What’s the Most Unusual Name in Your Family?
What’s the most unusual name in your family? Can you imagine it ever coming back into style? Or maybe it’s so rare it was never in style in the first place.
We’d also love to know whether you’d consider using it as a name for a baby? A middle name? Do you love your unusual family name? Hate it? Why or why not?
Get one of these awesome personalized family trees, unusual names and all, from the Etsy shop karuskicolours.
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Emilie Cecilia Said
on April 26th, 2017 at 10:55 pm
My family has mixture of top 20 names and out of the 1000s names. There are multiple that are for the opposite gender, old uncommon TV character names, or have extra letters added onto the end of a would be common name. Lorents I think is one of the oddest. Not necessarily the weirdest though. I prefer it over the common Lawrence although I probably wouldn’t name a child it personally.
on April 26th, 2017 at 10:59 pm
We have a Drucilla, Clarinda and Craditt a few generations back.
on April 26th, 2017 at 11:02 pm
Amazon was an aunt several generations back… would not use it ever.
on April 26th, 2017 at 11:09 pm
My grandma is Reba and her sister was Theoda (thee-OH-duh)
on April 26th, 2017 at 11:13 pm
I have a long ago paternal male relative whose first and middle names were Zabina Flavius. 🙂 My mother insisted he had been a cattle thief, but the truth is he was a writer and missionary who wrote books about his work and travel. Great cat name!
I have long ago female relatives named Delight and Marvel, again, marvelous feline names.
My great grandfather was Roland Garfield (RG for short). One doesn’t hear Garfield for human beings much these days.
A great grandmother was named Birdie, which I love.
My paternal grandfather and his two brothers, born around 1900-1901, were named Baron Adolphus, Lowell Griffin, and Newel DeArnol (absolutely no idea where DeArnol came from!).
Thankfully, my family is really into their ancestry on both sides, which gives me many interesting names to ponder.
on April 26th, 2017 at 11:50 pm
Friedrich, Garnet, and Huldah for sure!
on April 26th, 2017 at 11:53 pm
My father’s side of the family is fairly boring, mostly recycling the same 5-10 names each generation in different orders. My mom’s side has some interesting ones though, including Emmens, Vanda (prn. Van-da, not Von-da), Avis, and Permelia (who apparently rode alongside Lincoln in his inauguration parade). I rather like Avis and could see it working in the world of Ava’s and Ellis’s today. I also have a maternal great-uncle named Wilbur who has always and continues to go by Dimps (I don’t know the story behind that one– I’ve never met him but I’m assuming he has/had prominent dimples).
My maternal grandmother’s name was Valeda (prn. Vuh-lee-da), which I’ve never heard anywhere else. She died when I was an infant, so I don’t know the story behind it. Her full name was Mary Valeda Jane, but she always went by Valeda even as a child. My mother combined my grandmothers’ names into one for my middle name: Valeda plus Patricia became Valecia (prn. Vuh-lee-sha). So I suppose in the future I’ll be one of the strange names on the family tree, which is sort of fun to think about. 🙂
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:01 am
I found out a few years ago that my great grandma Lou’s real name wasn’t Louise, Louisa or Lucinda but Lucas. Her middle name was Veronica. I had a great great grandfather named Adhemar. That is so unusual it is not in the database here. He was French.
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:38 am
Beulah, Irvine, Ervinia, Rene
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:06 am
My great-grandfather was Herschel, and was married to Hazel (so glad to have seen that name come back!)
My mom had an uncle Laverne. Other unusual names on the family tree include Lenore, Duryea, and Gillemina.
My own daughter is Calyssa.
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:39 am
Carson is my sisters name. That was kind of unique back in 2000. My Grandpas middle name was Laverne.
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:42 am
Most of the names on my family tree were pretty standard for their time, and not that unusual now.
Except two; my grandma has a cousin and a great Aunt I think, both called Neruda. No idea where that came from, and it appears not to have had much usage at all. It’s listed as a Male name here.
And my new step-granny has the middle name Winnifred, which I think is amazing. It’s not a common name for her age group, but its certainly not unheard of.
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:49 am
My name is probably the must unusual in the family. My mother named me Kasha after a female character in an old sci-fi film. Haven’t met another Kasha in my 27 years.
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:55 am
The most uncommon names I found were: Quella, Appolina, Loffered/Lawford, and Lyda
on April 27th, 2017 at 3:12 am
My grandfather had the best sibset of brothers – Mervyn, Vernon, Donovan, Maurice and Aubrey. Very uncommon names for babies now (except Aubrey as a girl) but I’d use any of them, particularly Vernon.
on April 27th, 2017 at 3:33 am
Love reading the comments for posts like these!
From my family, names that are odd for the spelling, time of birth and/or demographic include:
* Alba (b. 1900’s)
* Madge (no full name, b. 1900’s),
* Shortland Stirling (first and middle, b. 1860’s)
* Sophronia (b. 1880’s)
* Hephzibah (b. 1880’s)
* Amey (b. 1850’s)
* Dorice (b. 1890’s)
* Azaelia (b. 1880’s)
* Keziah (b. 1830’s)
* Ethelbert (b. 1880’s)
* Melba (b. 1930’s)
* Reta (b. 1900’s)
* Fanney (b. 1830’s)
* Emmiline (b. 1900’s)
* Robina (b. 1910’s)
* Freader (b. 1890’s)
* Johnathon (b. 1830’s)
* Harman (b. 1900’s)
* Lenard (b. 1910)
* Aram (b. 1850’s)
* Azor (b. 1860’s)
* Leibrown (b. 1850’s)
* Windsor (b. 1840’s)
* Jennet (b. 1810’s)
* Leny (b. 1880’s)
* Melvie (b. 1880’s)
* Eastley (b. 1870’s)
* Rosena (b. 1890’s)
* Watkin (b. 1860’s)
* Ilene (b. 1930’s)
* Lockwood (b. 1910’s)
* Maylin (b. 1860’s)
* Rudolph (b. 1870’s)
* Allin (b. 1840’s)
on April 27th, 2017 at 3:36 am
Way far back there was a Dionysie, Amadas, Argyle, Basil, Cornelius (4 generations in a row), Mauldin, Easter, Perlithal, Winfred, Anson, Gasaway, Icy Snow, Bethier, Zephania, Lumpkin, Beulah, Lucindy, Lennie, Andras, and Casimira. More recently Verline, Dollie, Winona, Simoriah, a Teagan born in the 90s, Larae, Lambert, and my kids/nephews/youngest cousins middle names include Lorraine, Emrys, Reverie, Catalonia, Osiris, Anastasia, Dashiel, Tejas, Litzi, True, & Paislee
on April 27th, 2017 at 3:58 am
My great-grandmother’s name was Ottilia (not othelia or ophelia). Her mother were from Russia, so maybe it’s a russian name? Other than that there’s not a lot of totally out there names, just names that aren’t common anymore. Although a great-grandmother on my dad’s side had a sister named Almarinda! I’ve never heard that one before!
