Monday, April 9, 2012

A to Z Challenge: H is for Hiram

This is day 8 of the A to Z April Challenge.      

is for Hiram.  Who would put that name on a sweet little baby?  Apparently at least 7 of my ancestors.  It comes from the Hebrew meaning “my brother is exalted.”  I wonder if they knew that.  Here is a thumbnail sketch of each of my Hirams (because there isn’t much more to say).

1. Hiram Franklin Davis is my 2nd cousin 3 times removed.  He was born 13 Sep 1867 along Naked Creek in Rockingham County, son of John Barton Davis and Sarah Samuels.  He married Cora Eppard May 10, 1888.  She was also my 2nd cousin 3 times removed, so apparently they were related to each other as well.

2.       Hiram Franklin Meadows, son of Mitchell and Virenda McDaniel Meadows, was born 14 Sep 1849 in Naked Creek, Rockingham County, Virginia and died 22 Feb 1911.  He was the husband of Mary E. V. Jollett, my 1st cousin 3 times removed.  I love his tombstone – he’s buried between his two wives.  Cozy.

3.       Hiram M. Meadows is Hiram Franklin Meadows’ son by his second wife.

4.       Hiram Merica, my 1st cousin 4 times removed, was born in 1842 in Naked Creek, Rockingham County, Virginia.  He was the son of William and Mary Eppard Merica.  (The Eppards were my maternal grandmother’s line.)

Are we sensing a pattern here?  “Hiram” must have been the “Jason” of the 1800s in Naked Creek.

5.       Hiram Oscar Eppard was my great grand uncle.  He died young at about age 23.  He was the son of George and Segourney Shiflett Eppard. 

6.       Hiram Smith, born near Naked Creek in 1841, was husband to my 2nd cousin 4 times removed, Eliza Ann Eppard.

7.       Hiram Taylor, born in 1838, in where else but Naked Creek, was my 1st cousin 4 times removed, son of Zacariah and Nancy Eppard Taylor. 

What a helpful exercise this has been.  I learned that Hiram was a big name among the Eppards.  As difficult as it is to believe, “Hiram” is NOT in the top 1000 names for baby boys today and hasn’t been for almost 30 years.  But those old-fashioned names are becoming popular again.  Move over Matthew and Justin – here comes little Hiram!

Hop on over to the A to Z April Challenge for Hundreds of posts on the letter H.

©2014, Wendy Mathias.  All rights reserved.


  1. So many Hirams, so little time...

    Great post!

  2. I found your blog through the A to Z Challenge. I love your theme! I'm writing a family history memoir and enjoy reading about people doing similar things. New follower! :)

  3. My daughter and daughter-in-law are BOTH Jennifer!
    Guess what the most popular name was 26/28 years ago?
    My DIL was SO happy when my daughter got married (then they both had different LAST names!) AND in choosing a name for her daughter she looked for names WAY down on the popular list!

    What is your female version of Hiram?

    I'm very interested in doing research into my family history.
    Where is the best place to start?

    1. How about Zibia Saloma? I guess I can get to her on Day 26!
      As for family history, the rule of thumb is start with what you know: record names, dates, birth/death, marriage/divorce, etc. for yourself, your parents, your grandparents, whatever you know. You need to decide whether you want to just do your direct line or learn about collateral lines (the lines of your direct ancestors' brothers and sisters). I highly recommend having a program like Family Tree Maker or Legacy or Roots Magic because programs help you spot holes in your research. Subscribing to Ancestry is helpful, but for basic searches like census records, you can use FamilySearch for free. Websites like and are great for connecting to people who might have already gathered info on your line.

      I feel like I've thrown a lot at you. Feel free to email me if you have questions or just want to chat further about getting started. I'm no expert, but am happy to share.

    2. So overwhelming! Probably why I have not gotten back to what I started YEARS ago!
      I've been deep cleaning the last couple of days and I came across a picture album that my great aunt put together for me back in 1999. I've been collecting and talking to the older memebers of the family for years.......I've just never put it together in an fashion.
      Thanks for the information about the programs AND the free websites.

    3. Oh, and I'll submit the name Zibia to my DIL!

  4. This is my 3rd visit here nad I am once again impressed at your knowledge of your family history. I tried to name my children unpopular yet not bizarre names...and now my son's name is becoming popular 20 years after I named him...but it isn't Hiram :)
    Happy A-Z April!

  5. I was researching my family history and fell in love with it, it is addictive, I doscovered Thomas was a long used family name and a few others we had no idea about, the whole genology thing is so interesting. I havent had time over the last year to so any more but intend to pick it up again. Saying hello from the A-Z Challenge x

  6. I've never heard of the name Hiram until just now, Wendy, and you have 7 of them! It is the Naked Creek address/town that has gotten my attention. Do you think that they might have lived near hot springs? ;-)

    I love the way you write about your family. You have such a great sense of humor, and I am really enjoying getting to know everybody.

    Kathy M.