Sunday, February 26, 2012

What's in a Name?

Okay, we've all heard those Puritan names like Temperance, Prudence, Deliverance and Patience usually given to women. Occasionally men get named for values like Wrestling Brewster, son of Governor William Brewster. One of the funniest I came across was a family that married into one of my lines who had a string of three generations of men named Hate-Evil Hall. I wonder what the future generations will make of current names like McKayla or Jerrick. 

Occasionally there are names that just send me into a fit of giggles. I have a fourth great grandfather named...are you ready??? Soranus! Soranus Shaw - it's nice to have some alliteration. So I decided to try to figure out the origin of such an unfortunate name and discovered that Soranus was a Greek physician who practiced in Rome and Alexandria during the late first and early second century. He wrote a treatise on gynecology and advocated hot tubs for treating stress among other things...So getting back to my ancestor, his brothers are named Joel, Abner and Eaton. How did he get so lucky to be named after a Greek physician and couldn't his parents (Gilbert and Silence) have chosen Hippocrates? It's odd but at least most people have heard of him. 

The Greek Physician

Soranus Shaw & Eliza Jackson
George Shaw & Esther Rowe
Lillie Shaw & Francis Llewellyn Cotton - Lillie is the step-mother of my great-grandfather Ray Everett Cotton