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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genealogist

NOTWITHSTANDING (f): This famous example of bizarre New England Puritan names comes from Genealogy as Pastime and Profession (1930) by Donald Lines Jacobus, and is cited by him as an example of “the old custom of opening the Bible with eyes shut and giving the child the name which happened to be nearest the pointing finger.” Given the short life of at least one bearer, use of this name more likely reflects (justified) parental fear that their infant was not long for this world, but also faith that despite grim earthly prospects, its baptism assured eternal bliss hereafter.


Notwithstanding Griswold, b. Durham, Conn. 4 March 1759, daughter of Jeremiah and Sarah Griswold, died the next day, and was succeeded by a younger namesake, Notwithstanding “Standa” Griswold, born Durham 16 April 1764 and baptized the following 29 April. As “Standa” Griswold, this younger child was married to Daniel Graves of Guilford at the Second Congregational Church, North Guilford, Conn., on 2 April 1786; they apparently removed to Broome County, New York. She had many children and grandchildren, but none that I can see bore either version of her given name.

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