WHENCE THESE NAMES?
I have over 2000 family member names in my file, extending to before the revolution, and to our great grandchildren; and deriving from many countries and cultures.
I was a teacher for over 30 years so have heard many names, but these are interesting relative names that I never heard in a classroom:
Archibald Drinkard, Morning Wynne, Katy Hightower, Littleberry Tucker, Polly Cooksey, John Lumpkin Bailey, Alonza Waller, Zoe Miranda Steppe, Pleasant Lane.
These are understandable as ordinary names that are not now much used. I have looked at census records, DAR records, and records of the Mormon church; and have found that the names were common in their day, names much used.
But there are names that were not common and have no apparent logic for their use. Such is John Dabney Stepp and Ocea Pritchett Bailey. Where did Dabney and Pritchett come from? They were never common given names, and no family member ever had them as a family or familiar name.
After much study and research I think that I have the answer. It was the custom of parents of their first child to use the name of someone that had something to do with their marriage. Thus I have found that Dabney was the name of the clerk of the court that issued the Campbell county marriage license for his parents. And Pritchett was the name of the pastor that married the parents of Ocea.
But there still is the question, where did Lumpkin come from?
Name spellings changed over the years, and there were misspells in records such as court records and the U S Census. I have seen Steppe, Stepp, Step, Stept, Stapt, and Stapp as spellings for my family name. And families would decide on a change of spelling. For example, my great grandfather was buried in 1905 with Stepp on his headstone. Fifty years later great grandmother has Steppe on her headstone.
Some interesting names occur in my mother's family, the Waller family, poor tobacco farmers of south side Virginia. The names show that they were aware of what was going on in the world, that they were somewhat literate. Some of the names are: Benjamin Franklin Waller, Christopher Columbus Waller, General Washington Waller, William McKinley Waller, Harry Edison Waller and Queen Victoria Waller.