Monday, March 28, 2016

Zora Babel

One of Ocracoke's more unusual names is Zora Babel (Babel is pronounced with a long a). This is a traditional man's name in the Gaskins family. The earliest reference I have been able to find is for William Zora Babel Gaskins (b. 1831) who was married to Mary Elizabeth Howard. The last Ocracoke native I can think of with this name was Zora Babel Gaskins (1932-2008).

Zora Babel Gaskins (1855-1918)

I believe the name derives from Zerubbabel, a prominent character who is mentioned numerous times in the Bible. He was a governor of a Persian province, and led the first group of Jews who returned to Israel from the Babylonian Captivity between 538 and 520 BC. The name is from the Hebrew language, or possibly from the Babylonian language. Zəru Bābel in Babylonian means "Seed of Babylon."

Here is one biblical reference...Zechariah 4:9: “The hands of Zerub′babel have laid the foundation of this house; his hands shall also complete it."

This month's Ocracoke Newsletter is about the 1977 recording of traditional Outer Banks folk music. You can read the article here:  

1 comment:

  1. Anonymous8:14 AM

    My goodness-- what would we do with out the internet. The www and the various search engines available to ferret out the meanings of names, has led me to believe the root word for the spelling of Zora is Slavic and it means the dawn, is spelled with a C in that language. However Zorro/Zarra with the trilled r is Spanish for fox and is a considered a slur when referring to women. I have heard of the author Zora Neale Hurston, perhaps many of your readers have read her book Their Eyes were watching God.