TikToker traces history on Ancestry, discovers entire Jamaican family has totally different names: ‘It’s strange, but I love it’

Families are full of unique quirks and traditions β€” and sometimes those traditions can lead to some stunning discoveries.

Kamie Crawford (@kamiecrawford) β€” TV host, beauty pageant winner and content creator best known for her work alongside Nev Schulman in the MTV series “Catfish: The TV Show” β€” made such a discovery when she looked into her Jamaican family history on Ancestry.com.

Last year, just in time for Caribbean American Heritage Month, Crawford stitched a response to @bla3kmagi3‘s question, “What is something that is normal in your culture, but weird to everyone else?”

@kamiecrawford

#stitch with @specialaffair_ Who can relate?! πŸ€”πŸ‡―πŸ‡² #caribbeantiktok #jamaican #ancestrydna #culture

♬ original sound – Kamie Crawford

In her video, which gained over 1.1 million views, Crawford explained that when she went to look up her relatives, none of their names popped up.

“I’m like, ‘Why Auntie Sunshine name not coming back? Why Auntie Rosie name not coming back? Why Junior name not coming back?'” she recalled.

As it turns out, it’s a Jamaican tradition to go by family nicknames, often referred to as home names, yard names or duppy names.

According to FamilySearch, these nicknames can be based on family ties, careers, physical appearance or personal preferences β€” hence why it can be so tricky to track down family members on genealogy websites.

In a follow-up video, @bla3kmagi3 explains that duppy (a word of African origin meaning “ghost” or “spirit”) names are used to protect individuals from negative energy, curses or bad blessings.

‘I still struggle to know who is who…’

Thousands of TikTokers shared their own families’ unique nicknames and traditions in Crawford’s comment section.

“I still struggle to know who is who!! πŸ‡ΉπŸ‡Ή πŸ‡¬πŸ‡Ύ,” one user wrote.

“I signed my grandfather’s name as Hisbee on my immigration form at the airport. I had to sleep there cos his name is Norris πŸ₯²,” commented another.

“Like WHHHHHHHY?!?!? Sista Dottie for Cynthia. Wayne for Godfrey or Perry!!!!πŸ˜΅β€πŸ’«” another user wrote.

“I had an Aunt Winnie, Aunt Dearest, and Uncle Beb and when they died I found out their real name on the funeral program πŸ˜‚,” commented one user.

“Same in Trinidad, I went my whole life thinking my dad’s name was Steve. Found a birth paper for Andre and I want to know who the hell is that πŸ˜‚πŸ˜‚,” laughed another.

Crawford’s viral video proves just how rich and fascinating β€” and sometimes a little confusing β€” family histories can be.

In The Know is now available on Apple News β€” follow us here!

If you enjoyed this story, check out this 25-year-old Haitian American who’s breaking barriers in the wine industry.

More from In The Know:

These Caribbean-owned snack bars will give you a boost of energy β€” and they taste amazing

ITK Taste Test: We tried each other's favorite Caribbean hot sauces β€”Β here's how it went

10 must-read books by Caribbean authors to add to your bookshelf

6 Caribbean-founded LGBTQIA+ organizations you need to follow and support

Listen to the latest episode of our pop culture podcast, We Should Talk: