Unusual Names Are Often Found In Public Records

By Sarah E. Mitchell

In the last issue of The Pittsylvania Packet, I wrote about some of the most common names and their derivatives. In this issue, I will write about some of the most unusual names found in the Pittsylvania County marriage records for the years 1767-1861. Some of these names have been carried down and are still in use today -- names like Pleasant Shields, who was borne both by a man who married in the 1810's and by a man who recently retired from the Virginia police force. Unusual spellings also abound, such as ... Dorcas spelled Darkes, and Joyce spelled Joice.

Men's Names:

Speed A. Adams (m. 1843); Scarlett M. Adkerson (m. 1843; Scarlett was used as a boy's name in the early 1800's); Achilles Allen (m. 1802); Thomas Allsup (m. 1796); Sterling Asher (n. 1802); Champness Austin (m. 1796; Champness was a fairly popular name); Crafton Bennet (m. 1839); Macager Bennett (m. 1833); Micajah Wheeler Bennet (m. 1799); Henderson Bumpass (m. 1829); Jesse Chocklett (m. 1848); Malberry Copperage (m. 1850); Drury Cross (m. 1787); Sibert Crutcher (m. 1795); Royall King (m. 1799); Sharp Lamkin (m. 1797); Bird Lawless (m. 1789); Friar McNeely (m. 1840); Atha M. Mease (m. 1840); Edward Popejoy Jr. (m. 1810); Thomas Prosize (m. 1810); Tilghmon A. Pullin (m. 1830); Noton Ramsey (m. 1808); Jabez Smith (m. 1827); Baggle Stimson (m. 1810); Bezaleel Wier Sr. (m. 1816); Stithe Wynee (m. 1786).

Women's Names:

Eady Adkins (m. 1846); Mourning Bobbett Bennett (m. 1803); Hesterann Berger (m. 1833); Glasey Cooley (m. 1779); Asenna Dalton (m. 1795); Aincy Dear (m. 1796); Priscilla Dews (m. 1817); Sarah Dove (m. 1826); Stony Ferguson (m. 1792); Susanna Flippin (m. 1817); Tinah Groff (m. 1806); Luzina C. Hankins (m. 1837); Talliithecum Hoskins (m. 1823 -- perhaps from Mark 5:41, quoting Jesus in Armaic, "Talitha cumi" - "Damsel, I say unto thee arise"); Fanny Lamb (m. 1799); Lithe Lester (m. 1789); Zilla McDaniel (m. 1859); Wealthy Prewet (m. 1777); Patsey Pullen (m. 1799); Yuleanna Rider (m. 1803); Va. A. E. Sidebottom (m. 1858); Virlinda Simpson (m. 1782); Beheathaland Smith (m. 1788); Sarah Sweptson (m. 1832); Dionisha Walden (m. 1800); Nancy Waddill (m. 1805); Wilmoth Walrond (m. 1824); Christian Wynne (m. 1785); Ardinna Young (m. 1847); Celah Young (m. 1814).

Two women with names that were especially amusing were Axeye Jesse (m. 1809) and Polley Pistole (m. 1809; she became Polley Pistole Slaydon). [The names] sound like they are out of a western movie!

One of my favorite marriages name-wise is True Love Sparks to Jane Sparks, whose surety was put up by Peter Pigg.

Some of the ministers had unusual names also. Ebin (or Eben) Angel; Joseph Hatchett; Chrispen Dickenson Sr.; Crispin Dickenson Jr.; Edwin G. Cabaniss; Wm. H. Kinkle; W. M. Nesbitt; W. S. Penick; Wm. H. Plunkett; and Samuel I. Spotts all married many couples in the 1800's.

Note: This article was originally published in The Pittsylvania Packet, No. 17, The Pittsylvania Historical Society, Chatham, Virginia, Summer 1995 (when the author was sixteen years old).
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