Michael Sherrod is a V.P. at Ancestry.com, part of The Generations Network. I guess V.P.s do genealogy research also since Michael and co-author Matthew Rayback must have spent a lot of hours looking at census records. The two have now authored a book, entitled Bad Baby Names: The Worst True Names Parents Saddled Their Kids With, and You Can Too!
Bad baby names? How about Carr Chase? Well, we can't blame the parents as young Carr was born many years before the invention of the automobile. Likewise, Mr. and Mrs. Pack named their little girl Fanny before that phrase meant a favorite fashion accessory. But how about Mr. and Mrs. Royd who named their young daughter Emma?
Then there is Fat Meat Fields, Pickle Parker, Harry Pigg, Panties Moberg and Toilet Queen, to name a few. And, yes, those are all real names. They come straight from U.S. census records, and the authors have copies of the census records to prove each one.
Other parents apparently can't resist a pun. The census records list people named Nighten Day, Blacken White, Four Nickels, Lotta Bull, Tuna Fish, Bowling Lane, Num Butt, and Amanda Love. Every schoolchild in Texas hears about Gov. James Stephen Hogg's daughter, Ima. Contrary to popular legends, she did not have sisters Ura or Wera. Then there is Ima Weiner, Ima Reck, Ima Nutt, Ima Pain and Ima Butt, to name a few.
Perhaps the strangest one is Hugh Jass.
Believe it or not, there are worse names than these. They're just not in the book. Michael said he and co-author Matthew Rayback wanted to keep their book PG, so they left out the really naughty names. "We got kind of risqué, but we tried to keep it appropriate as a baby shower gift," he said.
Bad Baby Names is available for $9.95 from Ancestry Publishing at http://store.ancestry.com/ProductDetail.aspx?p=mfsku4551(shops)&PT=Books-Ancestry+Publishing(shops) and from all the normal online book stores, including a price of $6.97 at RootsBooks.com. (Full disclosure here: I am the owner of RootsBooks.com.)
You might also be interested in the Bad Baby Names Blog at http://www.badbabynames.net.