Primary Resource

"How the name ther children"; an excerpt from "Relation of Virginia, 1609" by Henry Spelman (1613)

In a section of "Relation of Virginia, 1609" titled "How the name ther children," the Jamestown colonist Henry Spelman describes Virginia Indian naming practices as he encountered it living with the Algonquian-speaking Powhatan and Patawomeck Indians from 1609 until 1611. His account was probably written in 1613 but not published until 1872.

Transcription from Original

After the mother is delivered of hir child with in sum feaw dayes after the kinsfolke and neyburs beinge intreated ther unto, cums unto the house: wher beinge assembled the father, takes the child in his armes: and declars that his name shall be, as he then calls him, so his name is, which dunn the rest of the day is spent in feastinge, and dauncinge.