William D. Kearfott Photo

William D. Kearfott

Born: Jan 12, 1864

Death: Nov 12, 1917

Birthplace: Berkeley County

Nationality: United States

William D. Kearfott

Date of Birth : Jan 12, 1864
Date of Death : Nov 12, 1917
Birth Place : Berkeley County

William D. Kearfott, was an American engineer and amateur entomologist. Kearfott was educated in primary schools in Richmond and Philadelphia and was connected with the Morton Poole Company and the International Navigation Company in his early career. Kearfott was also associated with the Worthington Steam Pump Company and was considered an authority on his branch of engineering. Kearfott also worked on Lepidoptera, especially Tortricidae and built up a large collection. Kearfott had a peculiar approach to naming new species, using a very orderly, alphabetical fashion, resulting in species names such as: bobana, cocana, dodana, etc. Because Kearfott's names were published in widely distributed scientific journals and his species were adequately described and diagnosed, his names are valid, but the naming practice of Kearfott was not deemed appropriate by other entomologists, such as Edward Meyrick who even responded to Kearfott's work with a paper called "On some impossible scientific names in Micro-Lepidoptera," published in 1912. In this paper Meyrick described the Kearfott names as ". . . openly and obviously based on a barbarous and unmeaning gibberish."

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