Friday, March 27, 2009
1) Is this baby's name really "Beenanawell"?*
2) What is the origin of the name "Beenanawell"?
3) Is it pronounced bee-NAN-uh-well or buh-NAN-uh-well or some other way?
I have no answers, but I do know this: Beenanawell Gibbs joins Godbert Godbertson, Wigglesworth Switser, and Orange Wedge on my list of all-time favorite New England names.
You can visit Beenanawell in the Newport Common Burying Ground in Newport, RI.
*There's a man named Benanawell Bradford who lived in Michigan in the 19th century — he is sometimes listed as "Benamuel." I've found several other Benamuels, though none in the Bible. Did they mean ben Samuel? The closest in the KJV is Ben-ammi, Lot's son/grandson. The name translates as "child of incest."