Category: Pilgrim names

A Thanksgiving Menu of Pilgrim Names

What better time than Thanksgiving to look back at the first names to arrive on our shores?

As you may remember from your third-grade history book, the first English-speaking settlement, called the Raleigh Colony, was established on the Atlantic coast in 1587, and although it didn’t survive for very long, some of its name records did.  Not surprisingly, of the 99 men who settled there, 23 were named John, fifteen were Thomas, and ten were William, with a small sprinkling of Old Testament names in the mix as well.

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Thanksgiving Names:From Myles to Maize

This year our menu of Thanksgiving names draws on a variety of sources—from the Mayflower passenger list to prominent Pilgrims, to a harvest deity to the bounty of the Turkey Day table.  Enjoy it— with it comes our best wishes for a very happy holiday to all our dear berries.

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Thanksgiving Names

There are some wonderful names associated with the Thanksgiving holiday–those that came over on the Mayflower and other early settlers, Puritan Virtue names, ancient harvest gods and goddesses–all fit for a late November baby.  Ahead are:

1. Mayflower Names

2. Ocean-crossing Names

3. Harvest Names

4. Plymouth Bay Colony Names

5. Puritan Virtue Names

6. Turkey Names

7. Other Thanksgiving-related Names

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Family Names: Some genealogical gems

Nameberry Leslie Owen searches through the pages of her family history and digs up some interesting–and sometimes surprisingly modern-sounding– colonial treasures.

One of the reasons I became so interested in names is because I discovered the two-volume edition of the Brewster Genealogy in my grandparents’ house in Maine.  I pored over the pages, discovering unusual family names –Ohel, for example – and names I found beautiful, such as Solace and Wrestling.  I discovered ancestors who were famous and who led incredible lives.  I discovered information that surprised my family.  The books, however, disappeared, much to my great disappointment.  But recently, I was able to download a copy of Volume One from the Boston Public Library, and I am back to using it to make lists and rediscoveries.

William and Mary Brewster had five living children, all of whom eventually came to Plymouth, Massachusetts.  Elder William Brewster was the religious leader of the colony, the only one who had to leave England (there was an arrest warrant for him, for treason), and it was his tireless work that kept the survivors alive during that first hard winter, according to Governor William Bradford’s account in Of Plimouth Plantation.  The first names of the Brewsters, who married into the most prestigious New England families, fall into several categories:  Puritan virtue names, Biblical names, classic English names, and what I call Stuart/Georgian names.

Here are twelve girls’ and twelve boys’ names that I’ve found repeatedly throughout the genealogy and that could hold some interesting possibilities for an adventurous nameberry:

Girls

Celinda – one of those Stuart names, like Belinda and Melinda and perhaps a variant of Celeste or Celine.

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