Category Archives: Names

Name’s the Same ~ 52 Ancestors #10

This prompt just so happened to fit into a blog I had already decided to write, so this one was really exciting. I have been noticing for a few years that when I am researching that I tend to find someone with a last name that I am sure is in one of my lines. So I will then go to my default tree, my paternal side, and do a search for that name. When I find it, I am usually disappointed because this information doesn’t match any of my ancestors.

I have had the thought in the back of my mind for a long time about taking some time and comparing the last names of my ancestors between my paternal and maternal sides. I have put it off because of the numbers of ancestors that would be. Just on one side I could have as many as 2048 9x great grandparents and on both sides there could be 4098. Yes, I know that the chances of having all 4098 9x great grandparents found and documented are slim. Even if I had ¼ of them, that is still 1024 ancestors. It would become a daunting task.

Another hindrance to completing this task was the common names I find in my lines. One’s like Smith, Brown, Johnson, Jones, and the like. So what did I do? I decided I would pull up both trees, side by side, and compare some of the uncommon surnames in them. I also pulled up my notes to see which ancestor information I had previously investigated that turned out to not be mine. What an eye-opener. Here are a few:

1a) Hughes/Hayes: John Graves my 6th Great Grandfather was born in 1680 in Essex County, Virginia and died in 1747 in the same county.
1b) Smith/McGowan: John Graves my 10th Great Grandfather was born in 1589 in Nezeing, Essex County, England and died in 1644 in Roxbury, Suffolk County, Massachusetts.

2a) Hughes/Hayes: John Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in Isle of Wright, Virginia and died on April 23, 1726, in Chowan County, North Carolina.
2b) Smith/McGowan: Colonel George Jordan my 7th Great Grandfather was born in 1653 in Surry County, Virginia and died in 1718 in the same county.

3a) Hughes/Hayes: Mary Towneley my 10th Great Grandmother was born on May 13, 1614, in England and died on August 11, 1662, at Warner Hall, Gloucester County, Virginia.
3b) Smith/McGowan: Alice Towneley my 9th Great Grandmother was born in 1675 in Gloucester County, Virginia, and died on January 1, 1710, in Middlesex County, Virginia.

4a) Hughes/Hayes: Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin was born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. He married Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.
4b) Smith/McGowan: Sarah Catherine Page my 1st cousin was born on September 10, 1910, in Page City, Lafayette County, Missouri and died on May 10, 1993, In Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri. She married Carl Lee Hughes my 2nd cousin born on January 6, 1914, in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri and died in 1989 in Sedalia, Pettis County, Missouri.

As you can see from the first ancestors they had the exact same name. Numbers 2 and 3 had an unusual surname with different given names. The last one shows how one cousin from my paternal side married a cousin from my maternal side.

I also went through a few names on my “could be related” list and discovered that several of them did fit into one of the trees, my maternal side.

“Names the Same” is truly the right name for this blog!

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.

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Namesake ~ 52 Ancestors 52 Weeks #3

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.

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Freaky Friday’s ~ The Name Game

freaky-friday-logoHave you ever come upon an ancestor whose last name is slightly different from their parents? Names like “John/Johnson, Anders/Anderson or perhaps, Issac/Isaacson”? Cultures that traditionally used patronymic family names gave the child the father’s first name then added the word son to it. In Norway, each son of Anders was an “Andersen” and every daughter was an “Andersdatter”.

The first known Patronymic naming of a child was in 1612. It became a very popular custom for those who had ventured to the New World. Many of the immigrants came seeking a new life or a new start so with that came a new variation of their name. I have one such ancestor name, John Dods. He was born in Great Neck, Yorkshire, England in 1571. He arrived in Jamestown, Virginia in 1607 and married a woman named Jane shortly after that. When they began to have children (I only have proof of 2 sons) the boys were named Jesse and Benjamin Dodson.

