One of my favourite publications is Russell Ash’s Potty, Fartwell and Knob and, over the last eighteen months of blogging, I have regularly featured some of the more eccentric things I have personally come across in my research. In Russell’s book, which he revised and expanded into a second edition in 2008 (Pottier, Fartier and Knobier than before!), he cites all his sources and also acknowledges the work of many archivists and researchers across the UK for their dedication in spotting the humorous names. A ‘must have’ and, at the time of writing, secondhand copies are available for £0.01 plus p&p in the UK.
The Good for me, is Rhoda Goodsheep who married in December quarter 1874 in Dudley Registration District (RD). She appears to be one of just a handful of Goodsheep who strayed from London (there are a few in the Ancestry London indexes) and the perhaps more surprising location of Melksham RD – just down the road from us here at FWL – for Daniel Goodsheep who died in December quarter 1842.
With regard to the Bad, Lilian Comforter Badman was born in West Ham RD in June quarter 1902. Sadly, she did not last long on this planet and died aged just 2 years old in 1904. And then there were the Bonkers…. with few who stray from Devon. Why would you choose Bonker as a middle name? Other examples include William Bonker Cole and George Bonker Johns who both marry in June quarter 1897.
But the icing on the cake is a more recent birth in March quarter 1971 – Tara Crazyhorse Lannan. Crazy Horse was a famous Native American chief from the 1800’s. The story goes that Crazy Horse was stabbed with a bayonet by one of the members of the guard during an altercation at Fort Robinson, Nebraska and he died shortly afterward. As a child, he was known as a hunter and warrior. Crazy Horse is remembered mostly for a victory over the United States…. maybe Tara’s parents were hoping that, by giving her Crazyhorse as a middle name, she would also be a hunter and warrior in life. She’d have to be with that middle name to live with for her whole life…..