The Three Musketeers

10 September 2016

It’s a historical novel by Alexander Dumas (1802-1870). Weirdly, in the list of Three Musketeers, Wikipedia lists four (confused?!) – Athos, Aramis, Porthos and D’Artagnan. One of the US Paralympic athletes is called D’Artagnan – oh heavens…. D’Artagnan Crockett. He just took the bronze medal from our GB Judo competitor too…. Grr…

In 1969, D’Artagnan Malcolm Graves was born in Yarmouth Registration District. I wonder if he is still known as D’Artagnan? In the novel, Charles de Batz de Castelmore d’Artagnan is a young, foolhardy, brave and clever man seeking his fortune in Paris. Athos never recovered from his marriage to Milady and sought solace in wine, becoming a father figure to D’Artagnan too. The Greeks appear to use Athos fairly frequently as a first name for their offspring with the longest Athos name (that we can find in the England and Wales BMDs) being Athos PELLAPAISIOTOU CHRISTODOULOU born in 1968 in Islington! Aramis is much less prevalent with just a small pool of BMDs – Aramis Durand (1883-1883), Aramis S. Chappell (born 1914, married 1941) plus a few others….

Clearly, the novel character of Porthos – fond of fashionable clothes and keen to make a fortune for himself – was less attractive to parents when naming their children as no Porthos references are evident in the England and Wales BMDs. I wonder if the names are more or less common in Continental Europe when compared with the UK, the USA or other countries around the world? Certainly, FindmyPast highlights a raft of US references….

There are often blog posts about the ‘most popular’ children’s names. I wonder (as a non-parent) how people select the name for their child. I know, if I was a boy, I would have been called James. With Ma & Pa FWL being teachers, it was important for them to select a name which they did not associate with an obnoxious child they had taught, I am told!! There are no Kirsty’s in my family but my middle name of Helen does bear some connection to my ancestors – a 2 x great-grandmother on my maternal side and the middle name of a great-grandmother on my paternal side, though I am pretty sure my middle name was not selected for historical reasons.

I am fine with Kirsty – that’s a good name – though two of us in genealogy! Not sure how happy I would be if I had been named after a character in a novel….

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