As I find new research materials, I’ll dump their links here.


Lessons on this journey called life: Haitian Names 101

Cornbread and Cremasse: What’s your other name?

Cornbread and Cremasse: Lost in Translation

Cornbread and Cremasse: Why the “Y”?

Mandaly used to talk occasionally about names on her blog Sweet Coconuts. Some of her best posts are:

What is a unique name for a Haitian Creole female?

What are some popular Haitian baby names for boys and girls?

How is the letter r pronounced? I was told it was silent? Example how do you say the name Robertson? Like in English or is r silent making it Obertson? Is it silent at beginning or word and not when in middle? explains some of the changes names undergo when they’re pronounced in Kreyol.

My name is Rochelle but my Haitian friend calls me Rachou as a nickname. I like it. Now I want to give him a nickname.

Forum discussions about Haitian names:

Prénom Haitien (Créole) … Pour filles ou garcons

Prenom Haïtien

This mailing list discussion starts off ominously shallow, then turns interesting as Haitians weigh in.

#4020: Funny Names in Haiti (fwd)

#4045: Funny Names in Haiti: A comment

#4098: Funny Names in Haiti : A comment from Bb Pierre Louis (fwd)

#409: Funny Names in Haiti: Simidor adds (fwd)

#3994: Haitian names

7399: Two more African Names!

#4122: Odd names in Haiti is a discussion of the myriad of Haitian surnames ending in -us.

Confidentielles: Prénoms Haïtiens

Farewell, Fred Voodoo: A Letter from Haiti, by Amy Wilentz

The Monkey and the Smoking Gun, by Arthur Fournier

Kreyol Names

De la place de la coutume dans l’ordre juridique haïtien: bilan et perspectives à la lumière du droit comparé : actes du colloque des 29 et 30 novembre 2001

Èske n dwe kreyolize non yo lè n ap ekri (kreyolizasyon)

Sezon sechres Ayiti, by Emmanuel W. Vedrine

Men yon lis pasyel Nom komik nan peyi Haiti, bay opinyon w.

Lape nan vant (search for “Nanpwenfanm”)

Cuban Names

To understand the past few decades of Haitian names, look no further than the wild and woolly name culture of Haiti’s neighbor Cuba.

Cuban Names: Please call me… Canned Meat

Julio or Juliabe? Inventing Baby Names Popular in Cuba

Culture Takes a Back Seat in Cubans’ Name Choices: Meet My Son, Usmail

The History of Haitian Names

Slavery and Social Death, by Orlando Patterson, talks about slaves’ names in the French Caribbean.

The Old Regime and the Haitian Revolution, by Malick W. Ghachem, talks at length about the social status of “white” names in colonial Haiti and white anxiety about black and mulatto people’s use of those names.

The Haitian Maroons: Liberty or Death, by Jean Fouchard, has a chapter on the names chosen by runaway slaves, called “maroons.”

Places to Find Haitian Names

The Association de Genealogie d’Haiti gives access to the Archives Nationales d’Haïti Database, which contains birth, baptism, marriage, and death registers from 1793 to the late 1800’s. As of 2/26/2016, there were 770,959 records in the database.

FamilySearch lets you search by location.

The Social Security Death Index, 1935-2014, lets you find records of deceased persons. Requires a membership to access the full results. This is a search for the word “Haiti.”

The Ellis Island Passenger Search lets you search passenger lists by name. Open the Wizard to search by birthplace.

Cool Miscellany

The Spirits in My Mother’s Head,” by Gina Athena Ulysse

The Bible in Kreyol