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Archive for August 11th, 2012

Namesakes

It is interesting to know our namesake(s) and the history behind our names. Sometimes we are named for an ancestor; sometimes it is a family friend or other family member. Do you know if you were named after someone? Not knowing much about my family history before my mother passed away, my knowledge of my namesakes was limited until I began to do a little digging. Mom said she named me (my first name) after my great aunt—Dad’s mother’s sister—or rather a shortened version of her name. And, my middle name came from my mom’s side of the family—no mystery with that one.

 

Sisters in front of the old farmhouse
Amanda Pauline, Lillian Ann (my GM), Emma Irene

My great aunt did not marry and she had no children. Her first name was Amanda but went by her middle name because her grandmother, Amanda Amelia, lived with the family. Pauline was like my best friend when I was young and a great substitute for my grandmother after she passed away. I don’t think there was anything she could not do.

 

The name Amanda has been passed down through my father’s family since at least the 1700s—back to my 5th great grandmother, and I doubt this is the origin. This name has been used in every generation except for my father (I know he was glad 🙂 ) who was an only child and I have not confirmed that my 5th GG daughter’s middle name was Amanda or if there was possibly another daughter who died who might have been named Amanda. The name continued down through several lines and generations—not just mine. I didn’t use Amanda or a shortened form in my girls’ names. I think they are ok with that but I probably would have at the time had I known the family history.

 

Names should be badges of honor, something we build on as we grow so that when we are gone, there is a sense of respect in the remembrance of our name. Do you know if you have a namesake or perhaps you are a namesake? Is it a name that has been passed down through many generations and has meant something special to the family? Did you name your children after a certain namesake in the family? It is something special when we can connect to our family that has gone on before.

 

Happy Gardening and may we make our namesakes proud! 🙂

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