Friday, 21 August 2009

Naming Difficulties

Anyone who has ever looked through a census will know that it is not always a boring list of people written in amazingly difficult to read handwriting. Every once in a while, particularly where people are filling in their own census schedules, you find a family that shows its personality.

Such was the case with the Grants in St Andrew’s District Four. It was one of those frustrating families where the parent given the responsibility for filling in the details saw fit to provide posterity with only the initials of his or her brood of four children, except for the last little girl, aged 3 weeks on 14 January 1862. No initials for her, just the comment “Not Christmas!”.

I sensed a family feud. I guess the Grants had used up all the names in the standard Scottish family naming pattern and it was time to look beyond monickers carried by grandparents and parents. One parent, doubtless backed up by the more romantic of the other children, was going for a really interesting name for the new arrival. The other, more staid and more aware of the difficulty of bearing an unusual name, was electing for something more down to earth.


I wonder what “Not Christmas!” ended up as. I hope she lived to enjoy it.

1 comment:

  1. I think she was 'not christened'...

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