on April 27th, 2017 at 4:14 am
I had both a great-grandmother and a great aunt named Minerva. Growing up the name sounded very strange to me, and now I’m rather uncomfortable hearing it as an actual suggestion in baby name forums.
Amber W Said
on April 27th, 2017 at 4:23 am
My dad’s name is Kermit, after an uncle. He’s pretty cool about it and often introduces himself with a “like the frog” after his name. My brother-in-law has a male ancestor named Strawberry.
on April 27th, 2017 at 4:48 am
My mum died had a German name beginning with a V. But her parents had only ever seen it written down (it was an actress’s name) so they didn’t know that in German Vs are pronounced like Ws are in English. So they pronounced it the “wrong” way her whole life, essentially giving her a name no-one else has.
on April 27th, 2017 at 6:13 am
Some of these might not be too unusual but compared to my other family names they are:
Roman (my grandpa – used to sound more unique)
Aloysius (middle name)
Ignatius (middle name)
Maximilian (my son)
on April 27th, 2017 at 6:42 am
I had a great uncle (born in the late 1800’s) named Ambrose. The family was German and I think he was named after a grandfather. Uncle Ambrose married an Amelia. My grandfathers middle name was Maximillian. His first wife was namd Myrtle. The rest of the names from that generation were pretty common.
From my parents generation, my mother had a cousin named Eugene. I am not sure why he was named that but it was pretty unusual in the family.
on April 27th, 2017 at 6:56 am
My father’s side of the family was pretty standard:
My great grandfather – Leo (born late 1890s)
My great grandmother – Rose (born 1900)
My grandmother – Vivien (born 1918)
My father – Martin (born 1953)
My mother’s side however is full of fun Italian and Romany ethnic names:
My great grandmother – Bomina (born around late 1870s) she was a Romany gypsy who lied to get into this country at the beginning of WWI. I was told her name means Precious Love. It’s been used as a family middle by several cousins.
My great aunt – Epifania (born in 1920s). Went her whole life under the name Frances to sound more American but was born on the holy day of Epiphany and thus named.
Then there were the standard: Paulo, Rosa, Giuseppe, Salvatore, Helena, Vincenzo, Tomas etc.
None particularly wild but they all only started going by their birth names in the late 90s because when they were born it was a mark against them to have ethnic names.
on April 27th, 2017 at 7:38 am
My father’s middle name is Otto. His sisters are Ulrike, Renate, & Ursula. His parents were Eberhard & Gertrude. Eberhard’s mother and father were Dorothea & Otto Julius.
On my maternal side, my grandmother’s name is Elsie Verdell (born in Arkansas in the mid 1920’s). First name is normal for that area at the time but I have know idea where the middle came from! Her parents names were Lenwood (b. 1899) & Nannie, just Nannie (b. 1895)! One of her sisters were named Olgia (b. 1921) the rest had pretty normal but interesting names Garvin Ray, Charles Willis, Willie Mae, James Curtis, Jannie Bell, Opal Lee, & Edwin.
on April 27th, 2017 at 8:42 am
My grandmothers name was Oviette.
on April 27th, 2017 at 8:45 am
Love reading these comments, such wonderful stories and amazing names!
My fathers side of the family has an unusual tradition where the oldest sons first name is always the mothers maiden name. My oldest brother got lucky since my mothers maiden name is Matthews so his name is just Matthew but some of my ancestors ended up with some uncommon names! My father is Brittin, my grandfather was Bennett, and my great grandfather was Darling! Darling’s father was named Watt and Watts father was Gallagher. I have no idea why this started but I love it, since so many couples pass down the fathers last name I think it is refreshing to see a tradition that includes the mothers name. My brother does not have any kids yet but he and his wife plan to continue the tradition and give their future son her maiden name of Romney.
on April 27th, 2017 at 8:46 am
My father had a grandmother named Effa! Which I think was probably common for the end of the 1800s but not one I had heard until we started having kids.
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:07 am
My paternal great-grandmother was Hortensia. I am currently expecting a baby girl and needless to say we will NOT be naming the baby after that relative. ?
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:08 am
My grandmother (born 1900) was Linilda which has never been given to 5 or more babies in a given year. She went by Billie as a girl and Lin as an adult. Linilda holds no appeal to me but I admire my great-grandparents for choosing a bold name and think Billie is a fun name for a girl.
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:38 am
The most interesting name on my side of the family is Heinrich but on my husbands side there was a few men named Zebulon which I found very interesting. I don’t think that we would consider using either name but we will be picking family names for our kids.
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:44 am
I have a many generations back grandfather named Wintermute. I doubt that’s making a comeback anytime soon if it was ever in fashion in the first place. If I had to guess I would think it was probably a family surname somewhere further back in the line. Other than that Clarkson is probably about as off the beaten path as it got. My grandmother’s brother was named after a friend of his father’s.