Following this principle, I started doing some research into other cultures naming traditions. Basically, I was hoping to find any information about one of my brick wall ancestors, Jane Virtchworth. There is absolutely no documentation to be found for her. The source of Jane’s name appears to be a private letter written more than 100 years ago which stated, “Benjamin Goodin came from Wales and settled in Baltimore, Md ca 1750. He was m in Va in 1762 to Jane Virtchworth. He d. aged 101”. This information comes from “Descendants of James (Timothy) McClintock and Some Related Families…” by A. Louise (McClintock) Shelton, published in 1985. See footnote on page 19 for more details regarding the source of this letter. So during my research, I came across the following information:

Among the Welsh, every male child of David would be an “ap David” and everyWalesMap daughter a, “virtch David”. Using this information we could assume that Jane Virtchworth was really Jane virtch Worth. Her father’s first name was “Worth” and his family name — a patronymic — would have been “ap [what ever his father’s first name was]”. So my next step will be to search records in the Culpeper County, VA, and the Maryland area sometime between 1750 and 1762 to see if there may be an immigrant who arrived from Wales and has the first name of Worth with a daughter named Jane. This will be a tedious task and there is no guarantee that this method will work. However, I believe it would be worth a try.

I wonder how many other “Freaky” ways of attempting to tear down brick walls there are?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Freaky Friday’s ~ It’s Not Unusual

freakyfridayI have previously written about my children’s’ unusual names. They have used the fact that I did this to proclaim that I had been a hippy. However, I had a good explanation as to why they were named what they were. My oldest son I named after my maternal Grandparent, the only one I had met, John Pleasant Smith. He had been named after his father, Pleasant m, so I wanted to keep it in the family. Growing up we called my son “Pleasant”. My next child, another son. I named Starr Douglas, The Douglas was for my dad. Because my older son’s name was unusual, I wanted this sons’ name to be also. When I was 8 months pregnant I saw a Senator on TV who was named Starr. I thought that sounded good. My last child, a daughter, I named Jerusha Jane, The Jane was a family name passed down through many generations. The name Jerusha came from a character Julie Andrews played in the movie Hawaii. It just fits with the name Jane!

I started thinking about all the unusual names I have found on both sides of my family tree. Some of them were obviously pasted down while others were a complete mystery. I would love to know where the person who named them got it from. So the following are a few of the odd ones I have found and a few thoughts as to where they came from.

I have discovered odd names dating back to the beginnings of our country. Most notable are some of the names that were given by my 10th Great Grandfather, Elder William Brewster who came over on the Mayflower. Since he was a religious man and spiritual leader, I assume some of the names reflected his circumstances at the time of the child’s birth.  For instance, his daughter Love was born in 1595. She was the first Patience 2daughter born so I think maybe as a father he was expressing his “Love” for finally having one. His second daughter, Patience was born in 1600. I believe he named her this because the family was having to develop “Patience” because of waiting for the right time to run from the persecution from King James 1 because they had turned their backs on the King’s religion. The third daughter was named Fear and she was born in 1603. They must have lived with a lot of “Fear” during this time as many protestants were being killed for their faith. His last son was born in 1605 and he was named Wrestling. Perhaps William was “Wrestling” with his faith as they prepared to make their escape to Leyden, Holland?

SteadfastNext up is the children of my 11th Great Grandfather, Thomas Starr. His first son, born in 1589 was named Comfort. Maybe it was a prophetic naming since he did give “Comfort” to others by becoming a Doctor of Medicine. Thomas and his wife Susan had 13 children. Only 3 of them had “normal” names. Listed in order of birth is Comfort, Moregift, Mercy, Judith, Joyful, Beloved, Constant, Truth-Shall-Prevail, Steadfast, Suretrust, William, Nostrength and Jehosephat. With these names, your guess is as good as mine!

On my maternal side of the family, I am descended from a long line of the surname offountain Page. Some of the more unusual names were Fountain, Granville, Axcell, Marble, Mann, Tayloe (no it is not a typo!), and the only female of the bunch, my Great Aunt Dytha. Maybe they were all named after a place their parents had visited?

