Home Lifestyle I went searching for my dream baby name — in a graveyard

I went searching for my dream baby name — in a graveyard


Woman goes searching for her baby name in graveyard (Picture: @hodgehouse/TikTok)

Hayley Brooks Hodge, who is expecting her fourth child, went viral on TikTok after sharing how she gets inspiration for baby names.

In the video that hit more than 2.5 million views, Hayley can be seen walking around a graveyard with her husband Rivers and her children Finley, 10, Crew, three, and Banks, one.

Together they look at headstones and make a list of the names that they like, to use as possible monikers for their new arrival.

Hayley’s sister, Cooper, was named after a person on a tombstone, so the expectant mum decided to follow the same tradition.

Exploring the Old Smithville Burying Ground in Southport, North Carolina, she tells the camera: ‘We’re trying to find sissy’s name… then we can show her how she got her name.’

The trip was a success with two names – Galloway and Salem – being options for her baby girl’s name.

‘I don’t see graveyards as a place of death,’ Hayley said in a subsequent TikTok. ‘I see it as a place of rest, since they didn’t physically die right there. I see it as a place where visitors pay respect and remember a life (hopefully) well lived.’

The physical therapist visited the Oakdale Cemetery (also in North Carolina) to look for inspiration as well.

Names Hayley liked from Old Smithville Burying Ground

  1. James
  2. Julian
  3. Fisher
  4. Ella
  5. Galloway
  6. Salem
  7. Bunny
  8. Winnie
  9. Vienna
  10. Olympus

Names she was fond of here included: Bellamy, Cooper, Magdalene, Meares, Cornelia, Viola, Delia, Elsie, Corbett, Cape, Staley, Merritt, Clementine, Collett, Nora, Bridgers, Neppie, Adelaide, Lena and Ida.

Most viewers absolutely loved the idea of choosing a baby name this way.

‘Carrying a brand new soul through a garden of the past. What a clever way to find a beautiful name,’ wrote @sweetness0verload.

Connie (@conniegirl2004) wrote: ‘Love this. I hope people walk by my child and say her name. I can’t stop crying… oh goodness I hope so.’

Lynnsey Chandler (@lynns91) wrote: ‘Glad I’m not the only one who chose a name from a cemetery.’

Of course, there were some people who weren’t such a fan of Hayley’s method.

‘I wouldn’t go to a cemetery while pregnant, dangerous game you’re playing,’ said @dymsterr.

‘I’ve heard that pregnancies attract ghosts. I feel like this is like picking up a ghost at the rescue shelter,’ said @neondemon319.

Bella (@bellabee_77) added: ‘This is creepy.’

Names Hayley liked from Oakdale Cemetery

  1. Lula
  2. Viola
  3. Lisette
  4. Mable
  5. Syble
  6. Love
  7. Comfort
  8. Eula
  9. Tempie
  10. Lottie
  11. Neoma
  12. Delaney
  13. Sailor
  14. Honey

But it turns out Hayley is just one of the many mothers-to-be who has used a graveyard for inspiration.

Rosie Shearman, 34, from Hertfordshire tells Metro.co.uk that she turned to a cemetery after she and her partner were ‘lacking inspiration’ when it came to naming their little girl.

‘At one point he actually suggested the name of his one-year-old niece because he couldn’t think of anything else,’ she says.

‘I like traditional, old fashioned names so I thought a cemetery was the perfect place to go looking for our baby name.’

Rosy went looking in graveyards for baby name inspiration too (Picture: Rosy Shearman)

Rosie says that she found there were very few places to find a name that she and her partner hadn’t already thought of and decided they didn’t like.

She gave birth to a baby girl in January 2022 named Poppy.

‘I know there are a few name generator apps you can use but I found they just spat out the same few suggestions over and over,’ she adds.

‘A cemetery has such a variety of names, old and new. I’ve suggested looking around cemetery’s for baby names to many pregnant friends as well.

‘Other than the initial confused look on their faces, I think some have actually gone and done it!’

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