Genealogy Friday: Searching the Meaning of Unique Names

A bust of Ariovistus
A bust of Ariovistus

I told you last week about how I discovered my ancestor, Ariovistus.   He had such a unique name that I wondered what it meant.

I knew this wasn’t a family name so where did it come from.

I decided to conduct a Google search.

This is what appeared and it’s from Wikipedia:

Ariovistus was a leader of the Suebi and other allied Germanic peoples in the second quarter of the 1st century BC. He and his followers took part in a war in Gaul, assisting the Arverni and Sequani to defeat their rivals the Aedui, after which they settled in large numbers in conquered Gallic territory in the Alsace region. They were defeated, however, in the Battle of Vosges and driven back over the Rhine in 58 BC by Julius Caesar.

Now, I knew where the name originated.

I’ll never know the story about what he was named this but I can speculate.

Logically, I would think that one of his parents was reading a history book or some sort of book that mentioned Ariovistus.   For some reason this name struck them and they decided to name their son this name.

All of their other children, before and after him have normal sounding names.

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