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Subject: Re: Southern names
Author: Devonelisa   (guest)
Date: March 21, 2004 at 2:31:10 AM
Reply to: Southern names by Meghan
What are 'southern names'? There are 'Southern names' as in names traditionally used in the South but the only southern names I can think of are placenames Sutherland or Sussex.

Southern names tend to be have lots of surnames used as given names (UK tradition - Harper, Tanner, Macon, Cameron, Fallon) as well as French influence (Beau, Quentin, Esme, Desiree, Jasmine) so French surnames as given names are typical - Devereux, Chandler, Chauncey, Scarlett, Travis. An Appalachian characteristic is Latinate names rendered phonetically according to accent so that Lavinia became Lavinie, Odelia became Odelie...again with the French influence. And of course, lots of compund names (French again) leading to compound nn's like Ella-Jo, Anna Mae, Davy-John. A fondness for hero names (Wade, Jefferson, Jackson) and place names (Savannah, Raleigh, Georgia) exist but there's a class factor traditionally, another UK leftover, so that these sorts of names would be more lower class while the upper-crust 'old families' would strive for impressive, respectable names. Jackson Wiley is Southern working class, Jefferson Grant Abbott III called 'Trey' is Southern classy ;o)

In my family tree we have a ex-con in VA/WV who chose to make himself a new life a few counties over with a new name - he chose William Randolph as in the wealthy old Randolphs of Virginia, kin of Pres. Thomas Jefferson. Aspirational naming is nothing new and very much characteristic of the South in the old days.


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