Bronteana: Bronte Studies Blog Archives

January 12, 2006


Filed under: Uncategorized — by bronteana @ 11:19 pm

Literary Naming in 19th century America

Thanks to Mrs. Dionysius O’Gall for this very interesting article about 19th century census taking! The Bronte reference comes at the end, but the rest of the article is well worth the read on its own. This article deals with some of the practices of the census officers sent to take a census of Native Americans living on reserves:

American Indian children who attended school nearly always had an English name. George Gans, Horace Greeley, and Miles Standish are examples of names assigned to schoolboys.

In some years, depending often on the whims of the census-taker, every member of the tribe received an English name.

Big Rope’s Mother became Martha Big Rope. Dinero became Dora Money. And for a literary touch, Cacje’s Widow became Jane Eyre and Chis-chisla became Charles Dickens.



  1. Actually, it was Dr. Dionysius O’Gall who came up with the article on the census rolls. Wish I could take credit for it but I can’t!

    Comment by Anonymous — January 13, 2006 @ 8:25 am |Reply

  2. My mistake! How sloppy of me not to check before I posted. Thanks for setting me right. 🙂

    Comment by Brontëana — January 13, 2006 @ 10:52 am |Reply

RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

Create a free website or blog at

%d bloggers like this: