By Job!

Every once in a while this family history lark throws up something odd that makes you wonder: “Where did that come from?”.

While working on the next in my series on surname origins, I discovered the curiously named Keren-happuch Fletcher. As you can imagine, enumerators had some considerable trouble with spelling and later transcribers would each produce their own peculiar combination of letters.

When I was a lad I learned at Sunday School about Job and his legendary patience, but I don’t recall anything about his daughters, who were said to be the most beautiful in the land – maybe my straight-laced tutors thought it an unsuitable topic.

And in all the land were no women found so fair as the daughters of Job: and their father gave them inheritance among their brethren. King James version, Job 42:15.

Anyway, I find these variable spellings odd. In a time when knowledge of the Bible was much more widespread than it is today I would have thought that the biblical connection would have been much clearer. Further clues are that two other daughters were Kezia and Jemima, Job’s other daughters. Enumerators and transcribers had no trouble with these names.

At least it breaks away from the usual John, William and Thomas, Mary, Elizabeth and Sarah!

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