'whut?' ancestral names in your lineage

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i came across fernando cortes nichols b. 1835 indiana

inveterate practitioner of antisocial distancing (Hunt3r), Thursday, 21 May 2020 14:31 (six days ago) link

i don't know what was going on there but damn.

inveterate practitioner of antisocial distancing (Hunt3r), Thursday, 21 May 2020 14:32 (six days ago) link

I have never traced my family tree because it wouldn’t go back further than the 1860s

(so serious) (DJP), Thursday, 21 May 2020 14:34 (six days ago) link

................................................................................AWKWARD!!!

the burrito that defined a generation, Thursday, 21 May 2020 14:52 (six days ago) link

Recently learned that my grandmother's middle name was Exzine, and that she was given that name from an ancestor of hers named Exzina. I had thought that Exene was just a weirdo punk name (i.e. Cervenka), but I guess it had some basis in reality.

peace, man, Thursday, 21 May 2020 15:06 (six days ago) link

it wouldn’t go back further than the 1860s

Basically true for the vast majority of USAers, I would guess, but for different reasons than for DJP.

A is for (Aimless), Thursday, 21 May 2020 16:28 (six days ago) link

my dad had an uncle Rabelais. which was weird because this guy was born to a semi-literate washerwoman in rural Chile (of no French ancestry) in the 1920s

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Thursday, 21 May 2020 16:42 (six days ago) link

I was amazed to find out from a costly genealogy site was that my great great grandfather who was called Constant Fiddler was a maverick swimming instructor, who due to the lack of public swimming pools back then used to conduct his swimming lessons mainly from a little iron bath tub in his basement.

calzino, Thursday, 21 May 2020 16:57 (six days ago) link

Everybody on my dad's side is Italian, so mom's would have any surprises if they existed

I am a free. I am not man. A number. (Neanderthal), Thursday, 21 May 2020 17:03 (six days ago) link

I had thought that Exene was just a weirdo punk name

Real name Christine --> Exene, like Christmas --> Xmas

Hideous Lump, Friday, 22 May 2020 03:02 (five days ago) link

very xp, but djp's post is totally on point and at least to me, not awkward. it's exactly a point i should remember.

still and also, i've learned some amazing shit way after 1860. like everyone knew that my grandma had eloped and had my mom in 1930 at 17. shortly after eloping, she was recovered by her parents and divorced. but unknown to everyone including my mom, one year later grandma moved to another state (with my mom) and married guy 2. two years later mystery guy 2 died. While my grandma married guy 3 in that same town a year later, guy 2 was totally waashed away from every family history, apparently.

i uncovered the documentary history while searching online, in a moving car in TN, while we were relocating my 89 y/o mum to live with siblings of mine. the whole shit happened LIVE, with my mom in the backseat, me in the passenger. "mom who is xxxxx xxxxxxxx? your mom has a marriage license to him in 1932, it's definitely her, all her info, age everything..." "that's not familiar at all, i think it's someone else or an error of some kind." then my two sisters and i had lots of banter-y, jokey bullshit, wondering if guy 3, who was sorta a violent player with connex in the town in question, had killed guy 2.

i learned a few days later that my mom was embarrassed and furious at us kids for mentioning it at all, either in the car or in our subsequent, astonished discussions with our own families afterwards. "if mother didn't tell me or anyone else about that marriage, she didn't want anyone to know."

also xp, i didn't know exene was from christine, and i was listing to her spoken word piece on alphabetland just this week and wondering whether exene was a given name.

inveterate practitioner of antisocial distancing (Hunt3r), Friday, 22 May 2020 05:41 (five days ago) link

Dorcas Slade, born early 1852 near Melksham, Wiltshire - awesome name

I also like the surname Glyde, which is one of the main ones on my mum's side. I'd never encountered it before starting to look into my family history recently after the death of my last grandparent.

brain (krakow), Friday, 22 May 2020 08:10 (five days ago) link

Dorcas Slade, born early 1852 near Melksham, Wiltshire - awesome name

Very West Country.

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Friday, 22 May 2020 08:21 (five days ago) link

Direct ancestor Reverend Henry Loveall, aka DESOLATE BAKER, purportedly a con-man of some sort from Cambridge, who had been thrown out of the Church of England and came to the US under an assumed name and took up preaching, only to be excommunicated again for immoral behavior and eventually lived the end of his life as a hermit.

epistantophus, Friday, 22 May 2020 13:35 (five days ago) link

William Raymond (1722-1818), known as ROCK RAYMOND because he built his cabin against a large rock.

epistantophus, Friday, 22 May 2020 13:46 (five days ago) link

Wolphert Gerretse van Couwenhoven (1579-1662), a baker from the Netherlands, early European settler of Long Island, NY

epistantophus, Friday, 22 May 2020 13:51 (five days ago) link

Otis Manly Spaulding
Archelaus Coffey
“Glasgow Bill” Cairns
Maximilian Bates
Sturgis Morehouse
Carl Josef Ferdinand Blomberg
Louisa Adelaide Ferris Long Carnahan
Birger Thorbjörnsson

epistantophus, Friday, 22 May 2020 14:01 (five days ago) link

another xp i hope my now 90 mom doesn't find out i posted this story on the interwebs *guilt feel*

inveterate practitioner of antisocial distancing (Hunt3r), Friday, 22 May 2020 15:09 (five days ago) link

Dorcas Slade, born early 1852 near Melksham, Wiltshire - awesome name

Very West Country.