I just think some of these names could be considered “freaky”. What is even freakier is this list of names is just a very small portion of the unusual names I find in my family. What are some of the unique or strange names you have found in your lineage?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

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Freaky Friday #9 ~ A Rose By Any Other Name

Freaked Out Letters Funny A Little Crazy Word

Sometimes I am thankful that some of my “Genealogy Finds” are ones that no one else will find out about. At least not until I am gone, and they inherit all my research. Today I found a mistake in my paternal family tree. You could say it was an honest mistake on my part, but it was a mistake, nevertheless.

I must admit that lately, I have been busy taking care of my husband who has some major health problems. It has taken up almost all my normal research time. As a result, I have divided my trees into groups of ancestors so I can work on them more efficiently. So, with my “spare” time this morning, I decided to work on my Strother line.

Beverley Strother Randolph is my 4th cousin 4 times removed. Born July 17, 1851, and Beverley S Randolph HSdied February 5, 1929, I didn’t have much more information other than that about her! Image my surprise when I found her marriage information. According to her marriage license, Beverley married Mary Strother Jewett on April 20, 1882! I was so confused. After all, this was the 19th Century.

Upon further research, I discovered that Beverley was not a female as I had assumed. I  found the death registry and that cleared up my mistake. Just because he had a feminine sounding name, I had entered his gender wrong. I have heard of other males with this name, but it never struck me that this may be the case when I added him to the tree. After correcting his gender and finishing my other updates I began to wonder what other mistakes like this one have I made.Beverley S Randolph death registration 1

There are a lot of names that could be used for either gender. Take my name for instance. Here in the United States, Valerie is a feminine name, but in Russia, it is a male name. My youngest son’s name is Starr which can be used for either gender. Names like Chris, Angel, Terry or Kelly can also be for either one.

I guess now I should find the time to take a second look through my trees to make sure that I haven’t made this mistake anywhere else! This was definitely a “Freaky” Find.

 

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I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Saturday’s Dilemma ~ Lewisa Bean

question markThis is the ancestor that I have the least amount of information about. There has been a lot of debates on Ancestry.com concerning her name, year of birth, and marriage. Let’s take a look at what I do know about her.

 

My 3 x Great Grandmother, Lewisa Bean as born in 1860 in Shenandoah County, Virginia. She married John Parrott, the founder of Parrotsville, Cocke Co, Tennessee, on June 27, 1881. Reverend Jacob Snyder performed the ceremony. She was John’s second wife.

Over the next 17 years, the had 5 children. The 3 sons were Joseph, Larue, and Jacob. The 2 daughters were Rachel and Catherine. Catherine is my 2x Great Grandmother.

She apparently died in Parrotsville, TN. Date unknown.

There is great controversy as to her name. First the spelling. In most of the Ancestry John Parrott Lewisa Bean MLtrees, I find it listed as Louise or Louisa.  Some of them have the name, Louisa Lucy. I understand that there are different ways to spell names and Louise or Louisa could be another way of writing Lewisa. However, as of this writing, I only have one document pertaining to her and her name is Lewisa on it. I have never found anything with either of the other 2 spellings or with the middle name of Lucy. That brings us to the year of birth and the year she got married.

Lewisa Bean John Parrott ML.I found one “record” of their marriage in the publication “A History of Shenandoah County, Virginia”. It states that they got married at the date listed above. It has her name spelled as “Lewisa”. However, there is a “U.S. and International Marriage Record” that has a Louise Bean marrying a John Parrett in 1861. If this was Lewisa she would have gotten married when she was 1 year old!  Also, her last child was born in 1899 so calculating this she would have been anywhere between 55 to 60 years old when Catherine was born. One thing that people keep pointing out to me is the marriage month and day are the same on both “records”, just the year is different.

So, as you can see, until I find more concrete documentation I am at a standstill. I have turned off the comments on Lewisa’s page so I don’t continue to get harassed because of these discrepancies.

Does anyone have any suggestions of where I may look for more information on her?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Surprise!  I Am The Father of My 5x Great Grandfather

Does this sound confusing? Well, it was for me too.  However, I have been having fun with it all day. Let me explain.

