29 January 2010

Name Your Kids Already!

This is the 1880s Census enumeration of my Sprouse Ancestors. The family of William Washington and Nancy K (Armstrong) Sprouse were living in Abbeville, Abbeville, South Carolina in 1880. This page shows only their children, with the couple listed on the previous page. And the names of two of their children? Babe. As in, unnamed babies. I know that it's not that unusual to have not named a child immediately, but I personally find it unusual to have two unnamed daughters of different ages, neither of which are infants.

The eldest of the unnamed girls was my Great-Great Grandmother, Nina Frances Spouse. I'm curious as to how she made it to the age of two without a name. Could the couple not pick a name? Was she was named after someone? The name Nina (Nine-uh) doesn't appear previously in the family that I can find, though there were tons of Franceses. What was the general length of time that children went without names during this time period?

I'll probably never know specifically why Nina wasn't "Nina" for over two years, but it's an interesting mystery to ponder.


Charley "Apple" Grabowski said...

Perhaps the information was given by a neighbor that did not know the youngest children's names.

Greta Koehl said...

Interesting that you noted that the name Nina was pronounced Nine-uh. My oldest half-sister (stillborn) had that name, and when I was younger I thought it odd. Later found out that that was a common pronunciation in those days.


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