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Elizabeth Disco was ahead of her time

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//September 26, 2005

Elizabeth Disco was ahead of her time

Virginia Lawyers Weekly//September 26, 2005

Anyone who has ever searched a really old title in the really old deed books in one of Virginia’s really old counties has come across some pretty oddball names.

My favorite personal discovery comes from genealogical research in Claiborne County, Tenn., right across the border from Virginia’s Lee County. In the 1850 census, there was a farmer there by the name of “Rufus Mustard.” His wife? Her name was “China.” By the way, there was no mention of whether Rufus ever was in the military, let alone whether he rose to the rank of colonel.

Around Johnston County, N.C., where my wife hails from, there are a lot of folks named “Barefoot.” That, of course, might explain why they’re called “Tarheels.”

Across the pond, in the public records office of Cornwall County, in far southwest England, some clerk was poring over a really old census and happened across an individual whose name was “Horatio Hornblower.” That’s right – same moniker as the naval hero in the books by C.S. Forester.

Horatio may have been the only one with a recognizable name in that family. His siblings were Azubia, Constantia, Erastus, Jecoliah, Jedidah and Jerusha.

Inspired by the discovery of Horatio Hornblower and his kin, the staff at the Cornwall Record Office decided to have some fun. They put together a listing of unusual names, mining census records, births and deaths, and marriage rolls. They went back to the 16th century, and unearthed about 1,000 entries.

The best names?

Rene Jackaman, the archive assistant at the Cornwall Record Office, told an AP reporter, “My all-time favorites are Abraham Thunderwolff and Freke Dorothy Fluck Lane.”

Other gems include:

* Bodecia Basher

* Philadelphia Bunnyface

* Elizabeth Disco

* Edward Evil

* Fozzitt Bonds

* Truth Bullock

* Charity Chilly

* Gentle Fudge

* Obedience Ginger

* Offspring Gurney

Oh, there was a guy named “Levi Jeans” who was married in Cornwall in 1797. However, his bride was not named “Denham.”

— Paul Fletcher

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