As for female names we had a Prudence which I love but due to my married last name wasn’t a good option. We also had a Temperance which I also really like. We went with family names for both of my girls but more in the ‘that’s pretty; you don’t hear that too often’ vein as opposed to ‘I’ve never knew people outside of novels or history books had that name.’
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:55 am
We have an Edith (born in the 50s) – she always thought her name was an ‘old lady name’ and disliked it. She is super confused that this name has started to make a resurgence.
We also have a Merlin (same era) – he goes by an unrelated nickname in all areas of life – even professional.
We also have an Emily (in her 90s) who dislikes it and goes by her middle name.
We also have a Maurice (in his 80s) who is British, but adopted the nickname “Mike” when he came to Canada.
We also have a Mistaya, which I think is such a gorgeous name.
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:10 am
Zella (great-great grandmother), Willa-Mae(great grandmother), Myrtle (great grandmother), Vestal Marlin (great grandfather). Mine is probably the current most unusual: Dara Marlynne 🙂
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:12 am
On my dad’s side there are some pretty unusual names, several of which are probably just super Jewish, like Ephraim and Yuri. Florence is also a huge name for them, which appears dozens of times in the family tree along with all kinds of ridiculous variations, the most obscure of which is given-name FloEllen. I always found it interesting that my grandmother had the nickname-middle Libby. I would maybe consider using Florence, and I think Libby is cute too.
On the other side there aren’t as many unique ones, but my grandpa’s name is Murray, and I’ve never heard of another one of those in my life.
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:22 am
The most unusual name in my family tree that I’ve seen is Littleberry Parker Talley. He went by Doc, as he was a country doctor. He had an infant brother named Samuel E. Brown – that’s his full given name, with Talley as surname.
We also have Ivan (pronounced with a short i), Elva Jewel, Ida Eugenia, Wiley, Bohn, Winfield, and Rella. I have a cousin named Elissa (long e, short i).
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:42 am
My favorites on my maternal grandmothers side (since that is the side I know most about) are Ransom, which apparently was once fairly popular, Ophelia, and lastly, Elerong, a name I have never heard of other than this, at first i thought maybe the spelling was wrong but she had a fair bit of history on him from the mid-late 1700’s. I’m guessing it was Dutch since that is her heritage.
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:47 am
My paternal great-grandmother was Alta Plennie and she went by Plennie. On that same side of the family there were also: Temple, Denous, Smead, Otto, Rufus, Sunshine and Fern. My maternal grandmother was Jewel Docia.
Of those, I think Jewel, Docia and Rufus are the most appealing.
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:48 am
I love this!
My name is Kiersten Tossa, Kiersten (prn. KIER-sten) is not the most common and Tossa is found nowhere but my family. My grandmother’s middle name is it and as the tenth child it was always jested my great-grandmother had begun making up names. My mother and I both share it as a middle name and I hope to pass it on as a first name to my daughter.
My sister is born in 1990 and has the name Pamela which is rather uncommon for her age.
My great grandmother’s first name was Inda
The strangest of all was the multiple generations of males named Hopesey and then Hope about 4-5 of my ancestors in the 1600-1800 hundreds.
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:50 am
My mum’s side of the family has a lot of common names repeated quite often. However one name does stand out.
My great great maternal grandmother was called Leotine. I have no idea where it came from as she is the only one in our entire family tree. Sometimes I’m tempted to use it as a middle if I have a daughter one day. We’ll see.
on April 27th, 2017 at 11:06 am
My grandmother’s name was LaFoye. She had a sister named Wydell (and Wydell was passed down to their niece).
My mother’s name was Christiane – which I learned my grandmother got from a French model in LIFE magazine shortly before my mother was born. My daughter, born in 1997, is Carson Christiane.
My grandfather’s name was Delton. His mother was Earie. His father was Christopher Columbus (or I’ve seen Columbus Christopher) – he went by C.C.
My dad’s father had two birth certificates with two different names. One in English (Charles, and though he used the middle name Joseph and my father is Junior, Joseph does not appear on his birth certificate – I’ve seen them both). The other in Italian – Carmelo (which I don’t believe is the Italian Charles, so I have no idea lol). My great grandfather’s name was Francisco – he went by Frank. Which I don’t get because he was Italian, not Spanish; his name was not Francesco, but Francisco…?
I think my grandmother’s name is the weirdest lol I did not know her parents to ask where in the world that came from 🙂
on April 27th, 2017 at 11:07 am
My dad’s middle name was Talmadge but other than that the only odd names are in the kids now. My daughter’s name is Everly, which is getting popular but no one had heard of at the time. I also have nieces named Maylin, Harli Quinn, and Jovi.
on April 27th, 2017 at 11:10 am
My mom’s side of the family has a Brozie, which I have never heard before but would consider in the future. Other interesting ones: Valla, Hoyt, Barnie, and Ivie.
on April 27th, 2017 at 11:23 am
My husband’s great grandmother was Isola (pronounced EE-suh-la), which we ended up naming our second daughter, though we changed it to Izola and call her Izzy. It’s only touched the top 1,000 in the 1920’s.
My paternal grandfather and uncle are both Wasyl and my father’s middle name is Sergey, both of which stem from our Ukranian roots (hence my name, Larissa).
on April 27th, 2017 at 11:47 am
Macadoo, Printiss, Yakbetha was my something great grandmothers name, Amzi and Colombus were some middle names a few generations back!
on April 27th, 2017 at 12:13 pm
OOOOH Baby, I love this topic! My family has some real doozies. One great aunt named Ardean and another named Merce. A cousin named Crockett and another named Valesha. A great-great grandmother named Franziska. I can’t see any of them being used again, aside from maybe Crockett.
on April 27th, 2017 at 12:30 pm
As far as I know, the only unusual names in my family tree are Ethelbert (my dad’s great-grandfather), and Royal (my dad’s grandma’s uncle, I think).
on April 27th, 2017 at 12:32 pm
EDIT: Ethelbert was my dad’s paternal great-great-grandfather. Diedrich was Ethelbert’s son, my dad’s great-grandfather, who came to this country from Germany.
on April 27th, 2017 at 12:41 pm
My maternal grandfather (I called him Pop-Pop) was named Norbert. Granted, Norbert was probably very popular back in 1919 New York, but I have yet to meet any little Norberts today. Never met anyone my age named Norbert either. I don’t plan on using it for an honor name for a boy, though; I plan on honoring Pop-Pop by using Thaddeus John for a boy instead (two of his brothers were Thaddeus and John). I highly doubt Pop-Pop would’ve wanted any great-grandsons bearing his name, as he wasn’t that crazy about Norbert himself.
