Tuesday, April 24, 2007

Branches on the Family Tree

My head is all a-swirl this week because I am eyebrow deep in genealogy research. I am truly enjoying it so far, but the effort requires many hours of reading... now in books, web sites, and oral histories, and later in libraries and courthouse files. My eyes are tired, but the treasure hunt motivates me to press on. It is so exhilirating to find one little fact, such as a middle name or, better yet, a maiden name which opens the doors to an entirely new branch on the family tree. It has also led me on some paths to towns and counties that no longer exist. After discovering a small tidbit about a family member or the local industries, my imagination runs wild in dreaming up what my ancestors must have done in the early 1900s, 1800s...and even 1700s.

One of the best parts of the search is discovering the old and unique names... or the many ways to spell them. Research shows, in one family branch alone, multiple women had a form of the name Katherine... which was also spelled Catherine, Catharine, Katharine, and Catharina. I have a long way to go to flush it all out, and some of the most interesting are held by uncles and aunts up several generations. Since many of you know a certain couple who are working very hard to find and narrow down baby names, I thought I would post a few from my direct ancestry that are not so run-of-the-mill these days. For your consideration. (Remember none of these are surnames... just first and/or middle names.)

Sheldon Rasho
Charles Bertle
John Sanduskey
Loren Eugene
Joseph Glenn
Charles August
Friedrich August
Johann Daniel
Johann Adam
(Yes, we're German.)

Clara Fern
Ruby Margaret
Estella Margaret
Ethel David (Yes, that's her middle name.)
Lucinda Ellen

I am especially fond of Lucinda, Ruby, and August. Do you have any family names that you love?


Dani said...

ohhh, I know a Sheldon and a Loren (but the Loren I know is an alternate spelling for Lauren). I also know a Mary John, named for her father since they had no sons.

I really like the name Bethany Rose or Rebecca Marie myself. I like on particular family name alot on my Dad's side it's Elwin.

Sashly said...

My great-grandpa's name was August. I never knew his real name was August until a couple of years ago or I might would have used it as a middle name for one of the boys. For some mysterious reason he changed his first and last name before he was married. I just love genealogy!

lydia said...

I recently learned of several family names on my great-grandpa Clapp's and my great-grandma Clapp's (Graves) side. A few that I was especially like are Benjamin(Graves, Great-Grandma Clapp's brother), Ruby and Rueben (twin brother and sister to Great-Grandma Clapp who died shortly after birth), and Opal (Great Grandma's sister who died at the age of 2). Great Grandpa Clapp's first name was Lloyd, which I've always thought would make a nice middle name.

On the Lester side of the family (Mom's Dad's side), Mathias was a common name and one of my favorites. Great Grandma Lester's maiden name was Barrett, which I think would also make for a nice middle name.

Lastly, Pearl is another name I like. It is my Nanny's name (Mom's Mom), and it was also the name of one of Great Grandma Clapp's sisters who also died at an early age.

Elizabeth said...

Well, you ought to know Southerners can come up with some crazy names. What is worse, some of these are relatively recent:
Verlin, Orman, Ira (male) Augustus Cloud (middle name), Refus, Dorcas, Marteca, the list goes on and on...
The all time winner from the family: Monervia Trefina

The ones I like the best: Lilly Mae, Lola(my great-grandma who went by her middle name "Mertice" -don't ask me why)

Dani said...

If you want a bad Southern name my great-grandmother was
Blanche Alphrata Brackin Pratt
and she had a sister named
Olivata Suziana Brackin Brim

it's no wonder that my grandmother didn't give my mother or aunt a middle name.

Sandy-san said...

I don't know if I love the names, but I do love the people behind the names!

Helen June
Helen Jean