Unusual, inspiring and sometimes downright weird, Puritan names are a proud legacy.

Old shabby book in leather coverThe Puritans were English Protestants who believed that the reforms of the Church of England did not go far enough. In 1630, the Puritans set sail for America, 10 years after the Pilgrims. Unlike the Pilgrims, the Puritans did not break with the Church of England, but instead tried to reform it in a new land. They believe if they were successful, they would be blessed; if they failed, they would be punished.

When the Puritans arrived in New England they established the Massachusetts Bay Colony in a town they named Boston. Life was very difficult but they were free to worship as they chose. The Bible was central to their worship. Their church services were simple. The organ and all musical instruments were forbidden. Puritans sang psalms a cappella.

Puritans lived by a very strict code and the names they gave their children reflected this. The concept was to give children a godly and holy name that would never be tarnished by an unbeliever using the same name. They obviously went to great lengths to assure this! Their unusual name choices also helped Puritan recognize other members of their faith.

Puritan names were inspiring, interesting, unusual and sometimes just got downright strange. Names like Humiliation, Helpless, Abstinence, Praise God, Ashes and Fear Not were just the tip of the ice berg

For more information about unusual Puritan names , visit http://historyofnothing.wordpress.com/2013/09/05/puritans-and-their-weird-names/

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