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:20 pm
No known unusual names in the maternal side of the family, do not know the paternal side so I wouldn’t know. There are 3 generations of Irene’s and mixing grandparents names together (Mauris and Irene = Maureen, my grandmother). In my gen, the most unusual name is the spelling of my cousins name, Mya (Maya/Maia), or my second cousins children, Carys and Sienna (not so unusual nowadays).
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:21 pm
The girls are pretty tame in my family, we had
Lulu Ottilie (Lulu was her full name not a nickname) and an Annika but given she came from Sweden it’s not that uncommon
For the men
Freeman, Sune, and Vintie
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:22 pm
My grandma, great-grandma, and great-great grandma were Lura, Leta, and Lula.
My sister is named Lura after my grandma.
I also have a cousin named Effie.
My great-grandpas middle name was Sylvester. I’ve often thought about using that name but since we have five daughters , never got a chance to use it.
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:31 pm
Great-great-grandmother named Ebezena. Haven’t been able to find a meaning for that anywhere….
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:32 pm
But maybe now I know where my love for unusual names comes from! hehe 😉
on April 27th, 2017 at 1:39 pm
Pretty sure the most unusual is my paternal multi-great grandfather Zadok. His father was also Zadok, as was his grandfather. It is apparently the name of an Old Testament priest but sounds like it could fit in today with Dash or Annikin or other sci-fi names. Maybe for a dog….
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:01 pm
My granny was called Sabina, quite unusual, I have never come across another Sabina…
Also had a great aunt with the middle name Henry because her mum was hoping for a boy!
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:25 pm
My grandfather’s parents were Italian immigrants, and my grandfather was born around the mid 1930’s. His formal name is Giustino, but he goes by Gus/Gustine. My uncle, who was born around the mid 70’s, is named Gus as well. It’s just interesting, since Gus was never a super common name.
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:37 pm
My great-great grandmother was Americanus Vespusus and apparently she went by Mary; her husband was Thetis Enlow and was called Bunk. My great-grandmothers are Pearl Pansy, Mary Maud, Opal Oleda, and Olive Belle.
Personally love Mary Maud, nn Maudie, and Olive
on April 27th, 2017 at 2:55 pm
on April 27th, 2017 at 3:25 pm
on April 27th, 2017 at 4:28 pm
Some generations back (so long ago I’m not entirely sure how we’re related) there was a woman named Salustiana (sah-loos-tiana). A great aunt of my mother’s was married to a man whose middle name was Sisebuto (see-seh-boo-tow) and, oddly enough, he didn’t know that was his name until he was called to war! My paternal grandfather was Anselmo (Spanish for Anselm) and my grandmother was María Avelina (Mary Aveline, essentially), but for some reason she went by Eugenia all her life. I also have a cousin around my age named Anya and niece named Hannah (which is incredibly rare here)
on April 27th, 2017 at 4:40 pm
Well, my older sister’s name is Willow. That was kind of weird a couple years ago, but now it’s pretty normal. Normal, right? Well, my younger brother’s name is Oak. I’m the only one without a tree name.
on April 27th, 2017 at 5:10 pm
I have some strange names in my family. Some of them I love and some are just bizarre. My mom’s dad was named Judson Haywood ( first and middle names), my dad’s dad is named Wilbur John, and my great grandfather was Arthur Clifford. My great great grandfather was named Myers, which I love. I don’t mind any of these names and I would consider using some combination of these on my future kids. I also have a great uncle named Lindley and an uncle named Commodore ( he was named after a family friend who was a Commodore in the Navy). We call him commie, but outside of the family he goes by Jake. I would definitely never use this name! I have no idea what my grandmother was thinking when she named him this. It’s just terrible.
on April 27th, 2017 at 5:21 pm
My sister’s name is Telia (Tee-lee-a) I have never heard someone else with the same name!
My parents picked it up somewhere in Asia.
I think its pretty cool, and suits her, she is unique ha ha
on April 27th, 2017 at 5:24 pm
I should also add my other sister’s name is Trudy (she is only 37) pretty unusual for her generation!
And my brother’s name is Mardy, all very uncommon names where I am from.
Although I think Mardy is a cool strong name, props to Mum and Dad for that one!
on April 27th, 2017 at 6:27 pm
I definitely have the most unusual name in my family and out of all my ancestors (it is Chatelaine). I personally hate it quite a bit and plan on changing it in the next year or two. I would never burden my child with my name (and I don’t like when children are named after their parents, anyway). I don’t mind names that are uncommon, as long as they’re still familiar.
on April 27th, 2017 at 6:35 pm
My grandmother’s name is Ethylene. I’ve never heard of anyone else with that name.
on April 27th, 2017 at 6:35 pm
My grandmother’s name is Ethylene. I’ve never heard of anyone else with her name.
on April 27th, 2017 at 7:32 pm
My mother’s middle name is Theodoshia. I love it, but without the h. It has come into light recently due to Hamilton. We named our son Theodore “Theo” partially after my mom and her grandfather (my great-grandfather) who went by the same name. I’d still potentially use Theodosia as a middle name for a daughter.
on April 27th, 2017 at 7:36 pm
My aunt’s middle name is Goodwine and my mom’s (her sister’s) is Lindsey, which was apparently pretty unusual in the 50s and 60s. Both were old family names. Almost everyone on my dad’s Dutch side of the family was named Cornelis (NOT Cornelius! :-D) or Cornelia, which isn’t something you hear a lot of now. His Italian mom’s name was Benedetta which she didn’t know until she was in her 40s–she had always gone by Betty and thought it was short for Bernadette!
on April 27th, 2017 at 7:45 pm
My grandfather’s brothers name was Ewald (pronounced E-wall’d) He came over from Germany before WW2. And then my dad’s cousins, Dieter and Klaus (pronounced like blouse but with a k) both would maybe sound familiar in Germany but not in America
on April 27th, 2017 at 8:12 pm
My mom had an aunt named Afla. Whenever she mentions her, I just hear the Aflac duck in my head!
