Mom's Unique Baby Name Search in Cemeteries: What Prompted Her Viral Journey

This week, a mother from North Carolina went viral after sharing her unusual search for a baby name in a cemetery.

In Haley Hodge’s family, being called after a gravestone is not unusual. Her parents gave her younger sister the name Cooper after seeing a name at a funeral.

Hodge, a physical therapist and content developer, stated on Friday, “They were at the burial site, and they noticed her name.”

Hodge’s mother used to take the children on family outings to the cemetery to teach them about history.

“My mom found that we were more interested in spooky stories and ghost stories rather than the historical tours,” she stated. “I’ve always been fond of walking through the cemeteries and looking at how they’re decorated or their stories behind some of the people.”

Many years later, the expectant mother of three kids—ages one, three, and ten—wanted to carry on the custom.

“I just ended up seeing the beauty of the stories behind some of these gravestones and the people instead of just deaths associated with it.”

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The video posted by Hodge has received millions of views

While on a family outing in the seaside resort of Southport last weekend, Hodge and her family stopped to consider names for their unborn daughter after discovering Old Smithville Burying Ground.

She made the choice to post about her experience on her TikTok, @hodgehouse, which attracted almost three million views.

“I was pretty shocked,” she stated. “I knew it was going to have some different opinions with it because it is weird and it’s a bit unique for sure.”

Hodge and the team can be seen in the film strolling around the cemetery and pointing out names like Julia, Bunny, and Ella. Salem and Galloway are her faves.

Many others who left comments in agreement.

Hodge acknowledged that her method might be unusual, saying, “We found so many cool unique names, we may end up going to more cemeteries or just exploring different ways.”

She further added, “I know there’s baby books, but I feel like I see a lot of repeated names over and over again. And it’s fun to have a story behind finding a name. So, we may still be on the search a little bit more. But right now, I really liked the name Salem.”


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