Sunday, March 11, 2012

Balthasar and Hazelelponi!

Balthasar and Hazelelponi??? What odd names! Balthasar Willix is my 10th Great Grandfather. Balthasar is one of the names of the three magi along with Caspar and Melchior. While looking for references to the name I learned Saint Balthasar is the patron saint of playing card manufacturers...seriously? There is a patron saint of playing card manufacturers! He is also the patron saint of those with epilepsy and sawyers. That's a diverse group! 

Balthasar's daughter, Hazelelponi Willix is my 9th Great Grandmother. So where does the name Hazelelponi come from? Like many names of the era (she was born abt 1636), it comes from the Bible. First Chronicles 4:3: "And these were of the father Etam: Jezreel and Ishma and Idbash: and the name of their sister was Hazelelponi " The meanings vary according to source. Some think it might be the name of a clan or town rather than a personal name. Its meaning is also varied according to source but the overall consensus is that it refers to shade or shadow over a face. "The Shadow Looking at Me" or "Give Shade, Thou Who Turnest to Me" 

So what leads one to name a daughter Hazelelponi? Hazelelponi receives only passing reference in the Bible so what made them pick this obscure name?  Did her parents want her to stand out in a sea of Marys, Sarahs, Hannahs, and Rebeccas? Her sisters were Anna or Hannah and Susanna. Hazelelponi married first John Gee and second Obadiah Wood. One of her daughters was named Hazelelponi but she named her other daughters common names; Mary, Martha, Hannah. Hazelelponi Willix Gee Wood is buried in the Old North Burying Ground in Ipswich, MA. 

These images come from - tree of Joan Jordan.

Balthasar's wife and Hazelelponi's mother was murdered and thrown in the Oyster River and I will write about that in a future post. 

Other posts on unusual names:  Soranus Shaw
Balthasar Willix & Hannah/Annah
Hazelelponi Willix & John Gee
Hannah/Annah Gee & Samuel Hodgkins
Jonathan Hodgkins & Mary Stockbridge
Rachel Hodgkins & William Moody
Elizabeth Moody & Samuel Ackley
William Ackley & Deborah Capen
Sarah Ackley & John Abbott
Mary Jane Abbott & Edward Capen
Fannie Capen & Edward M. Carter
T. Richard Carter & F. Lyndell Cotton


  1. I have been fascinated with Hazelelponah's story since I first heard it and decided to include her in a my upcoming historical novel "The Redemption of Mehitabel Braybrooke". I'll keep you posted if you are interested. She is, of course, a totally charming character!

  2. I would love to read your book. I can be contacted at

    Hazelelponi is my 9th great grandmother.