This topic for the week by Amy Johnson Crow is tough. My ancestors all had pretty common names in their times. One group in the Kirksey family named their children after heroic figures: Andrew Jackson, Benjamin Franklin, and George Washington, Christopher Columbus, Madison and Monroe. These names were carried through two or three generations. There were many who were named after their mother’s surnames: Curry and Barnet. On the 1850 census, at six months old, my great grandfather was listed as unnamed. When he was finally given a name, it was Grandisson Philmon. Where that came from I do not know but one story is that his father said, “He’s the grandis son he had.” He may have been a frail child and survived. Unfortunately he was in his early 30s when he died.
Families often named children after Biblical figures. In Chesterfield, Virginia, Mr. and Mrs. Branch had a sense of humor. They named their son Olive Branch.