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One of the greatest tributes to a respected person is the children who are named after them (even beyond Jr.’s and so forth). This has occurred quite a few times within American Presbyterianism. Some rather interesting examples pertaining to Log College Press authors can be found below.
Archibald Alexander (1772-1851) - Charles Hodge (1797-1878) named his son Archibald Alexander Hodge (1823-1886) after his mentor. Archibald Alexander Edward Taylor (1834-1903) was also named after the great Virginia-born Presbyterian.
Elias Boudinot IV (1740-1821) - Elias Boudinot (1802-1839) was a Cherokee Presbyterian minister who was born with the name Gallegina Uwati (Buck Watie). He took the name of his mentor after his conversion to Christ.
John Bunyan (1628-1688) - At least two American Presbyterian ministers have been named after the English Baptist author of The Pilgrim’s Progress: John Bunyan Reeve (1831-1916) and John Bunyan Shearer (1832-1919). Additionally, William Drew Robeson I (1844-1919) named a son John Bunyan Reeve Robeson (1886-1930, the son did not care for the name and was referred to as “Reed”).
Richard Cameron (1648-1680) - Richard Cameron Wylie (1846-1928), the American Covenanter, was named after the Scottish Covenanter martyr.
Henry Clay (1777-1852) - Henry Clay Cameron (1827-1906) was named after the American statesman.
William Cowper (1731-1800) - Archibald Alexander named his son William Cowper Alexander (1806-1874) after the English poet.
Samuel Davies (1723-1761) - Both Samuel Davies Alexander (1819-1894), son of Archibald Alexander; and Samuel Davies Hoge (1791-1826), son of Moses Hoge (1752-1820) and father of Moses Drury Hoge (1819-1899); were named for the Delaware-born “Apostle to Virginia.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) - Benjamin Franklin Bittinger (1824-1913) was named for the American Founding Father.
John Huss (1369-1415) - The Cherokee Presbyterian minister John Huss (1787-1858) was originally known as We-Cha-Lah-Nae-He (“the Spirit” or “Captain Spirit”). but took the name of the Bohemian Reformer after his conversion to Christ.
John Knox (1513-1572) - John Knox Witherspoon (1723-1794) was not only named for Scotland’s Reformation hero, but was also related to him through his mother, Anne (née Walker). The grandson of Witherspoon was also a Presbyterian minister named John Knox Witherspoon (1791-1853).
John Newton (1725-1807) - John Newton Waddel (1812-1895) was named for the English Anglican minister and poet.
James Renwick (1662-1688) - James Renwick Willson (1780-1853), the American Covenanter, was named for a famous Scottish Covenanter.
James Waddel (1739-1805) - Archibald Alexander named his son James Waddel Alexander (1804-1859) after his father-in-law. J.W. Alexander would go on to write a biography of James Waddel, “the Blind Preacher.”
The connections between these names reminds us that the past is not dead, and that names of heroes of the faith live on in more ways than one.
* This is an updated edition of a post originally published on April 19, 2018.