It wasn’t until I began researching my family history that I realized that my middle name wasn’t as “plain” as I thought. I found that at least one third of my female ancestors share this same name.
Growing up I hated my middle name ….. Jane. My sister taunted me with “plain Jane” throughout my childhood. I once got up the courage to ask my mother why she gave me the middle name Jane, and she told me that was her name, and it went back a few generations. She also told me that if I were to have a daughter I had to name her Jane, even if it was the middle name.
Me at 9 months old
From that time on I would occasionally try to think of a first name that would sound good with it, but I didn’t like any of them. Then, when I was about 12 or 13 years old, my best friends mom took us to see the movie Hawaii. Julie Andrews played the main female lead, a missionaries’ wife named Jerusha. I thought about it ….. Jerusha Jane….I loved it. It just seemed to just flow. I had to wait through 2 sons until my daughter was born when I was 23 to use it.
Julie Andrews as “Jerusha”
My mothers name was Emmajane, her mom was Ella Jane, her mom was Sarah Jane and so on. There are over 200 female ancestors with the name of Jane in the first five previous generations in both my maternal and paternal lines.
In retrospect, I think my dislike of the name came from the dysfunctional relationship that I had with my mother. She had some mental problems that only got worse with age, and I was never close to her. Once I discovered all of the “Jane’s” in my lines, I have grown to love the name.I am proud to be the namesake of these women.
I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have written two books “Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time” and “Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip”, both available on Amazon. You can also connect with me on Facebook and Twitter @VHughesAuthor.