Tuesday, January 9, 2018

Genealogy Research - And Odd or Unusual Names

I started working on my family genealogy soon after my father passed away when I was 24 years old.  I realized that I had never met any of my father's relatives, that I could remember.  In actuality, I saw several of them before I was four years old, and I believe Dad's sister visited us in Texas before I was 5.  Otherwise, Dad's family were just old photos from the 1940s and names.  I spoke with his sister-in-law on the day that he died on the telephone.  I really don't know why we didn't visit Dad's family over  the years - we visited his friends from 20-plus years in the Navy, and their families; and we spent most vacations on the island in Virginia, where Mom's family had lived for over 350 years.  But Dad's family?  I wouldn't have known them had I met them in the street.
   I started building information on my Dad's family through his sister-in-law, Theoda Gwenn Smith Nocks, who was married to Dad's older brother.  She sent me copies of obituaries and old photos, and got me filled in on the previous two generations of her husband's family.  This was in the mid-1980s, when the internet wasn't easily available, nor was much genealogy information on line, at that time.  I spent a lot of time in the University of Florida archives, reading through old US Federal Censi on microfilm, and hoping to find a break.
   In the late 1980's I was referred to the Church of Latter Day Saints' local research library, and I was able to build my tree even more.  Since the world-wide-web has come into being, with all sorts of information, I have been able to delve even further back.  I am still stuck on my Swedish great-great-grandparents, though.  I have seen three different renderings of their names, but have been unable to locate any of them, separately, or together in the Swedish records that are available (for free) on-line.  I hope to find and document them at some time...
   In the meantime, I have run into quite a few remarkable and memorable names...  Some belong to my family, and some have just caught my eye as I was looking for someone else.  My favorites from family are:  Hepzibah Starbuck (of Nantucket) who married Captain Joshua Hussey, producing the full name of Hepzibah Starbuck Hussey.  It rolls rather pleasantly from the tongue, doesn't it?  Another relative is Hatevil Hall - actually there are more than thirty (30) Hateveil Halls in my family lineage, as each eldest son of each son born into the Hall family, named their first-born son Hatevil.  (And it is pronounced like two words - Hate Evil.)  Some wrote an article about unusual names, and wondered if Hatevil Hall really hated evil.  Well, the first few Hatevil Halls were Quaker elders, so I would say that they did hate evil.  I also have a great-uncle named Eighty One (or Eight One) Mobley - his father George gave most of his children unusual names: Respino, Kilpatrick DeGrosse, Genoa Veve, etc.  Eight One got his name because he was born one minute after midnight on 1 January 1881...   My grandmother's brother was named Robert Raymond Lancaster, and he'd tell the Census-takers that the R. R. stood for different names every ten years - Rocky Road, Rail Ryder, River Raider, and so on.  At least I knew ahead of time that Uncle Ray had a warped sense of humor.
   Recently I have also found the names John Diklis, Joe Fuzee Cretein, Worty Wartes, and a couple named Johnson - the wife was Eused and the husband was Noway....
   If you decide to look into your family tree, I highly recommend the LDS website called Family Search.  You can choose to share your family tree information, or not to do so.  The site can be found at:  https://www.familysearch.org/   

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