In my family tree, unusual names were not so unusual. In fact, on some lines I could easily find five within the first couple generations. I have seen it all; Tristram, Ensign, Lucretia, Cicelye, and Greenberry (Yes, someone actually was named Greenberry!), but those are not the names I'm choosing. For unusual names, one particular lady comes to mind. Xripha Sullivan (born Davis) was born January 31, 1900 in Alabama; and was the fourth daughter to George Washington Davis and Dillie Ann Jones.
So, where in the world did they get that name? Her siblings had names like Bessie, Bonnie, Jesse, Oliver, and George (all pretty common names), so why Xripha? And how do you even pronounce that? Easy, Sur-if-fa. You definitely can tell the pronunciation from the spelling (sarcasm). One thing is for sure no one else could spell her name right. "Davis family early 1900's" In a census from 1910, you can find Xripha with the name of "Surriffie". I'd assume that back then the census people would just ask for their names and they had wrote her name down on how it sounded. Poor Xripha's tombstone isn't even spelt right. It appears to be hand-carved and kind of unreadable.
Xripha passed away at the age of fourty-two on June 15,1942, in Geneva, Alabama. I have never seen another name like hers and where her name came from still continues to be a mystery. Her father George Washington Davis (brick wall), was said to of possibly came from Ireland and there was some theories that her name was from another country. She may have lived a life with her name constantly misspelled, but her unusual name gave her a spot on my blog seventy-seven years later.