Yeah? My whole dad's side of the family comes from the west country and it turns out that a lot of my mum's ancestors do as well, which I didn't previously know. Not from the area myself - my parents were a good bit further north by the time they met and I was born.

brain (krakow), Friday, 22 May 2020 18:51 (five days ago) link

It just has a very West Country sound to it, Dawwwrrrcas Slade. With Brexit looming, my sister had a look into our ancestry (father's line) in a futile quest for an Irish passport but the connections were too far back and Irish records often don't go very far back - depending on religion, of course. Anyway, as she put it, it was just an alternating set of Thomases and Christophers and they were all labourers :( She did find a great uncle who played football for Hibs - and has a wiki page - who we didn't know about, though when she mentioned him to my mum, my mum said, "Oh him? You mean The Footballer?"

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Friday, 22 May 2020 20:14 (five days ago) link

I quite fancy doing my family tree at some stage but if I have to physically access archives then for the last 150 years id have to go to at least 3 countries, none of which I live in. so it's never going to happen

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Friday, 22 May 2020 20:56 (five days ago) link

oh, that should be 4 countries

COVID and the Gang (jim in vancouver), Friday, 22 May 2020 20:56 (five days ago) link

It’s amazing what you can find online now. Between Ancestry and Familysearch you can find quite a lot. Sometimes the searching takes some skill and detective work. This is like my #1 hobby, I spend way too much time on this but I like the puzzle solving aspect of it. And unraveling old family mysteries is rewarding.

epistantophus, Friday, 22 May 2020 21:07 (five days ago) link

Ha, I can hear it now Tom D, yes.

I really enjoy the puzzle sorting part too, epistantophus.

brain (krakow), Saturday, 23 May 2020 13:28 (four days ago) link

I spend way too much time on this but I like the puzzle solving aspect of it.

I can see that. My mom got caught up in it late in life and it occupied her thoughts and inspired several expeditions around North America over at least a decade. I inherited the fruits of all that labor, since not a single other family member had any interest. The main reason my interest is tepid is that as one digs further into the past, beyond great-grandparents, the exponential growth in family lineages becomes overwhelming, and one's personal connection to any particular individual grows more and more tenuous.

At that point the only reasonable strategy it seems to me is to convert it into a treasure hunt, where the treasure is any individual ancestor out of the teeming crowd who has a remarkable personal story. Thus, one gets to cherry-pick the best stories and say, "my great-great-great-great-uncle was one of he first ten people ever to ascend in a hot air balloon", when in fact he was just one of a mass of 94 other great-great-great-great-uncles, none of whom were of much interest at all.

A is for (Aimless), Saturday, 23 May 2020 18:25 (four days ago) link

Mehitable Buck
Micajah Organ
2 guys named Philander, which a fair number of people in 19th century America thought was a fine name to give their baby son, although dictionaries say the meaning of "to screw around" dates back a century earlier.

punning display, Saturday, 23 May 2020 18:45 (four days ago) link

Means lover of men I think?

Is Lou Reed a Good Singer? (Tom D.), Saturday, 23 May 2020 18:50 (four days ago) link

Yeah, derived "from Greek philandros ‘fond of men’, from philein ‘to love’ + anēr ‘man’" Beats me how it went from that to "man who has sex with lots of women".

punning display, Saturday, 23 May 2020 19:02 (four days ago) link

Mine’s only interesting (and searchable) on my dad’s maternal side because Huguenots wrote EVERYTHING down (and this family were very active in the Revolutionary War). Less accessible are the Swedish, Polish, Canadian or Irish Methodist bits of my family tree.

santa clause four (suzy), Saturday, 23 May 2020 19:03 (four days ago) link

The Swedes kept meticulous records, back to the early 1700s at least. Pretty much everything is available online, but it’s not all searchable and you have to pay for it, at least that was the case when I was doing my Swedish genealogy. I used ArkivDigital. The only thing is that you have to know what parish(es) to look in, and what year(s). Then you have to be very patient with scrolling through old handwritten church records.

epistantophus, Saturday, 23 May 2020 21:47 (four days ago) link

Not sure if he was a Philander, but I have a Philo in my tree. Philo Tolbert, born ca. 1723. The tiny bit of African heritage I have comes from him.

epistantophus, Saturday, 23 May 2020 21:53 (four days ago) link

when I was a kid I was struck by how rare my surname (O' Dowd or just Dowd with dropped O) was in England but then when I went back to the motherland every summer it was almost as common as Smith over there. I remember looking it up in the phone book and we were the only Dowd's in Hudds despite it having a big Irish presence and thinking it is probably more of an indictment on the family name than signalling that we are unique in some way! Anyway I find the idea of doing self genealogy absolutely abhorrent when you go past the parents of dead family, who gives a flying fuck what any of them did. it's quite safe to conclude that most of them were complete fucking arseholes whether they gained some peripheral historical respectability at some point or not is my blazing hot take on this!

calzino, Saturday, 23 May 2020 22:17 (four days ago) link

Some good French-Canadian names on my mom's side:

Hermine Spenard
Rosalie Cayouette
Eustache Beaupre
Cyrille Thibeau
Domithilde Filion
Narcisse Boudreau

jaymc, Saturday, 23 May 2020 22:24 (four days ago) link

My mom's uncle traced one line all the way back to a 16th-century Frenchman named Nicolas Bonhomme.

jaymc, Saturday, 23 May 2020 22:26 (four days ago) link

no doubt a very cold and aloof character!

calzino, Saturday, 23 May 2020 22:29 (four days ago) link


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