So, you think you are a hardcore Bible-believer because you named your son Melchizedek and your daughter Hepzibah? You have nothing on the Puritans. When it comes to extreme Christian names, the Puritans were living on the edge. The following list of Puritan names comes down to us through Charles Bardsley’s 1888 masterpiece, Curiosities of Puritan Nomenclature:
- Dancell-Dallphebo-Mark-Anthony-Gallery-Cesar. Son of Dancell-Dallphebo-Mark-Anthony-Gallery-Cesar, born 1676.
- Praise-God. Full name, Praise-God Barebone. The Barebones were a rich source of crazy names. This one was a leather-worker, member of a particularly odd Puritan group and an MP. He gave his name to the Barebones Parliament, which ruled Britain in 1653.
- If-Christ-had-not-died-for-thee-thou-hadst-been-damned. Praise-God’s son, he made a name for himself as an economist. But, for some inexplicable reason, he decided to go by the name Nicolas Barbon.
- Fear-God. Also a Barebone.
- Jesus-Christ-came-into-the-world- to-save. Brother of “Damned Barebone”. I can only imagine this name shortened to “Save.”
- Joy-in-sorrow. A name attached to many stories of difficult births.
- Fear-not. His/her surname was “Helly”, born 1589.
- Die-Well. A brother of Farewell Sykes, who died in 1865. We can assume they had rather pessimistic parents.
- Continent. Continent Walker was born in 1594 in Sussex.
The book has many other unusual names as well. We like Tenacious and Verity, but think Dust and Kill-Sin are a little out there.
The Puritans as a group pretty much died out by the time the 18th century rolled around, so we generally don’t see names like this any longer. Maybe it is time to bring some of them back?