Monday, 28 September 2009

The oddest baby names in Canadian history

The following is a press release from


Toronto, ON – September 28, 2009) In honour of the birthday today of two of the most absurdly named children the world has ever known – Pilot Inspektor, son of actor Patrick Lee, and Moon Unit, daughter of legendary musician Frank Zappa – has dug deep into its historical records to reveal some of the worst baby names in Canada’s history, and discovers that giving children strange names is neither a new trend, nor one reserved for Hollywood celebrities.

Some of the most unusual names in Canada can be found as far back as the 1840s and prove that when looking for a unique name for a child, parents took cues from almost anywhere. From the palace to the barnyard and from fruit orchard to the heavens above, here are some of the finest, funniest and often times most unfortunate historical Canadian names.

Names of Divine inspiration:

  • Jesus Christ Long - born in 1879 to Samuel, a watchmaker, and his wife Isabella in Middlesex County (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)
  • God Moses Fleshman - born in 1883 to parents Hannah and Joseph, Russian immigrants, in Lanark County, Ontario. Moses would later move to the Prairies – or as some people like to call it – God’s country (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)

Canada’s ‘Royal’ family:

  • King Farrell - born in 1886 to parents William and Frances, Irish immigrants who raised King as a Methodist (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Queen Brittain - born in 1900 in Brant County, Queen grew up in a house with seven siblings, none of whom were named after royal titles and no doubt felt aggrieved (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909 and 1901 Census of Canada)
  • Prince Hutchison - born in 1842 to John, a farmer, and grew up in a house in the Maritimes with six other children (from 1851 Census of Canada East, Canada West, New Brunswick, and Nova Scotia)
  • Princess Orth - born in 1881 to parents John and Alice in Oxford County, Ontario (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)

The SPCA Wing:

  • Horse Love - this 17-year old worked, perhaps predictably, as a farm labourer, earning a meagre $180 in 1910 (from 1911 Census of Canada)

The Gwyneth Paltrow/Chris Martin Wing:

  • Apple Coutts - born to Alfred, a farmer, and his wife Elizabeth in 1904 in Elgin County, Ontario (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)
  • Festus Apple Ryder - born in 1881 to his wagon-maker father, Hugh, and wife Sarah. Festus would grow up to become a labourer and marry at the age of 27 in what one can only imagine was a festive ceremony (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)

Everyone Loves the Holidays:

  • Merry Christmas James - not born to Jesus Christ Long, but in fact to parents John and Jennie in 1867 (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)
  • Happy Newyear Kerwenyee -born on New Year’s Day in 1877 to John, a farmer, and his wife Louisa (from Ontario, Canada Births, 1869-1909)

The Joke’s on You!

  • Jester MacNut - lived in Colchester, Nova Scotia (from 1891 Census of Canada)
  • Ruby F. Hoax - claim that she was related to Colchester’s own Jester MacNut is currently being investigated... (from 1911 Census in Colchester, Nova Scotia)
  • John Joke - a jovial Finnish immigrant that had settled in Kindersley, Saskatchewan (from 1916 Census of Canada)

Be My Valentine?

  • Love Peace Joy - a 25-year old who was born in India and came to Canada to work in the Bible industry (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Amor Figydt - this 35 year-old lived in a small house on St Paul Street in Toronto, Ontario with his three children and his mother (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Romance Clark - born in the US, this 15-year-old lived with her family in Moosejaw, Saskatchewan in 1911, after immigrating to Canada the previous year (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Myholy Cupid - a 24-year-old recent Polish immigrant to Canada, working 40-plus hour work weeks as a street labourer, sharing a lodge with other Polish immigrants (from 1911 Census of Canada)
  • Valentine Couture - a 3-year-old with a love of fashion? (from 1851 Census of Canada)

Karen Peterson, Marketing Director for comments: “Searching through historical records has never been more fun or easy, thanks to the online preservation and indexing of family history records such as censuses, birth and marriage records, passenger lists and immigration records.

“If you’re lucky, you just might find that you are a descendent of Jesus Christ! Jesus Christ Long that is.”

To find out more about your family history visit and let the journey begin.

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