I had a great-great-grandfather named Elza. On several censuses he got recorded as “Ezra” which makes me think it must have been pretty unusual even at the time.
The middle name Tecumseh pops up in three male family members… no idea how that got started.
We have several amateur genealogists in the family, so we know relatives going a couple hundred years back. Some gems:
Reumah (male, born 1830)
Solon (male, 1832)
Kizzy (female, 1810)
Achsah (female 1760)
and of course, my favorite of all. Eggfrida (female, 1080) Do you think her friends called her “Eggs”?
on April 27th, 2017 at 8:24 pm
My maternal grandparents were Clifford and Lucia (Loo-sha) which I was always thought were kind of funny names growing up. But I guess Lucia (though maybe not that pronunciation) is gaining popularity now.
Some of my favorite names from down my family tree few generations ago were Urban, Dorcas, and Groveretta. I’m not sure that those will be coming back into to style anytime soon.
on April 27th, 2017 at 8:25 pm
My great-grandfather’s name was Guillaume, but he went by Willie
on April 27th, 2017 at 8:27 pm
My great granddad was named Victor, and his wife was Ivy. Higher up the tree we have a male Honeyborn.
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:09 pm
This is a lot of fun!
Wintermute, I absolutely love. Admittedly, not as a human or animal name but it describes perfectly how I want to hibernate in silence every winter.
I forgot to add two more. My Great Aunt Myrtis (Mert for short) and a family friend named Dorolene or Dorilyne, both of which sound like yesterday’s latest acrylic blend.
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:16 pm
Most of the family members I know of had pretty standard names, it was more so the spelling that made them interesting. There are two Mikel’s, a Theodorus who went by Fred, and an Emilia. My husband had a great grandmother named Domsella. Everyone else was a typical Mary or Walter that was popular at the time.
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:26 pm
I had a Finnish grandfather and the names in his family tree are so fun: Heikki, Matti, Erkki. Jakko, Antii, Mikko, Klaara. They don’t feel usable for me as an American, but I love them!
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:51 pm
My great-grandfather’s first name was Theophil, though he went by his middle name of Alexander. I’m not really fond of Theophil, but we were considering Theophania (not really in honor of him, just because I loved it) as a middle name until recently when we changed our minds.
I also had a great-great-great grandfather named Błażej, the Polish version of Blaise, which is another name we considered as a middle.
Oh, and Great-great-aunt Rozalia! I’ve been crushing on Rosalie lately and briefly considered it as a first name.
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:53 pm
My husband’s grandfather has done EXTENSIVE genealogy of his family tree, and there are some doozies:
Alva (woman) – Might use this eventually
Dictus – middle name
Kenelm – also a favorite
on April 27th, 2017 at 9:55 pm
-My maternal grandmothers name was Iva, which I love.
-My maternal aunts middle name is Naomi which is after my great aunt.
-My great uncles wife’s name is Captola
-I have a great aunt named Noreda (She goes by Rita)
-I have a great aunt named Ritza. Her husband (my great uncle) is named Archie.
-My great aunts husbands name is Beechie.
-My paternal grandmother had a brother who’s name was Parker. Which is a common name now, but growing up I had never heard it.
-I had an aunt like several greats back whose name was Oma.
-my maternal great-great-great aunts name was Girdie.
This is all I can think of now.
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:35 pm
What a great idea for a column…I’ve been enjoying reading everyone’s comments.
In general my family has rather boring names; partially that’s because my Welsh ancestry is all David, John, Richard, James, Sarah, & Ann, re-used & re-assembled in various combinations. I can only go back to the late 1700s w/those ancestors, though, so perhaps there are some better names farther back. In some of the more distant branches there are some more unusual names: Burnice (male), Ellvene (female), Lemuel, Myrtle, Rolia (boy), Maurine, Clefton, & the prizewinner of the bunch, Iowa Koser (female). There were quite a few presidential names: Grant, Garfield, Truman (although Truman was well before Harry); the classical Julius; & a “celebrity” name of the late 1800s: Horace (probably after Greeley).
The German side is equally dull, w/Carl, Michael, Georg, & Joseph being scattered all over. Some of my great-aunts or great-great aunts had more unusual names, though: Maria Salomina (Minnie), Aelalia (Lil), & Thayne.
My mom’s dad’s side were half Irish & half Alsatian; the female siblings in my grandfather’s generation all were given French names at birth (although they were all born in Philadelphia), but at some point their names were Americanized (Marguerite/Margaret who went by May; Katharine/Kathryn who went by Kate; Genevieve/Geneveve who went by Jean; Madeleine/Madalyn). I don’t know why my Pop-Pop & his brother weren’t given French names; they were Andrew & Robert.
Myn, my daughter is Kiersten also! I’ve only seen Tossa used once before, in a series of mystery novels set in 1950s/60s Britain…it was a nickname for Theodosia.
on April 27th, 2017 at 10:57 pm
Growing up I thought all kinds of family names from the last 3 generations were strange, now they’ve all come into fashion or at least sound usable:
Montgomery, Callum, Jordana, Araya (pronounced like Arya on GOT) Otto…the only two that might still seem slightly out there are Darius and Veryan
on April 27th, 2017 at 11:30 pm
My great grandmothers name on my dad’s side was Naomi Missouri. My grandpa’s names are Thomie (pronounced like Tommy) and Mickey. There is also a Fannie and Ora Mae somewhere on the tree. My favorites that were used are James Everett and Geneva Raye.
on April 28th, 2017 at 12:59 am
My grandfather was Leo, his father was Leopold, and his mother was Leopoleen.
