Monday, December 20, 2010

Gravestone of the Day: Daniel Whitcomb

Daniel Whitcomb, 1746, Stow, MA

HERE LIES BURIED
Ye BODY OF DANIEL
WHITCOMB SON OF
CORNEl EPHRAIM &
MRS PARTHAIANS
WHITCOMB WHO
DECd SEPTMbr 13th
AD 1746
AGE 1 YEAR
2 M & 2 DS

"Parthaians" is Parthias Wheeler, who married Ephraim Whitcomb in 1731. Her name is also recorded as "Parthiana," but she may well have been named Parthians, as the stone suggests. Any guesses as to why an 18th-century New Englander is named after an ancient kingdom in Iran are welcome. The Parthians are mentioned once in the Bible (Acts 2:9), but the story is about Pentecost, and it is clear that "Parthians" are people from Parthia – it isn't a given name. Is there another Parthia/Parthias/Parthiana in classical literature?

1 comment:

Bob said...

Perhaps along the lines of Europe, Asia, Africa, and America Stickney, the Wheeler parents named their children Parthia, Syria, Medea, and Judea Wheeler.

I also thought of Athena Parthenos, but none of the spellings seem like they were aiming at that.