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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on 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!
on 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.
on 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!
on 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!
on 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.
on 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….
on November 12th, 2008 at 10:15 pm
Not quite sure what you mean.
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