Archive for August 9th, 2010

I belong to a group on Flickr devoted entirely to peculiar names, and another to forgotten names. Peculiar names are unusual even for their time, while forgotten names are one that were once in common parlance but have fallen into disuse. Of course, I’m not always certain of the difference until I see a large number of tombstones with the same name. Then I know it’s a name that was once in common use but just isn’t heard much in this community today. I decided to pick a few unique names from Erie Street Cemetery and plug them into internet search engines with the words “name meaning” after them and see what came up.

Asahel is a Biblical name, sometimes spelled Asael or Asiel. The Biblical figure of Asahel was David’s nephew. This is the first time I have encountered this name on a tombstone.


Gamaliel is a Greek form of a Hebrew name that means “God is my reward,” and according to Wikipedia, is often given to a child born after an older sibling has been lost. It turns out that the middle initial G in Warren G. Harding’s name abbreviated his middle name of Gamaliel.

Gamaliel Fenton

I couldn’t even find a meaning or derivation for Erexene. The only relevant links that showed up on a Google search were genealogies that showed other women with that name.

Gamaliel Fenton

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