I sat down at my computer to see what “gems” I might find. Logging into Ancestry I wentAncestry Goof. straight to the hints (or the shaky green leaf’s) and there was one for my 5 times Great Grandfather. Something looked a little strange at the top of the page and I spent a few minutes trying to figure it out. Well, right under the name and dates of birth and death was the strangest thing I have ever seen on this site. Listed in the relationship to you line at the bottom it said, “You are the Father of Colbert Blair”. I probably stared at it for a minute before that sunk in. Then I started to laugh.

 

Ancestry Goof 3Being curious I started looking at some other ancestors. All of them were messed up. I looked at my 10 times Great Grandfather Benjamin Singletary and it had him listed as the “6th great-grandfather of husband of 5th great-granddaughter “! This one was especially confusing. As I searched backwards through my tree, I found this had happened to all my ancestors in my Hughes/Hayes tree. I went to my other trees and they were fine.

 

Ancestry Goof 2

I am still waiting on Ancestry to figure out what is wrong, and I hope it gets fixed soon. It is a little disturbing to know that my Dad in “My 6th Great Grandson”! In the meantime I am having lots of fun trying to figure out my relationships, it’s complicated!!

 

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: Your Family History: Doing It Right the First Time and Planning Your Genealogy Research Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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Genealogy Oddities

question markI always find it fascinating how as we travel back in time through our Family’s history we can find so many things that seem “odd”. Odd things that happened, odd relationships and somethings that are just plain odd. I have come across a lot of really odd things through my lines. The oddest thing I found just this week.

 

In the past, I discovered that my Dad’s family and my Mother’s family have been crossingMayflower paths since at least the 1600s.  Two of my 10 times Great Grandfathers came over on the Mayflower together. William Brewster (Dad’s side) was the spiritual leader of the Pilgrims. William White, (Mother’s side) was the father of the first child born in this community. His youngest son, Peregrine was born aboard the Mayflower while docked in the harbor. Also, William White was one of the first to die during the first hard winter. His wife Susanna then married Edward Winslow the newly elected Governor of the Colony.

jamestownAnother odd thing I had discovered was my 9 times Great Grandfather, Captain William Powell (Dad’s side) arrived in America on the Third Supply mission of nine ships, which brought additional settlers and some supplies to the surviving colonists at Jamestown Virginia in 1609. My 9 times Great Grandfather Thomas Garnet (Mother’s side) accompanied William as his indentured servant. Between one-half and two-thirds of white immigrants to the American colonies came under indentures. Indenture lasted usually between 3-10 years. They were basically slaves and were treated as such. Powell was killed by Indians in 1622. Thomas worked off his indenture by 1619 and went on to marry, have children and become an upstanding member of the Colony.

Now to the oddest thing I have discovered. First a little explanation. When I had my oldest son, I made the decision to name him after the only Grandparent I ever met. My Mother’s father John Pleasant. We called him Pleasant until he was 16 years old. At this age, he wanted to be called J.P. When I was about 8 months pregnant with my next son I didn’t have a name picked out. I knew I wanted to have his name include my Dad’s name, Douglas, I just didn’t want it to be his first name. Because my oldest son’s name was unique I wanted this little boy to have a unique name also. So, I chose Starr as his first name. I had my daughter’s name picked out since I was 12 years old. The tradition in our family was my middle name was Jane, my Mother’s middle name was Jane and the tradition went back several generations. Therefore, any daughter I had should also have this middle name. I heard the name Jerusha in the movie “Hawaii” and decided Jerusha Jane sounded good.

My children always give the excuse that I was a “hippie” (I was not!) and that is why their names were so strange. This was the easiest explanation they could come up with. During my research, I discovered that my 7 times Great Grandfather Thomas Starr and his wife Mary Morgan had a daughter and named her Jerusha. Jerusha Starr! Now they can tell everyone they are named after their 8 times Great Aunt!!!

What are some of the “odd” things you discovered in your family tree?

 

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I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

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Now That Was a Surprise!

surprise 2When I first started my tree online I took some time and looked at how others organized theirs. I noticed that a lot of people capitalized the last name of a direct line ancestor and realizing that this is a great idea I started doing the same. It has made it easy to immediately identify a great or a great+ grandparent.

