Baby Names From Yesteryear: Aristocrat of the Week: Bladen Ozro Capell

Lou: This post came about a week or two after I stumbled onto Baby Names From Yesteryear, and for me it is a perfect example of the kinds of offbeat names Zeffy features from days gone by on an almost regular basis. For me, it’s a great reminder that you don’t necessarily have to run off to other culture to find new name inspirations; that home really is just as fruitful.
Bladen Ozro Capell (1897-1959) was a distant relative of the Earls of Essex and was the grandfather of the current heir presumptive to the title.
Both of his names can be traced back through his family tree:
Bladen entered the Capell family with Harriet Bladenwife of William Anne Capell, 4th Earl of Essex. The name’s origins are uncertain. Very likely it is connected to a town in England, possibly Bladon in Oxfordshire. Another alternative sees Bladen coming from the Latin for ‘side of a hill’.
The name can also be spelt as Blayden, Blaydon and Bladon.
While Bladen has its roots in England, Ozro came from an American relative. His maternal grandfather was called Ozro Jackson. It is not an unheard of name. There was a political figure in Quebec, a US representative from Ohio, and one of the founders of the University of Southern California by that name.
Its meaning seems to have evaded name websites. The closest there is to an explanation is that Ozro is a form of Ozer, a Hebrew name meaning ‘God’s Helper’, or a variant of Ozero, Russian for ‘lake’.
However, on Capell’s gravestone, his middle name reads Ozra. It is used as a feminine name, meaning ‘virgin’, in some Middle Eastern countries. Notably, there is a princess named Ozra, a member of the Zand dynasty, rulers of southern and central Iran during the eighteenth century.
Both Bladen and Ozro are uncommon but not completely outrageous. Bladen fits in well with the trend of –en names; Ozro has a lot going for it, too. It could be used as a substitute for Oscar, Oliver or Ezra. The nicknames of Oz or Ozzy could also appeal to some
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