What’s in a name came front and forward yesterday while I was making Life Insurance and Will document arrangements. A discussion about the correct spelling of my name and what do I use as a middle initial. I automatically gave my middle name Lee. I quickly found out that not everyone who is married uses their Christian middle name once they are married. Many women take their maiden name instead. This gave me pause as a researcher of family records. It finally made sense to me why some of my ancestor’s records had a different middle initial. Maybe it wasn’t a typo but a clue to that persons maiden name.
Like in the photograph above, even a place is called by different names. Taylor Mill Historic Site had many names over the years include: Taylor Up and Down Sawmill, Taylor Mill, Ballard Pond, Ballard Pond State Park, The Mill on Island Pond Road, The Mill at Derry and I’m sure that there were other names the locals called it.
It is important in our family research as a simple reminder to think about what nicknames we are called by. We know about towns, counties and states having different names over the ages yet we forget about what we call our family and friends.
In honor of Fun Friday I thought I would provide the nicknames I have been known by. I will leave it up to you to wonder why some of them were given . Many will provide smiles and a few a puzzled look. Enjoy the list.
June Lee Stearns
June Stearns Butka
I will proceed with my family research and consider what names those loved ones were called during their lifetime. That autograph book you find in the yard sale, the yearbook of your mother or father, the carefully written love letter or hastily jotted note just might contain a clue to you ancestor. When I see the middle initial on a document I will now think was this their christian middle name or that persons maiden name. Nothing is ruled out until I see the confirmation of other documents.