My cousin named is daughter Nadia (currently 4-years-old). Another cousin named her daughter June (currently 1-years-old).
I have a relative from the 1800s with the name Noble and I absolutely love it. I would love to use it one day in the future for a son.
on April 28th, 2017 at 2:43 am
Male Names: Abiel, Absalom, Amariah, Bonham, Brick, Eben, Hermanus, Kindall, Moses, Uriah, Virgil, Wheeler
Female Names: Anchor, Avasontisia, Charisma, Charity, Clarinda, Hazeltine, Hepzibah, Hester, Kizzih, Temperance, Weltha
As for these, I kind of like the idea of Eben and Hester. Perhaps Anchor as a meaningful word middle name? I suppose it could work for either gender though it was surprising how many women in the family were called Anchor, in the 1700-1800’s.
on April 28th, 2017 at 8:37 am
We’ve got a few.
Doc (though I am sure this is a nickname)
on April 28th, 2017 at 9:28 am
My great grandmother’s name was Steva. She was from the Czech Republic, but I don’t know how she got her name. I’ve never found it on any name sites. My cousin is named Stephanie to honor her.
on April 28th, 2017 at 9:32 am
We have a Candido, Cesare, Merlyn, Sigvald, Valdemar for boys. And Bodil/Botille, Gunder, Mette, Sørine, Vittoria for girls. Can definitely see our Danish & Italian background.
on April 28th, 2017 at 10:53 am
A couple great uncles…
Sigmund (went by Spike)
a couple of great aunts…
Other than that all the names in my family are pretty typical.
on April 28th, 2017 at 1:18 pm
My cousin in Neely. Don’t know if it was intended but I’ve read it comes from Cornelia.
My eldest sister is Sherry, not very common any more.
My dad is Hubert Colin, named after his dad so he goes by Colin (CO-LIN). His cousin is Earl and an Uncle was Dewey. His mom was Callie but thats blown up. His sister is Dale.
My mom’s sibset is Shirley, Barbara, John (went by Buddy), Gail, Annette.
on April 28th, 2017 at 2:17 pm
My grandfather was Clell. I’ve never heard it on another person, or ever found the meaning of it anywhere. He was a high school principal and apparently for a few years there was a student named Clella, so they bonded. Grandpa told all his sons to never name a kid after him.
My great-grandmother had an aunt named Alcinda. And there was a family member that I knew named after that lady, but she went by Cindy.
on April 28th, 2017 at 2:57 pm
Got a few unusual ones. Part of my family from West Virginia was very into Greek names around the time of the Civil War. I have an Achilles, Pyrrhus, Leonidas and Penelope from that group. (My favorite is Achilles, who was a cavalryman for the North in the Civil War, but I think I’d only be brave enough to use it as a middle.) And my grandfather’s name was Doff. Not Dolph. Doff. NO idea the story behind that.
on April 28th, 2017 at 5:12 pm
My family has had some interesting names floating around in our family tree for a while. They’re not completely one of a kind unique, nor have they ever been very popular but they are certainly unusual. According to our family book, which is being updated every year, we have had a Lavinia, Oriana, Jovah, Hestia, Monique, Hollis, Cybele, Callas (I believe this is a shortened, male version of Callisto), Myrrha, Ovid and Roimata (a Maori name which means tear drop). I actually quite like Lavinia, Cybele and Roimata so perhaps I’ll use them as a middle name, and pass down the family names.
on April 28th, 2017 at 5:54 pm
These are so colorful. I don’t think most of my family member’s names were that unique for their time period in Eastern Europe, but here they go: Aaron Lazer (great gpa), Brandla (great gma, also called Brenda), Wolf, Ben Zion, Alter, Meir, Hinka (also called Hina Leah- like Hannah), Devoirah (Debora in Romanian), Manya, Hilda, Pesach, Julius, Yonkel, Rafael (not really weird at all, but you don’t hear it that much), and a cousin from Cuba named Griselda. My mom is Mayra (spelled th Cuban way but pronounced like Myra).
on April 28th, 2017 at 6:43 pm
I’ve got GG Aunts named Gloriana, Euphemia & Sophronia! Glory, Effie &Sophie for short.
on April 28th, 2017 at 7:09 pm
I’m Latina, so these names might sound a little too weird for some people here. From the top of my mind I can pick Wenceslao and Luz del Alba. Luz del Alba literally translates into morning light. I have a cousin that looked for traditional mayan and/or aztec names for her two daughters. One is named Azyhadeé (pronounced Az-ya-duh) and the other one Xiadani (pronounced She-ah-dani).
on April 28th, 2017 at 8:54 pm
Most of the names in my family are more “extremely Scandinavian” than out-and-out weird, to be perfectly honest. Anyhoo:
Trygve– mom’s brother
Buell– grandma’s father
We also have an Ole in our family somewhere on my grandma’s side, but I don’t remember where. I think he was my grandma’s grandpa, or something. In the Midwest there’s a lot of “Ole and Lena” jokes about an elderly Scandinavian couple that like to antagonize each other.
I texted my mom and we have: Chris (stepdad), Christa (idk), Christine (aunt), and Christiana (I really dk). Alone, they’re not bad, but together they’re… well, they’re something!
on April 28th, 2017 at 8:59 pm
I have a great-great-grandmother who was named Alfreda (pronounced like Alfred, but with an a on the end). She actually had a twin brother named Alfred!
I have great-grand-uncles who were named Ragnar and Sten (their parents were from Norway), and some more ancestors on that side of my family include Sigurd, Håkon, Marius, Morits, Ole and Ingeborg.
Other relatives: Alpheus, Alrene, Irving, Verna, Laverne, Violet, Leona, Marlieke, Aagot, Oluf, Deaven, Conley and Albertine.
