Tuesday, February 10, 2015

#NameCollecting: On the Gloyd Path

Gloyd W. Backensto was born 13 April 1888 in Blooming Grove, Ohio. He married my 4th cousin, twice removed, Susie Mohn.

I know what you're thinking, but yes, his name was "Gloyd", with a "G."

It wasn't a transcription error or a typo on his birth certificate. They didn't write "Floyd" or "Lloyd" in turn-of-the-century cursive only to have someone copy it down wrong when the records were digitized. No, as an adult head of household, on at least three successive U.S. Census enumerations, he is clearly listed as "Gloyd".

It is not Floyd. It is not Clyde - that is his brother's name. It is not Lloyd - though he named his son Lloyde. In each of the records I can see, there is basis for comparison, and the man's name was Gloyd.

Fine. Acceptance is here. But we still have a question: what kind of name is "Gloyd"?

(A girl named "Floyd"?
Floyd will always be a barber to me.)
I pulled up a few baby name databases - here are the top ten results from searching for Gloyd on BabyCenter.com:

1 Cloyd Boy
2 Floyd Boy
3 Lloyd Boy
4 Lloyd Girl
5 Floyd Girl
6 Loyd Boy
7 Glora Girl
8 Kloye Girl
9 Glori Girl
10 Elody Girl

Not only does his name not show up, there are two different spellings of "G-Love" in the top 30 suggestions, along with "Ploy", "Flood", "Cloud", and "Goody". In other words, random vocabulary words are more common than this name.

BabyNames.com offered these suggestions:


Clearly, we are dealing with something unique. But where did the name come from?

Gloyd's parents were Anthony J. Backensto and Jane Eller. Anthony's father's name was Jacob, but beyond the 1870 Census saying he was born in Pennsylvania, it isn't even clear where the surname "Backensto" came from. Ancestry and Wikipedia also come up empty - suggesting more intensive research might be needed to answer even such basic questions.

For now, Gloyd will have to remain an enigmatic mystery.

Gloyd & Susie - Find a Grave Database

No comments:

Post a Comment