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The Daily Genealogist: Cephas

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Julie Helen Otto

Julie Helen Otto
Staff Genelaogist

CEPHAS (m.) - Cephas is another name for Simon Peter [St. Peter] - fisherman, disciple, apostle and first bishop of Rome. CEPHAS is the Syriac or Aramaic word for ’rock.’ PETER (PETROS) is thus the same idea in Greek.

A quick look at the Bellingham, Mass., VRs reveals a branch of the Rockwood family that used this name: Cephas Rockwood, b. 25 May 1766, son of Joseph and Alice (Thompson) Rockwood; he was lost at sea 10 Dec. 1786 off Lovell’s Island (which the Bellingham town clerk, a notoriously bad speller, styled ’louvels eilon’) (Bellingham VRs, pp. 55, 207); and his nephew Cephas Rockwood, b. 12 March 1786, son of John and Eunice (____) (Smith) Rockwood (Bellingham VRs, p. 55); later known as Cephas Leland Rockwood (the middle name apparently honors his stepfather Aaron Leland), he lived many years at Chester, Vermont, later at Canton, N.Y., and died at Pewaukee, Wisconsin, 3 May 1844 (Vivian VaLera Rockwood, Four Centuries of American Descendants of Richard Rockwood of Dorchester 1633, Braintree 1636, Massachusetts, 2 vols. [Johnson City, Tenn.: The Overmountain Press, 2000], 1:176, 262, 367). The 1850 census lists 692 men with the name Cephas.


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