There are also some very interesting middle names: Field, Petit, Chandler, Gudrun, Revere, Pernilla, Margrethe, Ludvig and Steen.
on April 28th, 2017 at 9:04 pm
Update: my stepdad had an Uncle Aloysius and a Grandpa Gazy. (The latter, I believe, was Polish.)
on April 29th, 2017 at 3:54 am
My mother’s side is Mexican, I haven’t delved into that side yet. My father’s side is German, Danish, and English, and I do know some good names from his side. Two great great grandfathers, Nels and Franz. Nels’ father was Anders Olsen, but Nels was Nels Andersen, changed to Anderson after coming to America (apparently he had a problem with Swedish people and too many of them had the last name Andersen). Franz’s father was Ignatius, and Franz’s mother in law was Theda. There was also these great great great great grandparents: Johann (1801-1868), Hicke, Gretje, Asa, Adalize, and Sophronia. And there are some other names, lines got a little fuzzy before the 1800’s: Margaret have (1688-?), Catharina (twice, about a hundred years apart, and in two different families!), Gesche, Evert (m) and Engel (f) married and had Daniel in 1770, Loyal (1564-?), Mehitable (1691-1768) whose father was Hezekiah (1656-1726) and whose soon married a Bethiah (named after her mother who lived 1695-1763, Obediah, Alice (1557-1610), Abraham (1649-1727), Phebe, Experience (f), Kezrah, Job, Patience Soule (first and last), Thomas Paine (1692-1759; born over 40 years before the famous one), Peleg (m). Some notable surnames are: Devotion, Pond, Coggeshall, Baulstone, Timberlake, Savory, Riddle, Swan, and Hyde. I had to rush and copy all of these down off of my uncle’s genealogy map, so it’s a little unorganized after a certain point. But I do know that I am directly descended from all of these individuals, I didn’t get names of siblings. So many great names. I came from them.
on April 29th, 2017 at 3:56 am
Edit: it wasn’t Margaret have, my phone autocorrected. It was Margaretha.
on April 29th, 2017 at 5:19 am
My great grandparents names were Nanna and Fingal on my mom’s side.
On my dad’s side the names were Astrid and Holger
on April 29th, 2017 at 7:17 am
Well, my grandmother’s father’s name was Lazaurus, which when compared to the rest of my family (Jameses, Georges and Johns) is pretty unusual. As for how he got it, his father’s name was Lazaurus, and his father’s, and his father’s…
My other grandmother has a sister called Jillia, which apparently was created by dropping the “n” off the more popular Gillian. Her mother, my great grandmother, is Gladys-Valeria but she goes by “Bunny”… if my name was Gladys I probably would too. I think the Valeria bit is because she was born on St. Valentine’s Day.
As for whether or not I would use them… I don’t know. Part of me feels like Lazarus is a pretty cool name and I kind of have an obligation to preserve it…
on April 29th, 2017 at 7:24 am
@danirose01, I work at a play group (in the UK) and we have a baby Murray!
on April 29th, 2017 at 9:06 am
My grandpa is from Estonia, where Rein is a fairly popular name, but it’s very odd in the US. It’s also my brother’s middle name. His first name is Brendan, which has been gaining popularity but still isn’t very common. My great-grandpa was Ernst, also an Estonian name that isn’t common here.
on April 29th, 2017 at 10:09 am
My family is part Serbian, part Russian, and Jewish. So we have a lot of names that aren’t considered normal. Jevrem (j is pronounced like y in Serbian) has been a common name for men on my mom’s side of the family for generations and is a middle name now for a lot of my family. A lot of Russian names have gotten more accepted because they’re seen as cool or exotic, and some Hebrew names are becoming widely embraced, which is great. Serbian names, though, remain a very self-contained thing – most of them don’t even appear if you look them up on Nameberry, even common ones.
The weirdest of all names in my entire family is actually a tie. My great-great-great grandfather Zeravico and his twin sister, Zeravica. Both names mean ‘enduring ember’ or ‘small flame’ and are a symbol of defiance – they were very sickly babies and barely made it – but even in Serbia, no one uses names that old-fashioned anymore. Even in their day, those were considered old-fashioned names suited to the late 1600’s-early 1700’s. Their nicknames were very different, Vico and Zera, so it wasn’t too confusing, from what I’ve been told. Personally, I wouldn’t give my children names so close to each other’s, but it was a different era and culture, so who am I to judge?
on April 29th, 2017 at 10:26 am
on April 29th, 2017 at 10:51 am
on April 29th, 2017 at 11:56 am
I had an ancestor, I think a 3rd or 4th great grandmother, named Peaches. She was from either Tennessee or Arkansas. Sounds like a southern name to me!
I don’t really have any other uncommon names in my tree that I know of. I have an Icelandic great grandmother named Allalheidur, which I’ve found out is a version of Adelheid. I would use Adelaide to honor her.
on April 29th, 2017 at 12:41 pm
The past few generations have been rather tame though we have a Triphina, a Randolph, an Ayvin and a (female) Cymbelline. In the past we have a few quirky ones; Newell, Bathsheba, Bohemia, Gregorgia, Margolis, and Ludwig. Love this topic!!!
on April 29th, 2017 at 5:03 pm
My great-great-great grandparents were Joseph and Lillith, and named my grandfather Little Joe. That’s right, they named him LITTLE JOE. So Joe kinda runs in our family of Ronnie Joe, Ryan Joe, a boy named Josey, and Reagan Joe.
on April 29th, 2017 at 11:22 pm
My mother and grandmother’s name is Sol-Britt. They are Swedish so ‘Britt’ isn’t that uncommon but with ‘Sol’ for a girl definitely was. My step- mothers name is Tamazin which was a name her mother made up in one of her books when she was younger, I have always found the name wonderful and unique, although my step-mother got teased with the ‘Demazin’ medicine. Other names that have been in my family are Quilla, Persille, Orabella and Saskia for girls and Alecsander and Beau (Which was incredibly unusual back then) for boys.
