Is it really new news?

21 February 2015

Earlier this week, I shared a link on Facebook to a Daily Mail article: Friendless, Windsor Castle and One Too Many: The unusual names given to children in the 19th century. The entertaining list was apparently compiled by genealogy firm Fraser & Fraser in London, who have ‘spent more than 40 years trawling through documents to find the most bizarre names in the nineteenth century’. Well, not really…. I think they have probably just found them in the course of their other research cases, but let’s not split hairs. What is without doubt however, is that they have found (or been told about) many hilarious/unusual names, most of which would certainly not be allowed in this day and age.

I thought I would add a few more to their collection …. They mention Time Of Day born on 18 May 1899 of Thomas and Alice (nee Smith) Day. I have long said that if your surname is Smith or Day you really should come up with something ‘different’ in a child’s name to set them apart from all the other William, Richard, Elizabeth or Mary Smith/Day characters in history – but seriously!?


The Daily Mail do not make mention of Time of Night Kenknight who died in Chatham Registration District (RD) in March quarter 1945 aged 63. Son of Henry and Sarah A. Kenknight, he was born in Cooling, Kent according to the 1901 census (Source: Ancestry RG13/719/94/14 – 1 Blacklands Cottages, Frindsbury):


Justice Crook died in Bolton RD in March quarter 1891 aged 56 …. I wonder which side of the fence he actually operated on? Legal or illegal? And then there was Crook Crook – so good they named him/her twice! – born in Henley RD in March quarter 1895.

Not so ‘amusing’ per sé, but just plain odd! Twelvetta Hayhurst? Where did that come from?! Judging by the 1911 census, she may well have been the 12th born child of Robert and Elizabeth Ann Hayhurst, but even so!:


She married in December quarter 1918 in Doncaster RD and became Twelvetta Goodall, wife of Arthur Goodall.

Some more modern names have interesting ‘connotations’ including Katherine Breath who I am sure wouldn’t have shortened her name to ‘Kat‘ (born in 1961). I know how carefully Ma & Pa FWL considered my name before I was born so I didn’t have the same birth initials as a Dutch airline….  but I really do think that some other parents should put more consideration in before registering their children’s names!!!

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