I thought I should explain how this came about. 🙂
I’ve been doing lots of family trees recently, and, although I’ve only really had names that are only unusual because they’re antiquated in my trees, I have come across numerous people from the past who DO have unusual names, to say the least! I started logging them all in a word file, mostly so I had somewhere to look when I needed a character name in a novel. Also as ideas for when, a decade in the future, I might have sprogs, as I don’t want my children to be saddled with a run of the mill name like mine…(sorry mum).
Sometimes, it will be a typo, or a mistranscription, but even some of the more unbelieveable ones, like Carrot Harsnip, or Pope love, can turn out to be real! It made me laugh, because so many people have a go at celebrities these days for naming their children ‘strange’ things, yet here we have people 200 years earlier doing the same thing. In fact, Beyonce’s child is not the first Blue, nor is Victoria Beckham’s daughter the first child to have Seven in her name!
so, with the help of the lovely people of rootchat.com forums, we started to add to the list, and it started to become rather long…
My blogs name is a real name on a death certificate. Of course this was not his real name, but this was what really got me thinking about the people behind the name – why did no one know his surname? Did he have no family? Not one close friend? Was ‘Big Harry’ a fond nickname, or maybe the name they’d given a feared local crook?
Those thoughts got me to wondering about the other people; did their unusual names lead them to live unusual lives? Were they the children of people akin to our modern day celebrities, or just a romantic mother who’d read too many novels?
So I decided to find out, and this blog was born!
Another function I’m hoping the blog will serve is to illustrate methods of researching that are not always obvious to someone new to researching their family history, and other ways in which you can help your ancestors ‘come alive’ rather than just becoming lists of names and dates on your computer screen.
Either way I hope you enjoy reading the posts as much as I love searching for the people behind the names. 🙂