Sunday, January 18, 2009

What's in a name?

I have to dedicate this to my grandparents above: Earl Osborne McCracken and Irene Dixie Detamore, not to mention
all of my other grandparents, as neverending grand as they may all be.

What is it exactly that's in a name? Names have meanings to everyone. Even animals! LOL.. Seriously though, a name.

Many people buy the baby name books in the stores while pregnant, trying to choose the perfect name for their little package. These books give the special meanings of the names and also types of spellings. From the website: My first name Tina means follower of Christ. Renee, my second name is also a form of Irene and means Reborn.

Others take names from their past ancestors and either completely use both names: EX: Frederick James. So if the father's name was Frederick James, they would add the Sr. after the name and the child with the same first, middle and last name would be copied from the father- all except the Sr. would change to Jr.

There are some that skip back to generations past, using those names as well. They sometimes go to the grandparent many generations back and use this name. What happens when you have 5 children and each of those 5 children actually have the same first name (at least!)?? What if others like cousins use that name as well? You may end up with 25 people with the same name descended from one person who by this time knows nothing about the person which the people were named for.

To a Historian, it's pure hell. Do you know what it's like to try to keep all of the information straight? Yes, I am guilty of naming my children after people. Yes, it will probably come back and haunt whom ever decides to follow what I am doing and playing the role of historian. S-man got his name from a combo of his Grandfather's name and Hubby's middle name. K-bug got her name a little differently - She got her first name 1. because we liked the name and it sounded Irish. 2. After choosing the name we figured out that her first name fit from DH's Aunts and grandmother, just another form of the name. Her middle name is directly from my grandmother, though we also figured out after choosing the name that it also fits from another of DH's aunts. And well, the last name, it kinda had to be. Now for the B-meister, her name was chosen because the name that we had for the two that miscarried, well, we thought that they may be a jinx and did not want to even consider it for her. Also, I am not sure if it is just me, but I have noticed that people with the same name act a lot alike too.

So, back to my question, do you know how to keep them straight? I will say that I have found more information regarding past family members through the census, draft cards, marriage records. So usually for generations past it is easier to find information for people of the past. They have the census up until 1930 online now. There are tons of information available through churches like LDS, mormon groups, books created pertaining to family histories, township histories, state histories. There are tons of information on many of the different websites, one of the biggest being, genweb just to name only a couple that are out there. Google is a great place to begin as well. Public libraries also carry information, though I have found that the college libraries may carry more. There are information on books, cd's, microfilm, old archives from the newspapers. In order to keep them straight you must watch for parents names, dates of birth, weddings, and deaths. When you can find the social security number that helps now that we have that information also, though it does not do much at this time unless you are contacting the government.

I myself have been researching my mother's side of the family, which started out on one portion of her tree being the Frederick Horn. I do not have a middle name for him. I thought I had found information showing that he was the Jr, and having a Sr. as the father. At the time that all of this information was created (the point in which they were living their lives) some of the information disregarded the fact if they were a Jr. or Sr.. I mean how many people live their lives knowing that they would be a Sr. and even if they did, maybe at one point they were a Jr. that becomes a Sr. at the birth of their child (Am I confusing you yet?? LOL!!). The family tree jumps around tons now, but when you add about 10 people to the tree with the same first names, some not even knowing their middle names, it can get to be a catastrophe.

One thing I can say is that it sometimes is easier if the families keep names running through the family. The hard part is trying to figure out where they got it, because sometimes people aren't even named for a family member, it could be after a friend of the family or someone they wish that child would follow and become like. Some use it at times such as the death of a loved one, the upcoming event of losing a loved one, or even just in memory of a loved one past. In my case, My K-bug's middle name came from a grandmother that I dearly would have wanted to know, but I was born 13 month past her death. I named her middle name her first name so that I will always remember her through the photos and stories that I have held in memory and now every time I hear her name I still feel close to her.

I would have to say in closing, I just needed to have a good rant and rave over the name issue. Unfortunatly there is nothing that can be done. I myself, I like to see names repeated through the generations. To me it defines that one or maybe more than one of those ancestors must have been great, showing great strength and ability, showing the love and devotion to their family, and being a wonderfully missed person. The ability for a child to be named after them is the greatest gift to the person the child has been named for.


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