Category Archives: Write Your Story

What’s In A Name?

Whats in a nameHave you ever wondered why a parent would name their child a certain name? I do all the time. However I am guilty of giving my children “different” names myself and I am asked why all the time. Researching my family’s history, I have discovered that I am not alone in this. I have a first cousin 5x removed born in 1803 North Carolina who was named Wiseman Fisherman Loving. I have tried to no avail to figure out why he was named this. Were his parents hoping that he would grow up to be a wise man and a great fisherman? Was his father drunk the day he was born and just spouted out the name? We may never know.

PeregrineWhiteRock

My 9th Great Grandfather born in England in 1616 was named Resolved White. He came to America aboard the Mayflower with his Father William and pregnant Mother Susanna in    1620. I can only assume he was named this because his father was “Resolved” to make it to the New World. His younger brother was the first child born from those on the Mayflower and he was born on board the ship in Plymouth Harbor. His parents named him “Peregrine”!                                                           Do you suppose the first thing his mother saw after giving birth was a Peregrine Falcon?

William Brewster hsMy other Mayflower Ancestor, my 10th Great Grandfather William Brewster was also born in England in 1567 and traveled aboard the Mayflower with his wife Judith and 6 of his 9 children. My 9th Great Grandfather was named Jonathan, a very common name. However, the last 4 children born were named Love, Patience, Fear and Wrestling! William Brewster was a Protestant who along with others of his faith had to flee to Holland to escape persecution from the King of England. Perhaps he named his children after the struggles he was having before coming to America. He must have experienced Love, Fear, Patience and Wrestling while making the important decision to come to the New World.

There are some names I just can’t figure out. Like my Great Grandmother Asenath Walt born 1863 in Missouri. Was hers a family name? I haven’t found any evidence of that. Was it a popular name during that time? Who knows?  My 4th Great Grandfather Axel Heath Page was born 1785 in Virginia. Was he named for a wheel Axel?

As for my own children at least I can give an explanation for their names.   My oldest son is

Dad at 18

Douglas Age 18

named John Pleasant after my Grandfather. Pleasant was my Great Grandfathers name so we called him “Pleasant” until he reached 18 years old and he decided to go by his initials. John Pleasant Smith was the only Grandparent I ever met so I named him in honor of this wonderful man. My youngest son is named Starr Douglas. My beloved father Douglas died when I was 19 years old so I wanted to name him after my dad. I also wanted his name to be unusual like his brothers. I couldn’t think of anything. When I was about 8 months pregnant I was watching TV and a Senator came on whose first name was Starr. I thought “Starr Douglas” …it fits! He is proud of his name and has lots of fun telling people “Yeah my Mom was a hippy” My daughter’s name is Jerusha Jane. The tradition in my family is my middle name is Jane, my mother’s name is Jane and the name goes back to a great-great Grandmother named Jane. Knowing my entire life that I was expected to name any girl I had by this name I thought of every possible combination of names and nothing sounded right to me. When I was 12 years old I went to see the movie “Hawaii” where Julie Andrews played a missionary’s wife and her name was Jerusha. Jerusha Jane I loved it. I had that named picked out for 10 years before I got to use it.

I love unusual names and finding a treasure trove of them among my Ancestors has been so much fun. How about you? Do you have unique names in your tree? Do you know why they were named that? Feel free to share those names and why they were named that with me! I would love to hear them.

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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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, History, Mayflower, Names, Personal Stories, Pleasant Smith, Write Your Story

Leaving Your Lessons Behind

TreeAs Genealogists we fully understand the importance of leaving behind as much information and documentation as possible for the next generations. Most of us have struggled to obtain what we have and may have already made a commitment to make it easier for our descendants. The problem is what SHOULD we leave for those coming behind us?

There are many Blogs out there that give us ideas of the some of the categories we may want to write about. Some are topics like writing about our own childhood, what was popular in our culture, writing about our religion and why we chose it, and much more. So I thought I would just throw one more idea into the mix.

Lessons Learned

As we grow older, hopefully we have learned a few lessons in life. We have had some good and bad experiences as a result of some decisions we have made. I believe that these are some of the things we should also write about. I mean most of us have told our own children about making right decisions and why, so why not share those with future generations? I would love to know why some of my Ancestors made the decision to move from one place to another, why they chose the occupation they had and so much more.

part 4If you have read my series about my Mom and her superstations back in October you would know why that when I got married and had children I decided then that I would NOT be anything like her.  There have been many times in my life when I have been faced with a decision and I have literally thought “What would Mom do?” and then I would do the exact opposite.  I becamequestion mark a widow at the age of 31, being left with 3 children; I learned a lot of lessons. My husband had committed suicide as a result of a pornography addiction so I had to learn how to deal with that. I started a ministry for women whose husbands, boyfriends or fathers had a porn addiction and as a result I have counseled thousands of women. My husband of 28 years, was diagnosed with vascular dementia seven years ago and believe me, I have learned a tremendous amount of lessons from that!

These are the lessons I want to leave for my grandchildren, great-grandchildren and all those who come after me. If I, by leaving behind a written documentation of what I have been through in life can write about the lessons I have learned while going through it all and those lessons can help future generations, then I will feel that it has all been worth it.

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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Filed under Ancestry, Family History, Genealogy, Hints, Next Generation, Write Your Story