Bill Leslie's Carolina Conversations

Clementine & Fanny

Posted February 25, 2008

Oh, my Darlin' Clementine! My great grandfather Milas Bruce Leslie used to sing that song. He married a Clementine Wilhelm and the two raised a fine family in Concord. One of their children was named Fanny. As a child I thought that was a very funny name.

Are names like Clementine and Fanny lost and gone forever? I hope not. I love many of the colorful names on family trees in the South. Here are some of my favorites: Beauregard, Clovis, Cletus, Inez and Darla Beth.

Examine your own family tree. Share with us the most interesting names.

I’ll send a “Peaceful Journey” DVD to the person who contributes the most unusual and interesting name.

Billybob is waiting to hear from you.


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  • teacher_96 Feb 26, 2008

    Also, after telling my mother what I was doing, she said to add: Aunt Flossie, my dad's grandma was Ida Mae, my maternal grandmother was Esther Mae, two uncle's named Foster- one had a daughter named Guinvene, Aunt Alma Jane, Aunt Mamie Cloe, Uncle Brotus...there's lots more. As was/is the tradition, you are called by your first and middle name. Same still goes!

  • teacher_96 Feb 26, 2008

    My grandmother was Marzell Dare. Never heard of anyone else named Marzell since.

  • guppy Feb 26, 2008

    Annie, Owen, Urna, Isabelle, Jim, Mattie Leigh, Daisy, Lucille, and Juanita, were my aunts and uncles names, Grandmother Ada Belle. I work with someone named Tonilove. My Dad is Norman.

  • qb523 Feb 26, 2008

    I once met a lady in Florence,SC who's name was Neverseen. I asked and she said it was because she'd never see her Dad. Most unusual name I've seen in 30yrs of dealing with the public.

  • owlady Feb 26, 2008

    hey Bill

    Hortense is a female name that you don't hear anymore.

  • VT1994Hokie Feb 25, 2008

    Hello Bill. Great story. I remember that song a long time ago. I haven't heard it in years. My dad used to sing it to us when we were children. My mother is named Lillie Mae. This is a rare name today.

    I talked to you and your wife at a Seafood Restaurant in Cary when I was principal of a local high school close to Southern Pines. We talked about Mark Roberts and what a wild and crazy guy he was on WRAL.

    Keep up the great work on WRAL. The best station on the news media!!!!

  • Lblum Feb 25, 2008

    Grandmother named Ethel Maye and grandfather named Jesse Melvin.

  • tonyfan8256 Feb 25, 2008

    My grandmothers name was Juis and my grandfather was Green Berry

  • Wheelman Feb 25, 2008

    My mother's side of the family had some real interesting ones. She was one of 9 kids. They were just Johnston Co. farming folks during the early 1900's. People back then had a lot of "Big" flowery names. These are real names: Eskar, Jennate, Cramer, Tav (I think was short for Octavia), Pecola, Repsi, Lottie (they called her Tom...and no I don't know why). The only "regular" names were my uncle Zeb (Zebulon) and my mother Katie. I don't know how my grandparents came up with these names since they were (no kidding here!)...Joseph and Mary. Thank goodness my Mother didn't try to carry on the naming tradition. Well...I don't know...she did name my sister Joretta. I lucked out and was named after my grandfather and father.

  • carolinamissy Feb 25, 2008

    My dad had an aunt named Pinkie




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Bill Leslie