Meaning Behind Jessa Duggar’s Unusual Baby Name

Rachel Bertsche

Baby Seewald has a name! On Wednesday, Jessa Duggar Seewald and Ben Seewald posted a video reveal of their son’s name: Spurgeon Elliot Seewald.

“We are very excited to introduce our little baby boy to the world,” Jessa says in the video on her family’s website and “We’ve been working on deciding on a name, and we finally figured it out.”

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Spurgeon, who weighed in at 9 pounds, 11 ounces when he was born on November 5, is named for Charles Spurgeon, an influential British preacher from the 19th century. “He had a big impact on our lives,” Ben says in the video. “His writings and his sermons and books are still around today, and they just continue to impact many, many people.”


Spurgeon Elliot Seewald was born on November 5. (Photo: TLC)

The little guy’s middle name, Elliot, is a tribute to Jim and Elisabeth Elliot, Ben explains. “Jim Elliot was a missionary to South America, and he actually died on the mission field,” Ben says. “His wife, Elisabeth Elliot, she actually went back to the tribe after her husband’s death, and she continued to take the gospel there.” Elisabeth Elliot died in June.

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Pamela Redmond Satran, author of The Baby Name Bible and creator of Nameberry, says the first name of the Seewalds’ firstborn is quite unusual. In fact, not a single baby boy was named Spurgeon in 2014, according to the Social Security Administration. That said, the name was once more common — just over a century ago. “It did make the U.S. top 1,000 from 1880 all the way to 1914, peaking in 1892, the year of Charles Haddon Spurgeon’s death,” Satran tells Yahoo Parenting. “However, ‘peaking’ in those days, when relatively few names were recorded, means only 12 baby boys received the name.”


Jessa Duggar Seewald and Ben Seewald with their newborn son, Spurgeon Elliot. (Photo: Facebook/Jill & Jessa: Counting On)

Elliot, of course, is more common. In 2014, the name was the 217th most popular name for boys, according to the SSA.

While the name itself might be out of the ordinary, the Seewalds’ decision to name their son in honor of their role models is right on trend, Satran says. “More and more parents are choosing hero names for their babies,” she says. “Other recent celebrity choices include Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross’s daughter, Jagger — yes, for Mick Jagger — as well as Mariah Carey’s daughter, Monroe, after Marilyn Monroe, and Kristen Bell and Dax Shepard’s daughter Lincoln, after the president.”


The Seewalds named their son for 19th-century British preacher Charles Spurgeon. (Photo: TLC)

Satran says that two-syllable names ending in n, especially those that sound more like last names, are also a recent trend. “Though Spurgeon is a much more unusual choice than Mason or Logan,” she says.

Given his namesakes, little Spurgeon has big shoes to fill — but Mom and Dad think he’s already on his way. “He’s a precious little bundle of joy,” Jessa says in the video. “We’re so blessed to call him ours.”

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