on April 30th, 2017 at 12:58 am
From my Dad’s side:
Denzil (my grandfather) – b. 1914
Bartholomew (my great-great-grandfather) – b. 1830s to 1850s
Piercey, as a middle name (my great-great-grandfather) – b. 1858
From my Mum’s side:
Otto (my great-grandmother’s brother) – b. early 1900s
Lisette, her nickname was Kegele??? (my great-great-grandmother) – b. 1879
Armand (my great-grandfather’s brother) – b. 1906
Domenica (my great-great-grandmother) – b. 1881
Guglielmo (my great-great-grandmother) – b. 1876 – (prn. Goo-lee-elmo)
Maria Adelina, (my great-great-grandmother) – b. 1873
Adelheid (another name for Maria Adelina)
Emil (my great-great-grandfather) – b. 1860s to 1840s
Giosuè (my great-great-grandfather) – b. 1875 – (prn. Ju-sweay)
My personal favorites, and the ones I’m most likely to use are Domenica (it means Sunday in Italian!) and Armand.
on April 30th, 2017 at 12:09 pm
I had a great uncle named Ivester Hampton. I never met him but he went by IH his whole life.
on April 30th, 2017 at 2:26 pm
Many unusual ones in our family, most of them too out there to use:
Zadine, named after her Aunt Zadie
Ephriam, has potential
on April 30th, 2017 at 2:34 pm
My grandpa’s name was Parvin. I think that’s the weirdest in my family. My mother in law’s name is Ferna and her sister’s name was Cliftina! Very weird!
on April 30th, 2017 at 2:40 pm
Ones I love in my ancestory (mainly from the 1800s and within a 10 mile area in Kent, England):
Male: Obed, Jabez, Job, Matthias, Ithiel, Ambrose, Silas, Bethnel, Marmaduke
Female: Philadelphia , Pheby and Pheabe, Phelia, Mercy, Elva, Bathsheba, Elisheba, Kerenhappuch, Azubah, Ansley, Rull, Meteldear and – ok this one is never to be used again! – Dirty Nell!
on April 30th, 2017 at 4:27 pm
Inez – mom
Dwight – brother
Cooper – son
Dane – son
Ty – nephew
Jadii – niece
Shawnda – niece
Blanche – grandma
on April 30th, 2017 at 6:35 pm
My name, Sidra, is one of the most unusual ones. My mother said she saw it in a baby name book and liked the meaning —”star.” Also in my family, a very interesting name given was the name — Boy!
on April 30th, 2017 at 9:33 pm
Both my grandfathers are named after their fathers, Perfecto and Irineo, respectively. Coincidentally, their nicknames are both Jun, coming from the fact that they are both Juniors to my great-grandfathers’ Seniors.
Both my grandmothers also have unusual names: Nieva and Lispeth.
on April 30th, 2017 at 9:58 pm
My great grandmother on my mother’s side is named Obey (pronounced Oh-Bee) which is a little weird. Also my grandmother’s name on my dad’s side is named Shila (Shy-la, not she-la as people commonly pronounce it) and my mom’s sister is named Cherylee which is a combination of the name Cheryl and the name Lee which apparently my grandparents couldn’t decide which to choose so they combined them. My mom also has three siblings who go by different names then what they were born with (her sister changed from Jacquelyn to Christy, her brother from Gary Jr. to Chet, and her brother just shortened from Anthony to Anton). I also go by Noelle even though I was born Taylor.
on May 1st, 2017 at 7:03 pm
The most unusual ones I’ve found in my research are Hubertina, Aloysius, Vestar (f), and Numa (m).
on May 1st, 2017 at 7:12 pm
My mom’s name is Rachel but her mother used to call her Ralph as nickname. I have a distant relative on each side named Ida. Ida from my dad’s family was pronounced Ee-duh and the one on my mom’s side was pronounced Eye-duh. My grandmother talked about her aunt Fannie a lot. My great grandmother’s were named Meta, pronounced may-tuh, Marie, Helen Miriam, and Sadie. My great grandfathers were named Morris, Maximilian, Samuel, and Boris/Borrie. My paternal grandfather was born in Germany and was named Berdt Walter and his brother Gerdt they escaped on a fishing boat during ww2 and their names were anglicized to Bernard/Bernie and Jerry on Ellis island. My sister’s name is Sami which isn’t short for anything. I love the name Meta and Ida pronounced Ee-duh for future kids and Morris and Boris for pets.
on May 1st, 2017 at 10:31 pm
I have a great-great (great?) grandmother named Narcissa. Wouldn’t use it, since it only reminds me of the Harry Potter character.
on May 1st, 2017 at 11:06 pm
Incoronata, Katarzyna, Guadalupe, Apolonia, Trinidad, Hipolita and Carmel are as unusual as my family gets haha
on May 2nd, 2017 at 1:56 pm
Unfortunately I don’t know a lot of certain parts of my family. There’s one part of my family that I can only find information on back to my great-grandparents, because sites like Ancestry don’t have any information on them unless they came to the states for some reason. I try my best to do research on my family history though, so I do have quite a few names. Most of them are from my Norwegian side, since they moved to the states in the 1880s and I have the most information on them. I’m going to post the names I’ve never heard of before, instead of the outdated ones that were quite popular back then.
Most of my hispanic side have the common latin names like Antonio, plus I don’t know very much about the history of my Panamanian family.
on May 2nd, 2017 at 1:57 pm
*Panameño, not Panamaño. Oops.
on May 5th, 2017 at 12:30 pm
I had a great-great aunt that was named Moses Alexandria! Some other girls include:
Revelation (who apparently went by Reeve)
Not a fan of all of these names (Bliss? What do you call her when she’s pitching a tantrum in the grocery store?), but I quite like Reeve, Juno, and Leontine!
on May 10th, 2017 at 6:41 am
My name was extremely unusual growing up (Amelia) but now every other baby here in the UK is called Amelia ?
My sister on the other hand is called Flanna…. I’ve yet to come across another Flanna!
The rest of my family have very common names, so no other rarities here!
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