Crazy White People Names

A while ago, I wrote about one of the odder monuments on the Boston Common, which is dedicated to the Oneida football team (undefeated from 1862 to 1865, though the Civil War might have had something to do with that streak). But what I find fascinating are the names on the roster:


So you have your typical Boston Brahmin names from the mid-nineteenth century: Arnold, Peabody, Forbes. Even a New York transplant, Thies. And then at the bottom…

Huntington Frothingham Wolcott

Did his friends call him Huntington? Or Hunt for short? Maybe ‘Ting.’ Hopefully, not ‘Frothy.’ His entire name consists of last names.

At least I hope that’s his name, and not a continuation of the previous line which would give you Robert Clifford Watson Huntington Frothingham Wolcott.

I believe this is the first evidence of the degeneration of Boston’s WASP elite…

An aside: while people think of Boston as an Irish city, the power structure, until the 1940s, was dominated by white Protestants.

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6 Responses to Crazy White People Names

  1. Kerry Maxwell says:

    According to this, Frothy died of fever after returning to Boston from the Civil War:

  2. RossK says:

    Of fever?

    Sounds microbiological to me.



  3. dr2chase says:

    In my ancestry, you may find Isaac Newton Watts, Aquila Chase, Moses Chase, and Eltweed Pomeroy. And then they got really fond of Stephen and Frederick, and used those names a whole lot.

  4. Sarah Correia says:

    Could have been Southern like my mom’s ancestors. In Virginia they use last names for first names and have for a long time not just since the Civil War.. Like Mr. Wolcott with his string of last names my multiple times great uncle was named Smith Pyne Bankhead all last names as well

  5. kaleberg says:

    Using a last name as a first or middle name was an old WASP tradition. A lot of women had middle names that were just family names being passed down from their or some ancestor’s mother’s side. I had a friend who was descended from the Bulkeleys, so her middle name was Bulkeley. She was a comic book fan, so she adopted the monicker, The Incredible Bulk.

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