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Happy Easter!

As Easter is almost upon us, I look for the name EASTER in the Deceased Online database . . . with some surprising results.

The origins of the word Easter used as a forename are unclear. Some etymologists believe the name comes from an Anglo-Saxon goddess, Eostre. Others associate it with the Old Testament queen, Esther, whose story is commemorated in the festival of Purim that precedes the Jewish spring festival of Pesach, or Passover. There is also a theory that some girls were named Easter as a variant or misspelling of the more commonly used Esther.

The earliest mention of an Easter in the Deceased Online database is Easter Ashcroft, who was buried at St Paul's Church, Bedford on 1 September 1696. As you can see from the scan of the burial register below, this Easter was the daughter of another Easter, the wife of Mr John Ashcroft.

Later in the database there are some interesting forename and surname combinations, including Easter Penny, who was buried on 30 January 1915 in Old Deer, Aberdeenshire. Sadly, this daughter of farmers of Kenknockie died at just 12 years old.

63 year old Easter Bird was laid to rest on the 8th October 1840 at the nonconformist burial ground of Bunhill Fields in central London.
Searching in the General Register Office's indices of English and Welsh births, I discovered, perhaps unbelievably, that there was a child whose parents had named her Easter Day! Easter Jane Day, to give her her full name, was registered in September quarter 1850 in Oswestry district.

But my favourite seasonal name in the Deceased Online database has to be what I hope everyone will be wearing this weekend: Easter Smiles.
This entry is taken from the register of West Ham Cemetery in the London Borough of Newham for 24th November 1925.

Do let us know via our Facebook and Twitter pages if you have any EASTERs in your family tree - or even an EGG or a FRIDAY?

And finally, wishing all database users a very enjoyable Easter weekend from everyone at Deceased Online!

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