, Derlow, Dermin, Desire ye Truth, Dickery, Digory, Dinisha, Dionysia, Dixe, Dosithea, Dowsabell, Drewry
Desire ye Truth gave her daughter the exact same name in 1666. The “ye” here would have been pronounced “the,” as the letter y actually represents the letter . thorn Here’s more on the derivation of . Digory Dionysia‘s full name was the very romantic Dionysia Savage Ravenscroft. (Savage was her maiden name; Ravenscroft was her married name.)
E: Electa, Eleshaway, Eliphall/Elliphall, Ellener, Emmin, Emmorold, Estick, Ethlan, Evos, Exercise
Exercise‘s full name was Exercise Blackleech.
F: Fairbanck, Fathergone, Faur, Fearnot/Fearnott, Febee, Ffitz-John, Foreland, Fortescue, Fortune, Freeborn, Freegrace, Freelove, Frizzel
Here’s the story behind . Fathergone Fearnot is a Puritan name that needs to make a comeback, I think.
G: Gartright, Gatliffe, Gedny, Gee, Gier, Goodith, Grafton, Gravingham, Griffyn, Grimstone, Grindall, Grizzel/Grizzell
Gartright could be a version of Gertrude. Goodith is probably Judith. Grimstone! I love any name that features the word “grim.” I remember Grimsley popping up in Idaho a few years back…
H: Habbakuck/Habbakuk, Habbiah, Hananeel, Hanniball, Harborne, Harbottle, Hazelelponi, Hazelpanah, Heiborne, Hennerina, Hopefor/Hoptfor, Huldy, Humilis, Humility, Huxtable
I: Ibroke, Indego, Ireland, Isanna
J: Jaleham, Jamina, Jarratt, Jeffs, Jehosebath/Johoshabeath/Josabeth/Joshabeth, Jolley, Jolliff, Joylieffe/Joyliffe
K: Kellon, Kinsman, Knight
L: Laomi, Lately, Leech, Lettysse, Lilingston, Love, Lucrana, Lucresia, Ludwick
M: Macartey, Mackworth, Mauditt, Maverick, Maybe, Meddlecot, Mehalaliell/Mahalaleel, Melatiah, Meribah, Metsathiell, Milam, Milcha, Mindwell, Minot, Mordica, Moremercy, Mungo
Maverick, born at the end of the 1600s, got his mother’s surname as a first name.
N: Nabby, Nebery, Neezer, Neverson, Newgrace, Niot/Nyott
I’m guessing Neezer was derived from Ebenezer. Nyott‘s full name was Nyott Doubt.
O: Onner, Opportunity, Orchard, Oulando, Oxenbridge
Opportunity‘s full name was Opportunity Lane.
P: Palfrey, Palsgrove, Palti, Parnell, Parthenia, Pepperrell, Perciful, Perring, Phaline, Phesant, Philadelphia, Philippe/Philippi/Philippy/Phillipee/Phillippi, Pilgrim, Pittie, Pool, Posthumus, Pouning, Preserved, Pyam
Perciful looks like Percival under the influence of “merciful.” A number of women had names like , which is curious… Phillippi was once kinda trendy. Posthumus Pilgrim, despite his name, had nothing to do with the Mayflower Pilgrims. (He’s buried at Granary, btw.)
R: Ranis/Ragnis, Recompense, Redemption, Redigon/Redgon/Reddigan/Redigun, Reforme, Rely, Rich-Grace, Ronas, Rooksby/Rooksbey/Rooksbee/Rookby, Roop/Roope, Ryal
The Redigon group represents one person (female). The Rooksby group represents several people, all female. You can see embroidered chair seats sewn one of them, Rooksby Creese (1703-1742), at the MFA in Boston.
S: Salmagrave, Salphin, Sarahjah, Satisfaction, Savel/Savell/Savil, Scarborough, Scissilla, Seaborne, Secunda/Secundas, Sendall/Sendell, Shippie, Shoreborne, Shove, Shrimpton, Sibbella/Sibla, Sivil/Sivill, Skinner, Skipper, Smyth, Snell, Spiller, Story, Strange, Sucky, Supply, Sweet
Sucky is an regrettable rendering of Sukey, a diminutive of Susanna.
T: Tacey, Teasant, Torshel, Tregoweth, Tremble, Trine, Tristram, Trueworthy, Turfry, Tuttle
Tacey has the same root as Tacita: the Latin verb tacere, meaning “to be silent.” Torshel was the twin of Harborne (see above).
U: Union, Unite
V: Verrin, Vigilant, Vsal
W: Waitawhile/Wayte-a-while, Wentworth, Wheelwright, Wigglesworth/Wigleworth, Winborn, Woodbery, Woodmansie, Woodward
Waitawhile (female) had the birth name Waitawhile Makepeace. Sounds like a 2-step process for conflict resolution, doesn’t it?
Z: Zerubbabel, Zibiah, Zuriell/Zuryell, Zurishaddai
…So, which of the above names intrigue you the most?
Boston births, baptisms, marriages and deaths, 1630-1699, Boston births from A.D. 1700 to A.D. 1800