Name Tales from the Crypts

I just spent an extended weekend in New Orleans and, name fiend that I am, spent far too much of my time there, apart from my friend’s wedding activities, in the search for names.  Whenever I travel to a new place, I head to a bookstore to research local names (in Bilbao, Spain, for example, I scored a great two-volume compendium of Spanish/Basque names), the same way I implore friends going to, say, Amsterdam, to bring back a book on Dutch names.  So I thought it would be a snap to find a book or two on Cajun or Creole names, but no such luck–after forays around the French Quarter and the Garden District, I came up empty.

But since I couldn’t come back nameless, I thought about another potential source of interesting old names–the cemetery–recalling how Pam has unearthed some really great Colonial treasures in New England graveyards.  And so I spent an hour or so in the famous and fascinating Saint Louis cemetery #1 in the middle of the city, a huge, crowded, rambling 18th century repository of crumbling above-ground tombs (luckily spared by Katrina), trying to decipher the often faded and chipped inscriptions–a rich mix of French, Spanish and English names.  Here are a few that I unearthed (sorry about that):



















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7 Responses to “Name Tales from the Crypts”

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Lola Says:

October 29th, 2008 at 4:11 pm

Wow! Neat, Linda, thanks! 😀

I’ve seen Jueliet before, In a graveyard in VA. I think it’s just a phonetic spelling. But Azamar looks intriguing, as does Loie. Any idea if Loie is a man or woman? It looks like a phonetic Louis. And Barthelmy is fantastic! (but then, Barnaby is on my own lists and Bartleby appeals equally thanks to “Dogma”. Barthelmy is going on my list too!

linda Says:

October 29th, 2008 at 4:50 pm

Actually Loie was one that was familiar to me–there was a famous Folies Bergere dancer in France at the turn of the last century named Loie Fuller (born Marie Louise), who was the subject of a popular Toulouse-Lautrec poster. According to Wikipedia, her original stage name was Louie.

Lola Says:

October 29th, 2008 at 5:57 pm

I really should learn to Google before I ask. 😀 Thanks for the info. I think she’s going to go on my Creole lists!

pam Says:

October 30th, 2008 at 9:53 am

Before long we’re going to be able to let nameberryites construct and post their own lists — I hope you’ll share the Creole one with everybody!

Lola Says:

October 31st, 2008 at 11:02 am

I’d love to! It’s not a huge list, but it’s it’s a decent one, of common Creole names used before 1930.

Jessie Says:

November 11th, 2008 at 10:18 am

unique girl baby names…

I found your post interesting and share most of your views, but just dont get your second point….

linda Says:

November 12th, 2008 at 10:15 pm

Not quite sure what you mean.

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