Sentimental Sunday: Searching for Zachariah

Our names are used virtually every day of our lives and yet the oddity remains that it's the privilege of our parents to choose it for us, whether we like it or not. I tend to go by the name, Annie, when in fact I'm an Anne I somehow think Annie sounds friendlier and less formal. It's not just people who have names, look at the clamour to get hold of web domain names for use in the virtual world. What we're talking about here is our identity, who we are and how we wish to present ourselves to each other. The fact is, names matter!

Looking through my family tree, there are several names belonging to various individuals, which have caught my eye along the way.
My favourite name to date is that belonging to my 7 x great-grandfather, ANANIAS BENNET. Being a biblical name, I can think of two instances where Ananias crops up in the New Testament. One was the husband of Sapphira, who was instantly struck down by God for lying, and the other laid hands on Saul (who became the Apostle, Paul) after the Apostle's experience on the Damascus Road, which had rendered him blind. I should imagine my Ananias had a less eventful life than both of his namesakes.

Also in my tree, there's ISRAEL BALL, ABRAHAM WOODALL, AMOS HIBBITT, SOLOMON BARNES, EMMANUEL HORN, ELI NEWBOLD, ISAAC SUMMERHILL, JEHOIADA DANDO and BEULAH PARKER. The Dando family were definitely religious but whether the parents of any of the others were devout is not known.

Besides these, there are countless individuals owning more conventional biblical names such as Samuel, David, Joseph, Nathaniel, Jonathan, Daniel, James, John, Stephen, Thomas, Benjamin, Andrew, Timothy, Luke, Mat(t)hew, Philip, Simon, Mary, Maria, Elizabeth, Hannah, Sarah, Rachael, Rebecca, Esther, Ruth, Miriam, Martha, Lydia, Julia, Phoebe, Priscilla and Deborah.

Aside from the biblical names, a few others stand out. I rather like the sound of ANN TWOGOOD, HUMPHREY HORN and LEONARD POCKETT. Then we have GEORGE WASHINGTON DANDO, whose mother was from Philadelphia and NOEL KING born in 1903, two days before Christmas.

It used to be a standing joke in our household when I was growing up that my dad would pass off his middle name as Zachariah. In fact he doesn't have a middle name but he had us kids going for years. I live in hope that one day I might dicover a forebear by that name I wonder if dad would think I was turning the joke on him if I did!

Category: Ancestors Corner

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