Antiquarian Names: Colonial craftsmen names
For a number of years, when I wasn’t writing about names, I was writing about antiques and collectibles for a syndicated newspaper column. But of course when I was thinking about antiques, I was still also thinking about names.
Looking at the field of antique furniture, for example, I found that when it came to early British cabinetmakers, the names were relatively unexciting. George Hepplewhite. Robert Adams. Thomas Chippendale. Thomas Sheraton. Nothing too juicy there.
But with the Early American cabinetmakers and clockmakers it was quite a different story. Lots of antiquated Biblical names, more than one Chauncey, Ebenezer and Lemuel, a few virtue names rarely heard in modern times (Prudent, Noble), a couple of Latinate names and a Greek god—in other words a variegated picture of American Colonial and Federal era nomenclature:
Some prime examples:
- Abel Cottey
- Abiel Chandler
- Abner Toppan
- Ansel Goodwin
- Asa Holden
- Chauncey Boardman, Jerome
- Duncan Phyfe
- Ebenezer Knowlton, Tracy, Parmalee
- Elbert Anderson
- Eli Terry
- Elias Ingraham
- Elijah Booth, Sanderson
- Eliphaler Chapin
- Elisha DeWolfe, Jr
- Elnathan Taber
- Enos Doolittle
- Ephraim Haines, Downes
- Everadus Bogardus
- Garvan Carver
- Gawen Brown
- Gerrard Hopkins
- Gideon Roberts
- Heman Clark
- Hercules Courtenay
- Holmes Weaver
- Job Townsend
- Kenelm Winslow
- Lemuel Adams, Curtis
- Macock Ward
- Marinus Willett
- Maskell Ware
- Matthias Baldwin
- Miles Beach
- Nehemiah Adams
- Noble Jerome
- Phineas Pratt
- Prudent Mallard
- Reverdy Ghiselin
- Seth Thomas
- Silas Hoadley, Terry, Cheney
- Simon Willard
- Solomon Hayes
Any of these appeal?
You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.
on September 17th, 2010 at 7:50 am
I like a lot of these, but absolutely love: Simon, Ansel, Asa, Miles & Gawen. Hercules thrills me, how awesome!
Noble’s a family name for me (along with Royal) and I’ve toyed with using both of those in the past. For now they’re on my “use for the Grandkids” list. (And with one married, anything’s game)!
on September 17th, 2010 at 8:28 am
I love Ansel. *sigh* it’s such a shame it’s a brand of condoms here in Australia. Poor little fella would never live it down 🙁
on September 17th, 2010 at 8:37 am
All of these are awesome. My favorites: •Abel Cottey
on September 17th, 2010 at 9:56 am
So tickled to see Chauncey on here–it’s my husband’s name!
on September 17th, 2010 at 11:14 am
I really like Gerrard, Gideon, Phineas, and Silas. I couldn’t help but giggle at Macock. Can you imagine a modern day boy named Macock? He’d never live that down.
on September 17th, 2010 at 1:50 pm
Phineas Pratt makes my heart flutter just a little bit.
Even Chauncey is charming!
on September 17th, 2010 at 2:53 pm
I have an Eli, and would LOVE him to have a brother named Asa… one of my favorites!
on September 17th, 2010 at 6:08 pm
I absolutely love the name Elisha!
on September 18th, 2010 at 3:49 pm
I love Lemuel!
on September 19th, 2010 at 1:05 am
I think Duncan is fabulous.
Charlotte Vera Said
on September 19th, 2010 at 11:23 pm
on September 22nd, 2010 at 3:34 pm
I love biblical names… Ebenezer, Elisha, and Simon are special to me.
On my short list:
Asa, Nehemiah, Silas
Have been on short list in past:
Eli/Elijah, Ephraim, Gideon, Seth, Phineas (as Phinehas)
Abel, Elias, Elnathan, Enos, Job, Lemuel, Ward, Matthias, Thomas, Solomon
on November 14th, 2010 at 1:41 pm
Prudent Mallard has to be the greatest name I’ve ever heard, next to Slovenly Drake.
on May 26th, 2019 at 11:33 pm
I grew up with a girl who has the name Parmalee.
I always thought it must be rough and ya gotta be tough to grow up with such a name. A cool name but one easily made fun of just like my name haha.. Shamra
leave a reply
You must be logged in to post a comment.