People receive their names according to a number of social conventions. Often those conventions reflect regional differences. Biblical names and names derived from classical Greek and Roman history, for example, have remained somewhat more popular in Appalachia than other parts of the country. Appalachian people rely more on using double names like Billy Joe or Sarah Jane to distinguish among individuals with identical first and last names. Nicknames based on personal characteristics like “Big Joe” or “Little Billy” are often assigned in Appalachia to identify people with similar names. Interestingly, more Appalachian men are called by their middle names than in other parts of the country, and some children are referred to by a parent’s name, such as William’s Tommy.
Below is the Digital Heritage Moment as broadcast on the radio:
- Bascom Lamar Lunsford One voice seized me more than the rest. Over a simply picked banjo, the voice sang mournfully about a mole in the ground. Elsewhere, the same voice preached, over that same simple banjo, […]
- Tom Wilson Big Tom Wilson, a legendary tracker, guide, and bear hunter whose death was reported in the New York Times, roamed the Mt. Mitchell area in the early 19th century.
- Junior Johnson Essay by Timothy N. Osment
Back in the 1930s and 1940s, when moonshining was a means of survival in the mountains of Western North Carolina, a young man emerged […]
- Gertrude Dills McKee Gertrude Dills McKee, daughter of the founder of Dillsboro, North Carolina, married local businessman Ernest Lyndon McKee. She worked actively for various civic causes. . .
- Frankie Silver 18-year-old Frankie Silver was hanged in Morganton, North Carolina in 1833, convicted of killing then dismembering her 19-year-old husband in a fit of jealous rage. Her mother and brother […]