A couple of days ago I got a “leaf” on my 9 times Great Grandfather Jonathan Brewster. The hint wasn’t for my Jonathan but as I was looking over the timeline I have on him I noticed that 2 of his daughters had their last name capitalized. How in the world did I make that kind of mistake? I was almost positive that his daughter Grace was my 8 times Great Grandmother, so I forwarded through her line and indeed she is.

family tree 1I went back to the original page and began following her sister Hannah’s line. Odd, there were capitalized names going down her line also! Being the “sleuth” that I am I decided to follow this line as far as I could to see where it goes. Lo and behold, I didn’t have far to go.

I discovered that Hannah was also my 8 times Great Grandmother, but surprise, she was also my 8 times Great Aunt. That meant that Grace was also my 8 times Great Aunt.  I took a couple of minutes to let it sink in……. she’s my 8xG-Grandma…. she’s my 8xG-Aunt…they are both my 8xG-Grandmas AND 8xG-Aunts. Oh, the fun I had. Here is how this played out;

Grace m. Captain Daniel Wetherell      Hannah  m. Samuel Starr

Their daughter                                           Their son

Mary m. George Dennison                       Thomas m. Mary  Morgan

Their son                                                      Their daughter

Daniel Dennison m. his cousin Rachel Starr

 

This makes both Daniel and Rachel my 6 times Great Grandparents but they both are also my 1st Cousin 6 times removed!

This scenario reminds me of some bad jokes I have heard!

confused-smileyOut of curiosity I decided to randomly look for more of these types of anomalies in my trees. As of today, I have found 3 more “my Grandma is my Aunt” cases. The hunt continues!

 

Have you found any situations like this in your line?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

 

 

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Am I The Only One???

PonderingThose of us who have a passion for Family History know that there are never enough hours in the day to do the research we desire. We steal a few hours here and there as life allows. When we find a new document, photo or lead we happily follow it for as long as it takes. We happily follow any lead we can find.

I pulled a muscle in my back last week so I was confined to sitting forduh1 most of my days. I took advantage of my “misfortune” to delve into some of those annoying little leaves I have let build up on my page. Most of them are a dead end and very few belong to my family. Scrolling down the list, pushing the “ignore” button when a name I didn’t recognize appeared; Elizabeth Gorusch my 8 times Great Grandmother. The name was not even remotely familiar. She was born in England in 1607, came to America in 1623 and married my 8 times G-Grandfather William Powell in 1639. His name I recognized! I was feeling very stupid at this point. How could I not recognize the name of one of my direct ancestors?

To be honest, this isn’t the first time this has happened and not just with Direct Line female ancestors. There have been several times that a male ancestor’s name was foreign to me. I decided to do a little indirect research. I discovered the following:

How many ancestors do you have?

Parents 2

Grandparents 4

Great-Grandparents 8

2 nd Great-Grandparents 16

3 rd Great-Grandparents 32

4 th Great-Grandparents 64

5 th Great-Grandparents 128

6 th Great-Grandparents 256

7 th Great-Grandparents 512

8 th Great-Grandparents 1,024

9 th Great-Grandparents 2,048

10th Great-Grandparents 4,096

PREZI SKETCHESI suddenly felt smarter. I wasn’t a neglectful 8 times Great Granddaughter! I have 1,024 8 times Great Grandparents. There is no way I could know all their names. I don’t think I know even half of my 2 times Great Grandparents.

After this experience, I spent several hours following some of my lines back as far as I could, making notes on the names of the ones I don’t remember ever seeing before. Most of them had basic information and a couple of documents, but so much more research was needed.

The next time I have free time I now have uncharted territory to dive into. The question I have is:

HAS THIS HAPPENED TO ANYONE ELSE?

 

I am a professional genealogist, writer, photographer, crafter, reader, wife, mother, and grandma. I have two books available on Amazon.com: http://tinyurl.com/Your-Family-History and http://tinyurl.com/Genealogy-Research-Trip. You can also connect with me via Facebook or Twitter.

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