Mother who went to cemetery for baby name inspiration reveals daughter’s name

Mother who went to cemetery for baby name inspiration reveals daughter’s name (TikTok/@hodgehouse)
Mother who went to cemetery for baby name inspiration reveals daughter’s name (TikTok/@hodgehouse)

Inspiration for baby names can come from anywhere, but one woman specifically turned to a cemetery.

Haley Hodge previously posted a video on TikTok where she visited a cemetery because she thought it would be a good spot to find name suggestions. Now, Hodge is revealing what name she ended up choosing.

Her video began by giving hints to the name as text across the screen read: “Meaning: peaceful, safe; complete.” Hodge also mentioned that there was a “family water connection,” as her daughter would be named after a “34.7 mile-long tributary of the Delaware River.”

She then explained that she found the name at the Old Smithville Burying Ground in Southport, North Carolina, and the man who inspired the name was in the US coast guards and fought in World War II.

“Our lives missed overlapping by about eight months. He was married and did not have any children of his own,” she shared, adding: “But hopefully he will be okay with being an honorary grandpa to our baby girl.”

The video then showed the family leaving flowers near his tombstone as they revealed their daughter’s name would be Salem. “Thank you, Salem, for inspiring us to bring new life to your name,” the clip ended.

In the TikTok’s caption, Hodge did note that they still hadn’t agreed on a middle name. “Now to decide on the final middle name to go with it…” she wrote.

After posting, the video received more than 36,000 views, with many people taking to the comments to express how much they loved the name.

“You just made my DAY!!!! The cemetery is one block from me. You have honored him and your daughter is going to be blessed,” one comment read.

“My son is Salem Grey! Absolutely love the name,” another comment read.

Other commenters gave some suggestions regarding a middle name.

“Elizabeth would be a pretty middle name!!!” one commenter suggested, while another wrote: “Salem Winnie Hodge.”

In Hodge’s original TikTok, where she revealed she was using the cemetery for name inspiration, the comments were divided between those who loved the concept and those who thought it was strange.

However, she did further defend herself in a follow-up video, where she wrote: “My perspective on this: I don’t see graveyards as a place of death.”

“I see it as a place of rest, since they didn’t physically die right there. I see it as a place where visitors pay respect and remember a life (hopefully) well lived.”

She further elaborated on this point in an interview with People, where she admitted the environment of a cemetery doesn’t frighten her. “I just saw it as I’m going to the place where people’s grandparents are, their best friends, loved ones. I don’t see it as a place of evil,” she told the outlet.

“These are people who lived lives and hopefully good lives and were good people.”

Hodge admitted that she never even planned on filming her walk until she came to the conclusion that it could be something to show her future daughter.

“I wasn’t even going to post [the videos],” she said. “I was like: ‘You know what? This is kind of cool to share’ … I knew it was going to spark some attention, being different.”