What’s in a name?
The Kiernander surname is a rare one, and it has always been so. Seldom recognised in everyday encounters, it usually elicits an exasperated, “How do you spell that?”, or “Where’s that from?”. The apparent simplicity of these two questions belies their thorny nature; for although Kiernander is not an ancient name it does have a tangled history.
There was a time when the name Kiernander was well-known both in Britain and in India. In the nineteenth century, not a year went by without reference being made in print to the first Protestant missionary to Bengal, companion of Clive and Hastings, the Rev. Johann Zachariah Kiernander. At this time in Calcutta it was not unknown for children to be christened with Kiernander as a middle name in memory of the great man. His name lived on in that city until relatively recent times through his legacy of charitable institutions: the church, schools, hospital, almshouses, and the cemetery commonly called “Mr. Kiernander’s burial ground”. Read More >>